Perez, Michaels Hit Slams As Phils Put Up 18 Runs

The Phillies got four early runs Monday night against Atlanta and it wasn't enough, so they didn't take any chances Tuesday night. The Phillies got grand slams from Jason Michaels and Tomas Perez to go with a three-run shot from Mike Lieberthal as they coasted to an 18-5 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Mike Lieberthal belted his second first-inning homer in as many days and Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels smacked their first career grand slams as the Phillies pounded the Atlanta Braves, 18-5 Tuesday night in Atlanta. Lieberthal extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a three-run shot off Braves starter Shane Reynolds in the opening frame, and the Phillies never looked back.

"It's kind of odd for me," Lieberthal said of his homers. "I kind of tomahawked it. It was a high fastball. It's not like I'm trying to look for a home run. I'm just getting good pitches."

Jim Thome and Pat Burrell stroked RBI singles in the second before Perez's grand slam off Trey Hodges gave the Phillies a commanding 10-0 cushion. Michaels' shot in the sixth extended the lead to 18-2 and marked the third time in franchise history the Phillies have had two grand slams in a game. Lieberthal and Billy McMillon accomplished the feat on August 18, 1997, while Ralph Miller and Lee Meadows did it on April 28, 1921.

Randy Wolf (14-9), who also drove in two runs, benefited from Philadelphia's best offensive output of the season. The left-hander evened his lifetime record at Turner Field at 4-4 by allowing two runs and five hits in five innings with four walks and four strikeouts.

Javy Lopez, Julio Franco and Mark DeRosa homered to give the Braves 215 homeruns on the season, matching the franchise record set in 1998.

Reynolds (11-9) turned in his shortest outing of the season, surrendering seven runs, four hits and five walks while retiring just four batters. Reynolds started the game by walking Marlon Byrd but needed just three pitches to strike out Jimmy Rollins, who was the only Phillies starter without a hit. Bobby Abreu singled and Thome hit a grounder to first that should have been an inning-ending double play, but Reynolds was unable to get to first in time. Lieberthal then deposited a 1-0 offering over the left field wall for his 10th homer. Burrell and Chase Utley walked, but Perez flied out to end the inning.

With one out in the second, Byrd singled and Reynolds walked Rollins and Abreu to load the bases. Thome followed with a two-run single to right-center, giving Philadelphia a 5-0 cushion and ending Reynolds' evening. Hodges came on and struck out Lieberthal, but Burrell singled to plate Abreu. Utley walked to fill the bases for Perez, who parked a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right field for a 10-0 bulge.

The long rest may have hampered Wolf, as he allowed a leadoff single by Andruw Jones before Lopez swatted his 38th homer to get Atlanta on the scoreboard. Wolf then settled down and retired the next three batters.

The Braves threatened again in the third when DeRosa opened the inning with a single and Marcus Giles walked. Gary Sheffield popped out before Chipper Jones singled, but center fielder Byrd fired a bullet home to nail DeRosa.

Consecutive singles in the fourth by Lieberthal, Burrell and Utley resulted in a run and Perez collected his career-high fifth RBI with a double. Wolf capped the rally with a sacrifice fly, making it 13-2. The Phillies plated another five runs in the sixth to produce their highest total since scoring 18 against Montreal on June 2, 2002. With one out, Utley was hit with a pitch by Jung Bong. Perez doubled and Wolf drove in Utley with a base hit. Byrd walked to load the bases, but Rollins flied out to right. Michaels, who replaced Abreu in right field in the fifth, launched Bong's first pitch 422 feet and over the center field wall for an 18-2 margin.

Franco homered off Brandon Duckworth in the bottom of the sixth and DeRosa added a solo shot in the seventh before Robert Fick's RBI groundout in the eighth capped the scoring.

Wednesday night's game will feature Vicente Padilla (13-9, 3.62) against Horacio Ramirez (9-4, 4.17).


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