Mesa Saves Two As Phillies Sweep Montreal

Jose Mesa worked both ends of the Phillies double-header Sunday to move into a tie with Mitch Williams for second place on the Phillies all-time saves list. The Phillies took both ends of the double-header to complete a three-game sweep of the Expos as they prepare for Inter-League play and the Seattle Mariners first ever visit to Philadelphia.

Game 1
Phillies 4
Expos 3

The Phillies wished for a solid outing from southpaw Randy Wolf (6-3) in order to give the pen a rest going into game two, and the rest of the week. After some early struggles, the team got what it wished for. A golden opportunity presented itself for the Phillies to gain some ground in the standings, with the team playing two games in front of their home crowd. It was a wild and crazy afternoon at Veterans Stadium as the wind presented Wrigleyesque conditions and played a major role in the game.

Things did not get off to a good start for Wolf. He surrendered a home run to Wil Cordero - his fifth - and one to Fernando Tatis in the fourth. Wolf recovered to pitch well enough to earn a victory and would help his own cause along the way.

Pat Burrell looked to be making strides towards recovering from a season long slump that has mired his 2003 campaign. The Phillies first run of the game was scored in the sixth inning after a hard ground ball that turned into a double play, and an RBI for Pat Burrell as Bobby Abreu scored to get the Phightins on the scoreboard. Even though Burrell was only 1-for-4 in the game, he made solid contact each time he was at the plate and also scored a run.

Wolf had a successful day at the plate going 2-for-2 with two doubles against Expos starter Livan Hernandez (4-4). He tallied six strikeouts on the afternoon much to the delight of the Wolf Pack, and the rest of the 30,000 fans in attendance.

When Wolf's afternoon was over the game was handed to Rheal Chormier who threw two scoreless innings and was a breath of fresh air compared to the performances fans are used to seeing from the bullpen. Jose Mesa shut down Montreal in the ninth to earn his 14th save, locking up the Phillies 4-3 win and ensuring that the Phillies would win at least one of the two games played on a dreary Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Game 2
Phillies 4
Expos 1

Brett Myers (5-4) threw six strong innings and the bullpen dominated Expos hitters over the final three innings as the Phillies took game two of their Sunday double-header and swept the three game series with the Expos. Terry Adams pitched two perfect innings in relief and Jose Mesa recorded his 15th save of the season. Mesa's save gave him 102 as a Phillie, tying him for second place on the Phillies all-time saves list with Mitch Williams.

Marlon Byrd had two hits and walked twice in the nightcap, including an RBI single to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning. Byrd later scored when Tomas Perez doubled to drive in two runs, extending the lead to 4-1.

The Phillies got a run in the first inning when Jimmy Rollins scored from third on a wild pitch by Montreal starter Claudio Vargas (2-2). Ron Calloway hit his third homerun of the season off Myers in the fourth to tie the score.

The sweep moved the Phillies to 1.5 games behind Montreal for second in the NL East and 6.5 games behind Atlanta. The Braves were playing later Sunday night in New York.

Inter-League play begins Tuesday for the Phillies as they host the Seattle Mariners. Jamie Moyer (8-2, 3.55), who the Phillies tried to sign as a free agent during the offseason, will go against Kevin Millwood (7-2, 2.93) in the series opener.


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