It was a muggy, cloudy day at Veterans Stadium, but at least it was dry for the first game of the Sunday afternoon double header for the Phillies (32-29) who will end their series with the Oakland A's (34-26) today.
The Athletic's started off the first inning when Eric Byrnes led off the day with a single and a stolen base landing him on second. Chris Singleton then popped out to David Bell, the Phillies third basemen, for the first out. The red-hot Miguel Tejeda then grounded out to Jimmy Rollins failing to move the runner to third. Then came Eric Chavez. With a 1-2 count Eric nailed the ball to right field and what looked like a 2-0 lead for the Oakland Athletics. Something in the air carried the ball foul and Chavez ended up striking out looking and ending the inning.
We go to the bottom of the third inning with Mark Mulder and Kevin Millwood still pitching. Phillies young center fielder Marlon Byrd, who has been hot for the Phillies this home stand, starts the inning off with a single. Millwood comes up to the plate and attempts to move Marlon to second base but fails to do so, striking out. Jimmy Rollins comes up and hits a single; stopping at second is Marlon Byrd. Placido Polanco steps up and adds an RBI single, scoring Byrd as Rollins advances to third. The power hitting, first basemen, Jim Thome steps up and works a 3-1 count. The next pitch he grounds to first in which Scott Hatteberg steps on first and makes a high throw to second. Polanco is safe at second and Rollins scores the second Phillies run giving them a 2-0 lead. Mike Lieberthal ends the inning with a fly out to center field. The Phillies never looked back.
Kevin Millwood (8-3) pitched a seven-inning game, scattering seven hits and giving up only one run while striking out six batters. Kevin Millwood, who has been shut out and lost his last two starts, has never lost three consecutive starts in his major league baseball career. As a good friend of mine, Christopher Guy, who writes for NYMFansonly.com, pointed out Kevin had lost 5 consecutive decisions when he pitched in AA.
Pat Burrell came alive hitting a double in the 4th inning and a three run home run in the 7th inning to put the Phillies up 7-1.
Rheal Cormier came in the 8th to close the game out for the Phillies and he did just that. He pitched two innings in which he gave up a single to Miguel Tejeda, which was harmless. He went 1, 2, 3 in the 9th with Ramon Hernandez and pinch hitter Adam Piatt grounding out and Mark Ellis popping out to Jimmy Rollins to give the Phillies their first win in interleague play this year.
Oakland Atheltic's starter Mark Mulder (8-4) surrendered 4 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings of work.
Pat Burrell went 2-4 with a double, and three run homerun…Rheal Cormier has only given up two runs since giving up five on opening day…Marlon Byrd looks more comfortable with the team…he went 3-3 with 3 singles, 1 walk, and an RBI…Randy Wolf is scheduled to start the second game…Mike Lieberthal, Pat Burrell, and David Bell were all given the second game off.
The Philadelphia Phillies like playing two games on Sunday.
Jim Thome belted a two-run homer and Bobby Abreu added a solo shot as the Phillies completed a doubleheader sweep of the Oakland Athletics with an 8-3 victory.
It marked the second straight Sunday that the Phillies swept a double-header at Veterans Stadium. They took two games from Montreal last Sunday.
Phillies starter Randy Wolf (7-3) took advantage of the early support. The left-hander surrendered three runs and four hits over seven innings, walking five and striking out seven.
Making his first start of the season, Aaron Harang (0-1) was roughed up for five runs and four hits in three innings.