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Overbay drives in all three D-backs runs

PHILADELPHIA -- The door to the visiting manager's office needed to be shut. The clubhouse noise was too rowdy postgame.

Players scattered about the clubhouse. Some were showering, others sat shirtless on their locker stool, eyes fixed on the pair of TVs hanging in the middle of the room, moments before the Braves beat the Giants to help Arizona extend its lead in the National League West to 3 1/2 games over San Francisco.

"C'mon, Martin [Prado]."

"Vamos, Martin."

This is what it's like to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks in mid-August, whose 3-2 victory Tuesday over the Phillies and Roy Halladay confirmed this team can play with baseball's best and has no plans of shrinking, even in front of baseball's best team and pitcher.

Lyle Overbay, three days removed from unemployment, drove in all three runs, the final two on a one-out double off Halladay in the ninth inning that bounced off the wall in right-center field. The go-ahead hit scored Justin Upton and pinch-runner Collin Cowgill, who touched home plate on an acrobatic slide around catcher Carlos Ruiz.

Cue insanity.

"I'm in the weight room jumping off weight machines and benches and stuff like that, because it's exciting to be a part of that and a part of this in an atmosphere like that with two first-place teams going at it," starter Josh Collmenter said. "It doesn't get too much better."

OK, so he wasn't really jumping off weight machines. A slew of high-fives sounds more like it. But there was no denying the playoff atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park.

The rookie right-hander got a taste of that when 45,742 fans rose to their feet for the 11th pitch in a third-inning at-bat against Hunter Pence with the bases loaded and the D-backs in front, 1-0. Collmenter struck out Pence.

"That's what makes it exciting," said Collmenter, who pitched 6 2/3 innings and struck out a career-high eight, "when you can quiet that many people."

They weren't quiet for long. Shane Victorino hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Halladay rolled on until the ninth. He tied a career high with 14 strikeouts but was denied his NL-leading 16th victory and seventh complete game.

"It's kind of his game, isn't it?" Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's my ace. That's kind of the way I looked at it. If I was going to make a move, how come I didn't make a move to start the inning?"

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson made his move before the game, inserting Overbay into the starting lineup for the first time since being acquired on Saturday because he's a veteran hitter who's had success against Halladay. He came in 3-for-10 with two RBIs lifetime against the 2011 NL Cy Young Award favorite.

"We brought him in here and we gave him the quick version of 'here we go,' Gibson said.

He was more than ready, heeding the advice of his agent to stay prepared in case one team called. Tuesday was as good a start as any.

"He made a mistake my last at-bat, because he's aggressive with the strike zone," Overbay said. "So you know you're gonna get a pitch to hit, and you gotta take advantage of it because you're not gonna get two."

When Major League Baseball released its 2011 schedule, it would've been difficult to see Arizona's mid-August trip to Philadelphia as a possible playoff preview.

The D-backs, who finished with only 65 wins last year, got a good taste of what October could be like. It doesn't get any easier Wednesday, when they throw out Joe Saunders to face Cliff Lee. Comments