Ledee's Triple Helps Phillies To 4-2 Win Over L.A.

The matchup of the two best pitching staffs in the National League continued Wednesday night with Dodgers veteran Kevin Brown matched up against Phillies rookie Brett Myers. The night ended with both pitchers going six innings and both giving up two runs, although only one of the runs allowed by Brown were earned. After the bullpens took over, the Phillies touched up the Dodgers for two quick runs and then held on for a 4-2 win.

Kevin Brown's first inning error led to the Phillies first run. Brown fielded Ricky Ledee's bunt and threw it over first baseman Jolbert Cabrera's head, allowing Ledee to circle all the way to third base on the play. Jim Thome then stepped up and cracked a broken bat single to right, bringing home Ledee and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Bobby Abreu followed with an infield single and Mike Lieberthal delivered an RBI single that scored Thome as the Phillies extended their advantage to 2-0.

When Myers returned to the mound in the top of the second, he took the 2-0 lead with him, but it didn't stay that way for long. Myers struck out Jeremy Burnitz, but Paul LoDuca followed with a solo homerun to left, to cut the Phillies lead in half.

Brown and Myers continued to duel, with Myers seemingly getting stronger and getting better command of his curve ball as the game went on.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa had a tough decision to make in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Houston doubled with one out to bring Nick Punto to the plate. Bowa quickly got Turk Wendell up in the bullpen with just Punto standing between Brown and the pitcher's spot in the order. Punto grounded out to second, moving Houston to third. Bowa decided to lift Myers in favor of switch-hitter Tomas Perez. Perez stepped up and grounded out weakly to second base, stranding Houston on third and leaving the game tied 2-2.

The Dodgers made a mini-run at Wendell in the top of the seventh. Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a double, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Beltre was bunted to third and the Dodgers sent Bubba Crosby to the plate to pinch-hit for Brown. Wendell got Crosby to hit a shallow fly ball to Abreu in right field, which wasn't deep enough to score Beltre. With two outs, Rickey Henderson was the hitter and grounded out to Jimmy Rollins on a routine ground ball to end the inning and kill the threat. Wendell came out to pitch the eighth and got Cesar Izturis to hit a weak fly ball to right for the first out of the inning. Dan Plesac then came on to get the final two outs of the inning for the Phillies.

Paul Shuey relieved Brown in the seventh and the Phillies immediately went to work. Marlon Byrd singled and Ledee followed with a triple to score Byrd. Thome then hit a fly ball to Henderson in left field that was deep enough to score Ledee, giving the Phillies a 4-2 lead through seven innings.

Jose Mesa came on to pitch the ninth and in typical Mesa fashion, it wasn't easy. LoDuca led off with a single and Jimmy Rollins prevented trouble by making a nice play on a ground ball to his right, hit by Cabrera. Rollins was able to make a throw to second to retire LoDuca as Cabrera reached on the play. Beltre then singled to right, putting runners on first and second with one out. Mike Kinkade pinch-hit for Alex Cora and thought he was hit by a pitch, but it was ruled that the ball didn't hit Kinkade. On the next pitch, Mesa got Kinkade to hit into a game-ending double play, giving Mesa his 21st save of the season.

The win keeps the Phillies on top of the National League wild card race as the Marlins beat Arizona behind Dontrelle Willis, 3-1.


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