Padres Eaton By Wolf As Phillies Win 3-1

If you're a big fan of high scoring baseball games, you should probably avoid settling into the Lazy-Boy with a nice cold one and watching a Phillies game. As usual, the Phillies last regular season game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego turned into a pitcher's duel between one of the Phillies prized starters who came up through the farm system and another former farmhand who wound up starting his major league career in San Diego.

Adam Eaton (1-3) was once a prized possession in the Phillies farm system and has become a pretty good major league pitcher with the San Diego Padres. Sunday, Eaton would have liked nothing more than to be able to beat Randy Wolf (4-2) and the Phillies. Unfortunately for Eaton, Wolf was his usual self, working six innings and allowing just two hits while striking out six hitters. "Today, Randy showed that he's one of the best pitchers in the National League," said Todd Pratt, who caught the game for the Phillies.

Offensively, the Phillies again were a pretty silent bunch, picking up just five hits in the game and again taking advantage of a first inning run. The fireworks really started when third base coach John Vukovich was tossed from the game by home plate umpire Bill Hohn after Bobby Abreu struck out with Jimmy Rollins on second. After the arguing was over, Jim Thome singled to score Rollins and the Phillies suddenly had a 1-0 lead.

As Wolf was breezing on the mound, he worked some magic at the plate with a one-out double in the top of the fifth inning. One out later, Placido Polanco doubled and that was followed by an Abreu single that put the Phillies up 3-0. Eaton worked his way out of the fifth and pitched an uneventful sixth inning before making his exit.

The Padres chased Wolf in the seventh. Brian Buchanan led off the inning with a single and Mark Kotsay walked, hastening Wolf's exit in favor of Terry Adams. Adams, who has struggled lately, walked pinch-hitter Ryan Klesko and when Dave Hansen pinch-hit for Wiki Gonzalez, Larry Bowa yanked Adams in favor of Rheal Cormier, who has been one of the more effective choices in Bowa's bullpen lately. Not to be outmaneuvered, Padres manager Bruch Bochy the went to Mike Rivera instead of Hansen. Rivera grounded into a double-play, with Buchanan scoring from third and making it a 3-1 game. Cormier then got Lou Merloni to ground one back to the mound to end the inning.

Jose Mesa pitched a perfect ninth inning for his ninth save of the season and second of the series.

Eaton left the game with a mild groin strain that nagged at him through the fifth and sixth innings. The Padres will re-evaluate him on Monday and hope that he'll miss no more than one start. The loss was the seventh in the last eight games for the Padres, with their only win in that stretch coming Friday night against the Phillies.

The Phillies will travel to Arizona for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks starting Monday night at Bank One Ballpark. Vicente Padilla (3-3, 2.85) will face Miguel Batista (1-2, 3.06) in the first game of the series.


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