Phillies go long to end Expos' winning streak

Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2004

Jim Thome and the Philadelphia Phillies made Sun-woo Kim pay for his mistakes.

Thome hit his major league-leading 24th home run and Kevin Millwood won for the first time in eight starts, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Montreal Expos 5-2 Wednesday night.

Thome homered off Kim (3-3) to lead off the second, and Mike Lieberthal and David Bell also had solo shots for Philadelphia.

"We were fortunate. We got some pitches to hit, and hit them," Thome said.

The Phillies have hit 94 home runs this season, including 27 in their last 15 games, and are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the NL homer lead.

"We didn't have a whole lot of guys on base but it was one of those games where you have to give Millwood credit," Thome said. "He really pitched a nice game for us."

Millwood (5-5), who was 0-3 in his previous seven starts, pitched 6 1-3 effective innings for his first win since May 11. He allowed two runs and five hits, including Orlando Cabrera's RBI single in the first and Jose Vidro's solo homer in the sixth.

"Millwood pitched a great game. We really needed that," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 12 opportunities.

Kim pitched 5 2/3 innings for Montreal, allowing five runs and seven hits, then was replaced by T.J. Tucker who got the last out of the sixth inning.

Chad Bentz of Juneau took the mound for the Expos to open the top of the seventh inning and got two outs on three pitches as Bobby Abreu grounded out to first and Thome grounded out to second, dropping Bentz's ERA to 5.03. Rocky Biddle got the last out of the seventh and Luis Ayala completed the game for Montreal.

Montreal's three-game winning streak ended one victory short of its season high. Despite the streak, the Expos have lost eight of 11 and have the worst record in the majors at 23-46.

"We've got to tip our hat to Millwood tonight," Vidro said. "He seemed to battle out there and got himself out of some jams. We were battling out there but we came up short."

Phillies center fielder Ricky Ledee returned to Philadelphia earlier in the day to have hemorrhoid surgery, leaving Bowa with a 23-man roster. Right-hander Elizardo Ramirez was not able to fly to Montreal with the team Monday because of visa problems.

Ledee had been scheduled to make his second straight start in center after Marlon Byrd was sent to the minors Sunday. Ledee aggravated his condition in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to Montreal.

Thome drew the Phillies even at 1 in the second when he drove an 0-2 pitch from Kim over the wall in deep left-center to lead off the inning.

Jimmy Rollins hit a one-out double in the third and, one out later, Abreu's RBI double put Philadelphia up 2-1.

Lieberthal made it 3-1 on his eighth homer with one out in the fourth.

Bell led off the sixth with his seventh homer to increase the lead to three and Rollins hit an RBI single later in the inning to chase Kim.

"When (Kim) got the ball up, they took advantage of it and hit it," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.

Giants 3, Dodgers 2

SAN FRANCISCO - Ray Durham hit a bases-loaded triple and Jerome Williams pitched six strong innings in the Giants' fifth straight victory. The Giants increased their NL West lead to 1 1/2 games with their third straight win over their fiercest rivals.

Durham has missed half the season with several injuries, but the Giants' leadoff hitter cleared the bases in the second inning with a triple to the gap in right-center field. Durham then stood on the base and applauded his sixth hit in 11 at-bats against the Dodgers during the series.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3

SAN DIEGO - David Wells outpitched Randy Johnson in a matchup of perfect-game lefties but got a no-decision when the Padres blew a one-run lead.

Terrence Long then homered in the ninth to hand Arizona its season-high sixth straight loss. Long beat Elmer Dessens (1-5) with a homer - his first - off the right-field foul pole.

Reds 6, Mets 4, 12 innings

NEW YORK - Cincinnati's Sean Casey hit his second two-run homer, in the 12th inning, and finished with five hits.

Wily Mo Pena and D'Angelo Jimenez also connected for the Reds, who snapped New York's season-high five-game winning streak. Mike Matthews (2-1) pitched a hitless 11th, and Danny Graves got three outs for his 28th save.

Pirates 7, Astros 2

HOUSTON - Ryan Vogelsong allowed two hits in six innings to win for the first time in 12 starts, and Jason Kendall hit his first career grand slam to lead Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh snapped a five-game losing streak and won for just the second time in 17 games at Houston.

Rockies 3, Brewers 2

MILWAUKEE - Starter Shawn Estes had a run-scoring double, and reliever Shawn Chacon worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning for his 14th save to help Colorado end an eight-game road losing streak.

Marlins 6, Braves 0

MIAMI - Brad Penny pitched six innings, Jeff Conine homered for the first time in more than a month and Florida beat slumping Atlanta.

The Braves have lost six of their last seven games to fall six games under .500 for the first time since 1990.

Cardinals 10, Cubs 9

ST. LOUIS - So Taguchi scored the go-ahead run on Paul Bako's passed ball in the eighth inning.

The Cardinals improved to 28-8 at home against the Cubs since the start of the 2000 season.



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