Jim Thome, who was cheered wildly in pre-game introductions, lined the first pitch he saw to left-center for a triple. Thome missed a homerun by about a foot as the Phillies homerun drought continued. In their first four games, the Phils have just one homerun. Thome scored on a groundball by Pat Burrell, cutting the Pirates lead to 5-1 at the time.
The game was the fifth home opener to sell out in the history of Veterans Stadium. The pre-game ceremony included patriotic songs, the introduction of members of the 1971 team that opened Veterans Stadium and a tribute to Tug McGraw. Fans were urged to wave Rally Towels given to all fans entering the stadium as a tribute to McGraw who is recovering from brain surgery in Tampa, Florida. Both teams wore uniforms of the style that they wore in 1971 and will continue to wear the uniforms for the entire weekend series.
The Phils and Pirates matchup again Saturday afternoon with Kevin Millwood (1-0) going against Jeff D'Amico, who is making his first start for the Pirates.
|Phillies fans react to the introduction of Bobby Abreu at the final home opener in Veterans Stadium history.|