ST PETERSBURG, Florida - Failing to drive in runners from scoring positions would be something the Philadelphia Phillies would quickly overcome, their manager said after their 4-2 loss in the second game of the World Series.
The Phillies had 15 at bats but just one hit with a runner in scoring position in Thursday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
They won the first game of the best-of-seven series 3-2 on Wednesday, but did not get a single hit in 13 opportunities with runners on second or third base.
"I'm concerned about us hitting with guys on base because it looks like at times we might be trying a little too hard," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "But we can fix that.
"We had more guys on base than they had. We've had more chances to score than they had, but we just didn't execute and score the runs."
The Phillies, who now play the next three games back in Philadelphia, left a total of 26 men on base on Thursday but said they were confident of pulling out of their combined slump.
"We've done this before. We know we can work our way out of it," said shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who was 0-for-5 and left four men on base himself on Thursday.
Philadelphia's first run came off a solo home run from pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett, who was also adamant the team would deliver in the clutch situations from Game Three.
"I think it is going to improve. It's just one of those things," he said.