New Faces Help Phils To Opening Day Win

The Phillies got Jim Thome, David Bell and Kevin Millwood hoping that the three would lead the Phillies to more wins this season. The plan worked to near perfection on Monday as the Phillies beat Florida 8-5, winning the season opener.

Thome started the scoring in the first inning. After Bobby Abreu drew a two-out walk, Thome followed with a double to right-center field scoring Abreu and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Firstbaseman finished the day with three hits, a walk and a run scored, but had a chance to do more damage, but struck out with the bases loaded.

The play of the day may have been turned in by new thirdbaseman David Bell in the third inning. With two outs and a man on first, Bell hit a routine grounder to thirdbaseman Mike Lowell, who threw low to first. Bell hustled toward the bag and was able to get there before Derrek Lee gained control of the throw, putting men on first and second. Mike Lieberthal then singled home Thome, who had walked, followed by a walk to Marlon Byrd to load the bases. Starter Josh Beckett (0-1) then issued a walk to Millwood, plating another run. A miscue by Luis Castilla led to two more Phillies runs as they exploded for five runs in the inning, all with two outs.

As for Millwood (1-0), he gave the Phillies six innings of work, allowing just two earned runs and striking out four. The right-hander, making his first opening day appearance, started the seventh inning by walking Mike Lowell on four pitches and manager Larry Bowa turned the game over to the bullpen. Carlos Silva relieved Millwood and struggled allowing two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of work before giving way to Terry Adams who got Juan Encarnacion to groundout back to the mound to end the inning. Jose Mesa pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season.

Florida got a contribution from a new face as well. Ivan Rodriguez smashed a two-run homerun off Millwood in the sixth, making it an 8-2 ballgame at the time. Another newcomer, Juan Pierre contributed two hits and Todd Hollandsworth chipped in with one hit in his Marlins debut.

After an off-day on Tuesday, the Phillies and Marlins will play at Pro Player Stadium again on Wednesday night when Randy Wolf is opposed by Carl Pavano.

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