Duckworth Struggles In Phillies 12-5 Win

The offense and pitching can't seem to get on the same page. For the second time in three games, the Phillies struggling offense came alive to score 12 runs, but Brandon Duckworth again struggled even when he was given a big lead. In the end, the bullpen shut down the Expos - all except Orlando Cabrera - and the Phils offense continued to pound on Expos pitching.

A walk is as good as a hit in some cases. Just ask the Phillies.

The Phillies scored three times on bases-loaded walks, including twice in the sixth inning to snap a 5-5 tie, and Jim Thome homered and drove in four runs en route to a 12-5 triumph over the Montreal Expos.

After squandering a 5-1 lead after two innings, the Phils moved ahead in the sixth when Bobby Abreu drew a walk from reliever Scott Stewart to force in Tomas Perez. Dan Smith came in for Stewart and proceeded to walk Mike Lieberthal, driving in another run and giving the Phillies a 7-5 advantage.

Thome belted a two-run shot off Montreal starter Javier Vazquez (5-3) in the second before stroking a single in the seventh that plated two.

"Our offense has not really stepped up and taken care of our pitchers," Thome said. "That is going to happen."

Rheal Cormier (2-0) got the win despite allowing a run and two hits with three walks in one and two-third innings. Phillies starter Brandon Duckworth yielded four runs and seven hits while failing to go more than five innings for the sixth time in seven starts this season.

"To be successful, he has to get us strike one," explained Larry Bowa. "He left a lot of balls up in the zone. Hopefully, he will get through this and battle through it."

Vazquez was the victim of poor control, surrendering seven runs - five earned - and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked a career high six and struck out three.

Orlando Cabrera belted the first of his two solo homers in the first inning to give the Expos the lead. The Phillies scored three times in the bottom half and twice in the second to grab a 5-1 advantage.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Abreu hit a grounder that second baseman Jose Vidro attempted to turn into a double play. Jimmy Rollins scored from third and Cabrera failed to hang on to Vidro's throw, keeping the bases loaded.

Thome's twelfth blast of the season in the second gave Philadelphia a four-run lead before Montreal started chipping away at the Phillies lead.

Cabrera smacked an RBI single in the third and Ron Calloway added a run-scoring double in the fourth, making it a 5-3 game. Cabrera continued the onslaught with his second homerun, also a solo shot, in the fifth. Vidro singled to drive in a run in the sixth to tie the score.

Vazquez and the Expos completely self-destructed in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Vazquez walked Perez, who moved to second when strike three to Rollins went for a wild pitch. Placido Polanco drew a walk, ending Vazquez's night. Stewart entered the game and allowed an infield single by Thome that loaded the bases before he walked Abreu to give the Phillies a 6-5 lead. Smith came on and continued to miss the strike zone, walking Lieberthal to extend the Phillies lead to 7-5.

The Phillies added three runs in the seventh, the big blow being a two-run single by Thome. Perez picked up a two-run single of his own in the eighth to give the Phillies their 12-5 advantage.


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