Duckworth, Abreu Help Phils Over Dodgers 4-1

Brandon Duckworth and Bobby Abreu teamed up to help the Phillies gain a split of their four-game series with the Dodgers. Duckworth pitched five good innings and Abreu continued to swing a hot bat, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning off Dodgers starter Hideo Nomo. The Phillies bullpen checked in with four strong innings in relief of Duckworth as it all seemed to come together to snap the Phillies two game losing streak.

Brandon Duckworth (2-1) took another step back to firming up his spot in the Phillies rotation Thursday night by blanking the Dodgers through five innings of work. Duckworth struck out seven and allowed seven hits but no walks in his third start of the season. As in his last start though, Duckworth fell apart in the sixth, allowing three singles on three successive pitches to open the sixth inning. Terry Adams inherited the bad situation and made the most out of it, getting a pop-up for the first out before surrendering an RBI groundball for the Dodgers only run of the game.

The Phillies were also in trouble in the eighth inning. Adams gave up a walk and Dan Plesac followed by allowing two singles to again load the bases with nobody out. Turk Wendell relieved Plesac and got a short flyball, a groundball that resulted in a force out at home and a pop-up to get out of the inning with no damage. Jose Mesa pitched an uneventful ninth inning to record his seventh save of the season.

The Phillies scored three runs off Hideo Nomo (2-3) in the first inning. Nomo hadn't allowed a first inning run all season until the Phillies struck. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a ground-rule double and David Bell singled to drive him home. Bobby Abreu then stepped up and delivered his fourth homerun of the season to make it 3-0. Mike Lieberthal chipped in with a solo homerun in the sixth – his third homerun of the season – to put the Phillies up 4-0 before the Dodgers got their run in the bottom of the inning.

The Phillies continue their west coast trip with three games in San Diego this weekend. Kevin Millwood (4-1, 3.48) goes against rookie Clay Condrey (1-1, 8.66) in the series opener Friday night.

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