Mesa Fires Blanks In Pitcher's Duel; Phils Lose

Through eight innings and seven different pitchers, the Phillies and Diamondbacks were engaged in a pitcher's duel Tuesday night. Then, Jose Mesa came into the ballgame and suddenly, the Arizona offense was able to go to work. The Diamondbacks scored five runs off Mesa in the ninth to give themselves a 6-1 win in the series opener, sending Mesa to his third loss of the season.

The last time that Kevin Millwood was on the Veterans Stadium mound, he threw a no-hitter. This time out, he was a strikeout machine, whiffing eleven hitters in seven innings of work. Ironically, in his three starts since the no-hitter, Millwood has given up a leadoff hit on the first pitch of each game, but after that hit, Millwood was in complete control. At one point, Millwood had struck out nine of eleven batters that he had retired. His counterpart, Brandon Webb, wasn't getting the strike out numbers and wasn't breezing along quite as easily as was Millwood, but he was still getting the job done. Webb lasted six innings, allowing just one run on a homerun by Pat Burrell that tied the game at 1-1 in the sixth inning. Three relievers worked two innings after Webb's departure and allowed just one hit. Mike Koplove (1-0) got the final two outs in the eighth to record the win.

Millwood had given up a run in the top of the sixth when Alex Cintron doubled to leadoff the inning and scored one out later on a Luis Gonzalez single, giving Arizona a 1-0 lead. Millwood then worked out of the inning with no further damage and pitched another inning to finish off his night. Besides striking out eleven, Millwood allowed just six hits and didn't walk a hitter. Turk Wendell and Dan Plesac worked a perfect eighth inning for the Phillies.

Larry Bowa went to closer Jose Mesa (1-3) to start the ninth and it was apparently, the wrong decision. Things started all right, with a runner on first and two outs. Four singles and a wild pitch later though, the D'backs built up a 5-1 lead and Mesa was exiting the ballgame. Rheal Cormier came on and gave up a leadoff double to Luis Gonzalez, before getting Carlos Baerga to end the inning.

Matt Mantei came on to put the Phillies down in the ninth and end the ballgame.

Game two of the series will have the Phillies putting their hot rookie, Brett Myers (3-2, 2.20) on the mound against former Phillie Curt Schilling (2-2, 3.92).

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