The Phillies haven't just played badly in the United States, their skid continued into Canada Monday night with an 8-1 loss to the Expos. Brandon Duckworth self-destructed, Larry Bowa picked up his fifth ejection and Pat Burrell continued to look lost whenever he puts on a batting helmet. Meanwhile, the Expos are now just ½ game behind the Phillies for second in the National League East.
(3-3) started strong against Montreal. He breezed through the first three innings with little trouble before turning into a batting practice pitcher in the fourth inning. After surrendering four straight hits and a walk, resulting in four Montreal runs, things really got ugly just before Duckworth's exit. With the Phillies trailing 4-1, Duckworth hit opposing pitcher Livan Hernandez (8-6) with a pitch, causing words between the two pitchers. Both benches emptied, but there weren't any punches thrown. Phillies manager Larry Bowa argued that Hernandez had swung at the pitch and as the argument escalated, home plate umpire Bill Welke tossed Bowa out of the game. It was the fifth time this season that Bowa has been ejected.
Hector Mercado then relieved Duckworth and worked out of the bases loaded nobody out jam with just one more run scoring. Mercado walked the bases loaded in the fifth but then pitched out of his own jam with no damage.
Rheal Cormier relieved Mercado in the sixth and allowed a solo homerun to Orlando Cabrera – his 13th of the season – to give Montreal a 6-1 lead. Cabrera finished the night just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Jose Mesa came on to get some work in the eighth inning and gave up a triple and two doubles, allowing two more Montreal runs to score, giving the home team an 8-1 advantage.
The Phillies lone run came on a solo homerun by Jimmy Rollins in the first inning.
The Phillies also lost ground to division leading Atlanta, who beat the Mets to extend their division lead to 8 ½ games over the Phillies. The Phillies had cut that lead to 4 ½ games by winning 12-of-14 games, but have now lost four straight and five out of six.
The Phillies and Expos meet again Tuesday night. Brett Myers (8-6, 3.57) goes against Claudio Vargas (6-3, 2.82).