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NL: Phillies take East lead

Associated Press
Published May 20, 2004

PHILADELPHIA - Even with their slugger sidelined and their closer on the disabled list, the Phillies are finally alone in first place.

Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer and Marlon Byrd had three RBIs to lead Philadelphia over Los Angeles 9-4 Wednesday night, the Dodgers' sixth straight loss.

Eric Milton allowed three runs and eight hits in 51/3 innings and improved to 5-0. Philadelphia won for the ninth time in 12 games and moved ahead of Florida for the East lead.

"It's nice to be on top. We deserve it," Burrell said.

The Phillies, picked by many to win the division, have overcome a 1-6 start and are 16-8 since being swept by the Marlins from April 20-22.

"Our goal was to try and win each series," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

The Phillies played without first baseman Jim Thome, who sat out with sprained ligaments in his right index finger. Thome hopes to return Friday night. All-Star closer Billy Wagner (groin) could return Tuesday.

Hideo Nomo left with one out and a runner on third in the second after he split the nail on his right index finger. A 16-game winner last season, Nomo is 3-5 with a 7.13 ERA and could lose his spot in the rotation.

Brian Falkenborg relieved Nomo and allowed eight runs and eight hits in 32/3 innings. The Dodgers' skid has followed a 22-10 start.

"We're in a little rut right now," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "We just have to keep playing hard and get ourselves out of it."

After Cesar Izturis' three-run homer cut it to 6-3 in the fourth, Burrell hit a two-run shot in the bottom half, his third homer in two games and ninth this season.

D'BACKS 6, BRAVES 4 (11): Former Jefferson High standout Luis Gonzalez hit his second homer of the game in the 11th, and Steve Finley followed with another shot to lead visiting Arizona.

The Diamondbacks bounced back off Armando Almanza after squandering a 4-0 lead in the eighth.

The Braves, who had gone 18 innings without a run, scored four in the eighth, capped by Julio Franco's two-run homer. Franco, 45, broke his record for the oldest player to homer as a pinch-hitter, a mark he set two weeks ago against San Diego.

CUBS 4, GIANTS 3 (10): Moises Alou crossed up his dad's strategy and homered in the 10th for host Chicago.

With one out, San Francisco manager Felipe Alou pulled left-hander Jason Christiansen and brought in right-hander Jim Brower to get the platoon advantage against his son.

Moises Alou then hit a 3-and-2 pitch to deep left to end the game.

Jason Dubois, called up from Triple-A Iowa to replace injured Cubs star Sammy Sosa, hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh that tied it at 3.

ASTROS 10, MARLINS 2: Lance Berkman homered for the second straight night and Jeff Kent and Morgan Ensberg drove in three each to lead visiting Houston.

Tim Redding allowed two unearned runs and three hits in 62/3 innings, improving to 3-0 in four career starts against Florida.

Redding beat the Marlins twice last season and had a no-decision last week against the defending World Series champions. He has allowed six runs, four earned, in the four starts.

PADRES 6-7, PIRATES 3-3: Jake Peavy allowed one run in six efficient innings and San Diego again took advantage of Pittsburgh's deficient defense to sweep a road doubleheader for the first time in nearly 14 years.

In the opener, Phil Nevin drove in three and Brian Lawrence won his fourth start in a row in a victory aided by three Pirates errors, ending Pittsburgh's four-game winning streak.

REDS 4, ROCKIES 3 (10): Plant City's Danny Graves blew a chance for a record-setting save, but D'Angelo Jimenez singled with the bases loaded in the 10th as host Cincinnati won its fourth in five games.

Graves relieved in the eighth with a chance to set a Reds record for career saves but blew it on his first pitch, a homer by Jeromy Burnitz to tie it at 3.

CARDINALS 1, METS 0: Scott Rolen hit a run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth for visiting St. Louis. Jeff Suppan, Cal Eldred and Steve Kline combined on a four-hitter, the Cardinals' third shutout of the season.

BREWERS 6, EXPOS 3: Bill Hall hit a go-ahead, three-run triple through a steady rain in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as Milwaukee snapped host Montreal's four-game winning streak.

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