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NL: Thome still giving fans good show

Associated Press
Published September 28, 2003

PHILADELPHIA - Meaningless in the standings, these games mean plenty to Jim Thome and the Phillies.

Thome hit two homers to take the league lead with 47 and scored the winning run in the 10th, leading Philadelphia past East champion Atlanta 7-6 Saturday in the next-to-last game at Veterans Stadium.

Javy Lopez hit his major league-record 42nd homer as a catcher this season, and Julio Franco and Gary Sheffield also went deep for the Braves, who lost ground in their pursuit of homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

"He's unbelievable," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said of Thome, in his first season with the Phillies after 10 years with Cleveland. "He continues to rise to the occasion. He's given the fans their money's worth and he's given the Phillies their money's worth."

The Phillies snapped a six-game losing streak by rallying to tie in the ninth against closer John Smoltz, who had converted 45 of 48 save chances.

Atlanta led 6-4 before Jimmy Rollins' two-out double off the rightfield wall drove in Jason Michaels. Bobby Abreu then lined a 3-and-2 pitch into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Rollins to tie it at 6.

METS 9, MARLINS 3: A day after Florida clinched the wild card, manager Jack McKeon used a makeshift lineup and the host Marlins lost to Jae Weong Seo and New York. The Marlins, who had not committed an error in five games, made four.

CARDINALS 3, D'BACKS 2: Eduardo Perez homered and Edgar Renteria became the first NL shortstop in 18 years to drive in 100 for visiting St. Louis. Montreal's Hubie Brooks drove in 100 in 1985.

DODGERS 5, GIANTS 0 (GM. 1): Rookie Edwin Jackson pitched six scoreless innings, working around eight walks for visiting Los Angeles.

REDS 4, EXPOS 2: Brian Reith made his first major-league start in more than two years, and he responded with five shutout innings for host Cincinnati.

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