Phillies Play Strong Game to Beat Braves 4-3

Eric Milton gave the Phillies another strong outing, even though he again failed to win his 12th game of the season. Instead, the Phillies used some late inning heroics and solid fundamentals to come from behind to beat Atlanta 4-3 in 10 innings. The win puts the Phillies and Braves back into a first place tie in the National League East.

One day after saying publicly that he hoped to stay in Philadelphia past this season, Eric Milton gave the Phillies yet another reason to try to make that happen. Milton threw seven strong innings, but finished with a no-decision in the Phillies 4-3 win in Atlanta.

It didn't look like Milton had his best stuff early in the game. His defense didn't help him much either. Center fielder Jason Michaels misplayed a ball hit right at him by Rafael Furcal, resulting in Furcal winding up at third to start the Braves portion of the first inning. Marcus Giles then followed with his fifth homerun of the season and before there was even an out, the Braves led 2-0.

Milton helped offensively when he singled up the middle with David Bell on first and two outs in the top of the second. Bell, hobbled by a sore thigh, limped his way to third. Jimmy Rollins then singled to drive in Bell and cut the Braves lead in half.

The game turned into a pitching duel between Milton and Braves' starter Jaret Wright as both pitchers seemed to be in complete control. Andruw Jones got to Milton with a solo homerun in the seventh to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. Wright was lifted after seven strong innings, opening the door for the Phillies.

Chris Reitsma came on in relief in the eighth inning and ran into immediate trouble. Rollins led off the inning with a single and Chase Utley reached on an error by Furcal. After Bobby Abreu hit into a fielder's choice, Jim Thome drove in Rollins with a sacrifice fly. Pat Burrell drew a walk and Bell, who almost left the game earlier because of his sore leg, singled to drive in Abreu and tie the game 3-3. Burrell was caught in a rundown on the play and thrown out at second to end the inning.

Rheal Cormier put down the Braves in the eighth and John Smoltz, who pitched two innings in Atlanta's win Monday night put down the Phillies in the ninth. Tim Worrell returned the favor in the bottom of the inning to send the game to extra innings.

The Phillies went to fundamentals in the tenth as Rollins led off with a single off Antonio Alfonseca and stole second. Utley bunted him over to third and was safe at first when catcher Eddie Perez failed to pick up the bunt. Sam McConnell came on and gave up an RBI single to Abreu as the Phillies took a 4-3 lead. McConnell struck out Thome and Kevin Gryboski came on to strike out Burrell. After Abreu stole second, the Braves walked Bell, before Jason Michaels fouled out to right field to end the inning.

The fact that the Phillies couldn't push across a second run almost became a factor in the bottom of the inning. Billy Wagner came on in search of the save and struggled getting it. Wagner gave up two singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Giles, who hit a slow ground ball to Bell who got an out at home to preserve the Phillies lead. J.D. Drew, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games in the first inning, came up and shattered his bat hitting a weak line drive to Thome for the final out of the game.

Tim Worrell (3-3) got the win, with Wagner notching his 15th save. The loss went to Alfonseca (5-4), who has been beaten by the Phillies three times this season.

The Phillies now return home for a two-game series with the Florida Marlins, who have won 18 of the last 20 games between the two teams. Kevin Millwood (7-5, 4.92) goes against A.J. Burnett (1-4, 4.86) in the series opener.


