Millwood and Phillies Slow Down Expos, 4-2

After a chilling three days in New York, the Phillies arrived in the warm, empty confines of Olympic Stadium and turned up the heat a notch. Kevin Millwood recorded his seventh win to take over the NL lead in wins and Jose Mesa put the Expos down in order in the ninth for his thirteenth save. The Phillies cooled off an Expos team that had won 11-of-15 and are in second place in the NL East.

Zach Day ran into troubles of a different kind against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Kevin Millwood (7-1) pitched seven strong innings and Bobby Abreu belted a two-run homer as the Phillies posted a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Expos.

Ejected from his last start for having an illegal substance on a finger on his pitching hand, Day (4-2) struggled in this one, allowing three runs and eight hits with six walks in five innings.

The loss was Day's first since April 8, snapping a personal three-game winning streak. "He threw a lot of pitches and I didn't want to stretch him out too far," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "That's why he came out after five."

Millwood continued to give Philadelphia exactly what it expected after acquiring him from Atlanta during the offseason. The righthander yielded two runs and six hits while walking three and striking out four in his fifth consecutive win. "It was a tough day for me," Millwood said. "I didn't locate my fastball very well. My breaking balls were OK, but it just seems like it was a battle from there on. So to come away with a win when I feel like I'm not throwing very well, it was big for me and big for the team."

With the game even 1-1 after two innings, Abreu launched a 2-1 offering over the wall in left field with a runner aboard in the third to give the Phillies the lead.

Placido Polanco homered and drove in two runs and Jose Mesa tossed a perfect ninth inning for his 13th save of the season and 100th with the Phillies. Mesa, who collected 104 saves with Cleveland, became the 10th player in major league history to reach the century mark with two different teams.

Losers of two in a row, the Phillies grabbed the lead in the second without hitting the ball out of the infield. Mike Lieberthal led off with a single that second baseman Jose Vidro knocked down and David Bell walked. Day bore down and struck out rookie Marlon Byrd and Millwood, but Jimmy Rollins kept the inning alive with another infield single that Vidro prevented from reaching the outfield. Polanco then took four straight balls to force in Lieberthal with the game's first run.

Montreal evened the contest in the bottom of the inning when Jamey Carroll singled and scored on Brian Schneider's double down the left field line.

Day allowed a single by Pat Burrell to start the third before Abreu belted his seventh homer of the season for a 3-1 Philadelphia lead. But with two outs in the fifth, Orlando Cabrera singled and scored on a double by Vidro to draw the Expos within a run.

Dan Smith relieved Day to start the sixth and served up a leadoff homer by Polanco, his third of the season.

The Expos threatened in the eighth against Carlos Silva, who gave up a single to Vladimir Guerrero before hitting Wil Cordero with a pitch. Rheal Cormier came in to get Ron Calloway on a bunt foulout and Carroll on an inning-ending double play.

"It turned out well," Cormier said. "I didn't think (Calloway) was going to pop it up. It's a situation where I knew he was bunting. It was just a fastball up in the zone - a tough pitch to bunt, really. It's not where I wanted to throw it, but that's where it ended up. Then we got the ground ball and (Rollins) turned it."

"Cormier did an unbelievable job," Bowa said. "The missed bunt, that seems to be a lost art in baseball, and not just for the Expos."


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