The Phillies improved to 7-1 in extra-inning games this season, including a 5-2 victory in 11 innings Thursday in the opener of the four-game series against Montreal.
Once again, the Phillies bullpen, which is ranked second in the National League with a 3.00 ERA, made the win possible with three scoreless innings.
"Our relievers are second only to the Dodgers in ERA and they have been huge for us," Bowa said. "Tonight, Plesac was awesome, Cormier was great and Mesa ends up getting the win."
The Phillies scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th on Perez's bases-loaded hit. Jim Thome, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth, doubled with one out and Bobby Abreu was intentionally walked by Almonte (0-1) and the runners advanced on a comebacker by Mike Lieberthal.
Pat Burrell, who hit the game-tying solo homer in the fourth, walked on nine pitches to load the bases before Perez blooped a 2-2 pitch to left-center for the game-winning hit. Afterwards, Perez was mobbed by his teammates and bombarded by shaving cream pies from nine players. "I had to take it (the shaving cream pies) because we are all a team," Perez said. "It is good for the team. I do it for the last two years (giving shaving cream pies to teammates)."
"Tomas is one of those guys that everybody likes on the team," Bowa said. "He comes in with a great attitude every day whether he is playing or not. He is always ready to play."
The win was the seventh in nine games for the Phillies.
Michael Barrett drove in all of Montreal's runs with an RBI groundout in the second and a two-run double in the fourth, staking the Expos to a 3-0 lead against Vicente Padilla.
After managing just one hit in the first three innings against Livan Hernandez, the Phillies tied it in the fourth with the help of two home runs. Placido Polanco led off with a single and Thome followed with his 24th home run, a blast over the center field fence. Two outs later, Burrell hit a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for his 13th homerun of the season, to tie the game.
Padilla pitched eight innings, allowing three runs - two earned - and six hits.
Hernandez lasted 7 1/3 innings and yielded three runs and seven hits. Joey Eischen, Julio Manon and Almonte combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief before Almonte gave up the winning run in the 11th.