Thome's Homerun Beats Cubs, Gets Win For Padilla

The Phillies picked up their fifth straight win and have now won 11-of-13 after beating the Cubs 4-3 Monday night at The Vet. The win wrapped up a strong month of June for the Phillies, who moved to just 5 ½ games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

In his first two at bats, Jim Thome didn't come close to getting a pitch he could hit, so he took two walks. Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, Shawn Estes (6-7) made a mistake and Thome smashed the pitch into the left field seats for a two-run homerun that proved to be the game winner. The homerun was Thome's 21st of the season and gave him a total of 58 RBI in his first season as a Phillie.

The homerun also made a winner out of Vicente Padilla (7-7), who pitched seven strong innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter to lead off the seventh. Padilla allowed two earned runs on five hits in his seven innings of work. Terry Adams, Dan Plesac and Jose Mesa came on in relief to cover the final two innings. Mesa, pitching for the fifth straight day, recorded his 18th save of the year.

Estes looked like he was going to handle everything himself as he was strong in the early part of the game and provided the Cubs with their first run when he homered off Padilla in the third to give the Cubs a 1-0 win. The homerun was the fourth of Estes career. The Cubs got two more runs in the fourth with three straight singles to start the inning to score one run and a passed ball by Mike Lieberthal plated another run and gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for the Phillies in the bottom of the fourth. David Bell then slapped a single to right to score Thome with the Phillies first run of the game. Marlon Byrd then lifted a fly ball to right that scored Bobby Abreu with the Phillies second run, cutting the Cubs lead to 3-2.

Estes seemed to be pretty well in control until he ran into seventh inning trouble. Estes had struck out pinch-hitter Jason Michaels and got Placido Polanco to ground out to start the inning before Jimmy Rollins singled ahead of Jim Thome's homerun that put the Phillies ahead 4-3.

The series continues Tuesday night with a marquee pitching matchup. Randy Wolf (9-3, 3.16) goes against Chicago's Mark Prior (8-3, 2.61) in the second game of the series.

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