Byrd's Four Hits Beat Expos 5-2 in 11 Innings

Marlon Byrd went 4-for-5, including hitting a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Phillies beat Montreal 5-2 Thursday night at The Vet. Once again, the Phillies bullpen also did the job, allowing just one hit over the final four innings of the the game. Unfortunately, the Braves and Diamondbacks both won, so the Phillies didn't gain any ground on the Braves in the NL East and still lead Arizona by just a game in the wild card race.

Marlon Byrd picked up on an even hotter pace than he left off on before the all-star break. Byrd's big night pulled his season average to an even .300, which is near amazing considering that he had been hitting .167 just a couple of months ago. Byrd also drew a walk.

The Phillies got on the board first when Tyler Houston doubled with runners on first and second in the second inning. Mike Lieberthal scored from second, but Pat Burrell was thrown out at the plate on the play for the final out of the inning. Burrell had walked, which was the first of three walks that he drew on the night.

The lead held up until rookie Ron Calloway doubled home Wil Cordero in the fourth inning to tie the game 1-1.

The Phillies again got to Tomo Ohka in the fourth inning. Doubles by Bobby Abreu and Jimmy Rollins made it a 2-1 game. Ohka had no-hit the Phillies for six innings the last time he faced them, but Byrd didn't let that happen this time, as he singled to lead off the bottom of the first. Overall, Ohka allowed 8 hits over 6 innings of work, getting a no decision.

A throwing error on Abreu gave the Expos a run in the sixth. Orlando Cabrera had doubled to lead off the inning and stole third. Cordero then lifted a fly ball to right that Abreu played easily and then threw home on. Cabrera had held at third, but Abreu's throw got away from Lieberthal and bounced into the Montreal dugout allowing Cabrera to score the tying run.

Kevin Millwood pitched seven strong innings, giving up two earned runs on nine hits, while striking out five. Rheal Cormier pitched two scoreless innings, Jose Mesa pitched one and Dan Plesac (2-0) pitched the top of the 11th to get the win.

The bullpens didn't allow any more scoring until the Phillies won the game in the 11th. Tim Drew came on to pitch for Montreal and Jimmy Rollins quickly doubled off of him to start the inning. Nick Punto ran for Rollins and moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Burrell. Pinch hitter Jason Michaels then grounded out to third, leaving Punto at third with two outs. The Expos then decided to walk Tomas Perez and pitch to Byrd with runners on first and third and two outs. Byrd quickly jumped on Drew for the homerun to left-center field, giving the Phillies a 5-2 win.

The series continues Friday night with Javier Vazquez (6-6, 3.95) going against Randy Wolf (10-4, 3.31)

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