Phils Send Expos To Sixth Straight Loss, 8-3

The Phillies put a rather large nail in the coffin of the Montreal Expos playoff hopes, beating the Expos 8-3 Wednesday afternoon at Veterans Stadium. The loss was the sixth straight for the Expos, while the Phillies have now won five of their last six games and stay at the top of the heap for the National League wild card race.

Once Kevin Millwood cooled down, he had no problem shutting down the Montreal Expos. Millwood recovered from a rough start to work eight strong innings as the Philadelphia Phillies posted an 8-3 victory over the slumping Expos.

The day got off to an inauspicious start for Millwood (14-9), who surrendered a three-run homer to Wil Cordero in the top of the first. Millwood gave up the homer after becoming upset at the strike zone of umpire Alfonso Marquez. Phillies manager Larry Bowa also was frustrated with Marquez in the opening inning and was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

The Phillies ace rebounded and pitched well after the homerun, allowing seven hits, walking two and striking out eight while retiring 16 of his last 18 batters. Carlos Silva came on and pitched a perfect ninth inning to lock down the win for the Phillies.

Jim Thome had three hits and knocked in two runs for the Phillies, who have won five of six and moved one-half game ahead of Florida for the National League wild card. Thome launched his 39th homerun of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning off reliever Vic Darensbourg. Earlier in the game, Todd Pratt, hit his third homerun of the season to get the Phillies on the board in the bottom of the third inning.

While Pratt's homerun started the third inning rally, it continued on from there. With two outs, Marlon Byrd reached on an error by third baseman Jamey Carroll and scored on a Jimmy Rollins double. Bobby Abreu then reached on an infield single and Thome singled to tie the game 3-3. Pat Burrell doubled to drive in one run and Chase Utley singled to plate two more runs as the Phillies put six runs on the board for a 6-3 lead after three innings.

Byrd doubled in the fourth, went to third on a ground ball by Rollins and scored on an RBI single from Abreu to stretch the Phillies lead to 7-3. Thome's homerun capped the scoring in the sixth.

The Expos have lost six straight since sweeping a four-game series from the Phillies last week. They fell to a woeful 25-47 on the road and five games behind the Phillies.

Expos starter T.J. Tucker (0-2) was roughed up for six runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Expos fly to Puerto Rico – their adopted home – to host the Florida Marlins. The Phillies will play the Mets at Veterans Stadium in a four game series. Thursday night's game will have Randy Wolf (13-9, 4.14) going against Tom Glavine (9-12, 4.44). The Phillies swept the Mets last weekend in New York, while the Marlins were sweeping the Expos in Florida.

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