PHILADELPHIA (4) VS ATLANTA (3) - FINAL IN 10 INNINGS PHILADELPHIA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg J Rollins ss 5 2 3 1 0 0 0 .270 C Utley 2b 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .259 D Glanville cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .212 B Abreu rf 4 1 2 1 1 0 1 .307 J Thome 1b 2 0 0 1 2 2 4 .293 P Burrell lf 4 0 0 0 1 1 6 .264 D Bell 3b 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 .282 J Michaels cf 5 0 0 0 0 2 4 .250 B Wagner p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 M Lieberthal c 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .253 E Milton p 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 .158 R Cormier p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 a-R Ledee ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .292 T Worrell p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 P Polanco 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .258 Totals 36 4 8 4 5 9 19 a-grounded to second for R Cormier in the 9th. BATTING: 2B - B Abreu (25, J Wright). S - C Utley. SF - J Thome. RBI - J Rollins (34), J Thome (69), D Bell (46), B Abreu (66). 2-out RBI - J Rollins, D Bell. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J Michaels 2, C Utley 1, D Bell 1, P Burrell 1. GIDP - P Burrell. Team LOB - 9. BASERUNNING: SB - J Rollins (17, 2nd base off A Alfonseca/E Perez), B Abreu (22, 2nd base off K Gryboski/E Perez). FIELDING: DP: 1 (J Thome-J Rollins-J Thome). ATLANTA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg R Furcal ss 4 1 2 0 1 0 0 .272 M Giles 2b 4 1 1 2 1 0 2 .326 J Drew rf 5 0 1 0 0 0 4 .314 C Jones 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .223 J Estrada c 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .323 C Thomas pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .377 E Perez c 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .188 J Franco 1b 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .273 A Jones cf 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 .255 E Marrero lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .347 J Wright p 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 .034 C Reitsma p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 a-N Green ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .282 J Smoltz p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 A Alfonseca p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 S McConnell p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 K Gryboski p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-M Derosa ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .235 Totals 36 3 8 3 2 3 11 a-lined out to center for C Reitsma in the 8th; b-sacrificed to pitcher for K Gryboski in the 10th. BATTING: 2B - J Drew (17, E Milton); R Furcal (13, E Milton). 3B - R Furcal (3, E Milton). HR - M Giles (5, 1st inning off E Milton 1 on, 0 Out), A Jones (16, 7th inning off E Milton 0 on, 2 Out). S - M Derosa. RBI - M Giles 2 (25), A Jones (53). 2-out RBI - A Jones. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - C Jones 1, J Drew 2, J Franco 1. GIDP - J Drew. Team LOB - 6. FIELDING: E - R Furcal (14, ground ball); E Perez (2, bunt). Outfield assists - A Jones (P Burrell at 2nd base). DP: 1 (R Furcal-M Giles-J Franco). ---------------------------------------------------- PHILADELPHIA - 010 000 020 1 -- 4 ATLANTA - 200 000 100 0 -- 3 ---------------------------------------------------- PHILADELPHIA ip h r er bb so hr era E Milton 7 5 3 3 1 2 2 4.58 R Cormier 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.96 T Worrell (W, 3-3) 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 3.56 B Wagner (S, 15) 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 3.24 ATLANTA ip h r er bb so hr era J Wright 7 4 1 1 3 5 0 3.21 C Reitsma (B, 5) 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 3.99 J Smoltz 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.18 A Alfonseca (L, 5-4) 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 3.46 S McConnell 1/3 1 0 0 0 1 0 3.00 K Gryboski 2/3 0 0 0 1 1 0 3.07 A Alfonseca pitched to 2 batters in the 10th. IBB - D Bell (by K Gryboski), R Furcal (by B Wagner). Pitches-strikes: E Milton 82-54; R Cormier 8-7; T Worrell 11-7; B Wagner 24-13; J Wright 95-59; C Reitsma 20-11; J Smoltz 12-9; A Alfonseca 10-4; S McConnell 7-5; K Gryboski 11-5. Ground balls-fly balls: E Milton 12-7; R Cormier 1-2; T Worrell 1-1; B Wagner 2-1; J Wright 11-5; C Reitsma 1-1; J Smoltz 1-0; A Alfonseca 1-0; S McConnell 0-0; K Gryboski 0-1. Batters faced: E Milton 26; R Cormier 3; T Worrell 4; B Wagner 6; J Wright 27; C Reitsma 6; J Smoltz 3; A Alfonseca 2; S McConnell 2; K Gryboski 3. UMPIRES: HP--Bruce Froemming. 1B--Hunter Wendelstedt. 2B--Mike Winters. 3B--Tim Timmons. T--2:55. Att--36,006. Weather: 83 degrees, partly cloudy. Wind: 13 mph, in from center.

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