Mighty Millwood Does It Again In Phils 3-1 Win

Kevin Millwood is the perfect pitcher for the Phillies; he doesn't need much run support or Jose Mesa. Millwood threw a complete game Sunday night as the Phillies beat Houston 3-1 to take 2-of-3 games in Houston over the weekend. Millwood is now 6-1 and tied for the league lead in wins with Russ Ortiz from the Braves.

Minute Maid Park doesn't look like much of a hitters' park when Kevin Millwood is pitching.

Millwood tossed a complete game for his fourth straight victory and Pat Burrell had an RBI triple and scored in the first inning as the Philadelphia Phillies held on for a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Minute Maid Park is known as a good stadium for hitters, but Millwood has been unbeatable of late, going 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his last six starts, including his first career no-hitter on April 27.

Millwood (6-1) continued his dominance against Houston, allowing just one run and six hits. He recorded his second complete game of the season and eighth of his career.

"He's a horse," Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. "When he gets in a groove, he gets it. He didn't want to come out. He's done that a couple of times when the bullpen has been decimated."

The 28-year-old righthander threw 75 of 113 pitches for strikes, walked one and struck out four.

"Everything was pretty good, nothing was great," Millwood said. "I relied most on my fastball. I'm going pretty good right now. When you can get runs in the top of the first inning, it makes your job a little easier."

Burrell gave Millwood all the support he needed in the first. Jim Thome walked with two outs and scored when Craig Biggio tripped on the hill in center field trying to chase down Burrell's fly ball.

"I was so happy to see the ball I hit was in play," said Burrell, who had his first triple of the season. "I just kept going. If (Biggio) doesn't fall down, I don't get a triple.

Tim Redding (3-3) issued three consecutive walks to force in Burrell before escaping the jam. He allowed just three runs in six innings, but his early mistakes cost him.

The Phillies took a 3-1 lead on an RBI single by Jimmy Rollins in the fourth inning.

Biggio opened the first inning with a double and went to third on Jeff Bagwell's infield single with one out. Jeff Kent followed with an infield hit to plate Biggio, but the Astros did not get another runner past second base.

Millwood gave up a leadoff single to Brad Ausmus in the second inning and a one-out hit to Bagwell in the third. But he retired 15 of the next 16 batters, issuing a walk to Biggio in the fifth.

Biggio doubled with one out in the eighth, but Millwood retired the final five batters. He got Kent, Lance Berkman and Orlando Merced in the ninth as closer Jose Mesa warmed in the bullpen.


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