Dodgers Can't "Duck" A Sweep; Lose To Phils 7-3

While the Phillies looked pretty weak against the Marlins and Reds, they looked pretty formidable against the Dodgers as they swept a three-game series at The Vet, winning 7-3 Thursday night. The Dodgers offense continued to struggle and the Phillies pitching took advantage of the weakness and allowed just five runs in the series.

Brandon Duckworth is the weak link in the Phillies' rotation but against the Dodgers, he looked like a world beater. Duckworth earned his first win in more than two months while Tomas Perez and Placido Polanco hit three-run homers in a six-run fifth inning as the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers with a 7-3 win.

Duckworth (4-5), who had been 0-4 in his previous 10 starts, recorded his first victory since May 17, giving up just a solo homer to Adrian Beltre in the top of the second. Beltre's homerun was his ninth of the year and landed in the upper deck. Duckworth allowed four hits in seven innings with a walk and four strikeouts. "There were a lot things (that went right) tonight," said Duckworth, who may have saved his spot in the rotation.

Odalis Perez (6-9) held the Phillies hitless through the first four innings before falling apart in the fifth. Perez had his best start of the year against the Phillies on April 30, when he struck out a career-high 11 batters in 8 2/3 innings in a 4-0 victory. In this one, he allowed only one baserunner in the first four innings - a leadoff walk to Todd Pratt in the third – but surrendered five hits in the fifth.

Playing in a steady rain, Pat Burrell led off the fifth with a walk and after Jimmy Rollins struck out, Pratt singled for the Phillies first hit. Tomas Perez gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead with his second homerun of the season. Meanwhile, Perez continued to unravel, giving up singles to Duckworth and Marlon Byrd. The base hit by Byrd extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by a Phils player this season. Polanco, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left quadriceps, chased Odalis Perez with his ninth homerun.

The Phillies added another run in the seventh off Wilson Alvarez. With one out, Byrd was hit by a pitch and Polanco singled to put runners on first and second. Mike Lieberthal then followed with an RBI single to give the Phillies a 7-1 lead.

The Dodgers have scored just eight runs in their last seven games and were held to three runs or fewer for the 59th time this season. They are 16-43 in those games.

Reliever Carlos Silva lasted just 1/3 of an inning in the ninth, giving up a double to Paul LoDuca and an RBI single to Alex Cora. Mike Williams then came on and gave up an RBI single to Larry Barnes as the Dodgers made it a 7-3 game.

The Phillies now go up against the San Diego Padres in a four-game series at The Vet. Kevin Millwood (10-7, 4.00) goes up against Kevin Jarvis (4-2, 3.91)in the first game of the series Friday night.


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