<
>

Lieberthal singles home winning run in ninth

7/2/2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Mike Lieberthal stood in the on-deck circle,
trying to remember the last time he had a game-winning hit. Minutes
later, he got one.

Lieberthal's two-out RBI single in the ninth inning led the
Philadelphia Phillies to their seventh consecutive victory, 4-3
over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

The Phillies have won 12 of 14, closing within 4{ games of
first-place Atlanta in the NL East. Philadelphia trailed the Braves
by 10 games just 13 days ago.

"It was my turn I guess," Lieberthal said. "I can't remember
the last time I got a game-winning hit."

Chicago has lost six of seven and 13 of 19.

"This is like a recurring nightmare," Cubs manager Dusty Baker
said. "It seems like the other team always gets the big hit when
it needs it."

Terry Adams (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for his first
victory since winning both games of a doubleheader against
Cincinnati last Sept. 21.

Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels started the ninth with a single off
Mike Remlinger (4-2). Michaels went to second on a sacrifice by
Placido Polanco. After Jimmy Rollins walked, Michaels moved to
third on Jim Thome's fly out to center. Bobby Abreu walked to load
the bases, chasing Remlinger.

Lieberthal then hit Antonio Alfonseca's 2-2 pitch past the
diving Alex Gonzalez at shortstop to give Philadelphia the win.

"He left a pitch over the middle of the plate," said
Lieberthal, who hit a long foul early in the at-bat.

Phillies starter Randy Wolf allowed three runs and seven hits in
six innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in six consecutive
starts since his last loss on May 27.

Cubs starter Mark Prior gave up three runs -- one earned -- and
nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He also has allowed three runs or fewer
in six straight starts.

"We went up 3-2 and I gave up a run. I feel I let the team down
in that situation," Prior said.

After squandering an early 2-0 lead, the Phillies tied it at 3
on an RBI double by Pat Burrell in the fourth. Lieberthal started
the inning with a double and scored on Burrell's shot down the
third-base line.

Prior pitched out of a jam in the fifth, getting Abreu to ground
into a double play with runners on first and third.

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the second with two unearned
runs. Abreu reached on third baseman Jose Hernandez's error to
start the inning, went to second on a groundout by Lieberthal, and
scored on David Bell's RBI single to left.

Bell went to second when left fielder Moises Alou let the liner
bounce off his glove and over his head. After Burrell lined out to
right field, Ricky Ledee singled in Bell to make it 2-0.

Gonzalez cut it to 2-1 with his 10th homer in the third. It was
Gonzalez's 1,000th career hit.

Eric Karros led off the fourth with his second double and scored
on Hernandez's triple, tying it at 2. Hernandez scored on Ramon
Martinez's groundout, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead.

"We're getting timely hitting. Our pitching and defense has
been there since the start," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

Game notes
The Phillies are 29-4 when scoring first, and 16-30 when
their opponent scores first. ... Karros got his first steal of the
season in the second inning. ... Cubs RF Sammy Sosa was in a
3-for-16 slump before singling in the eighth. ... Thome extended
his hitting streak to 10 games. ... More than 5,700 fans purchased
their tickets before the game, pushing the total attendance to
25,307 at Veterans Stadium. ... Alou went 0-for-4 and hit into his
third double play of the series. He has two hits in his last 20
at-bats. ... Phillies LHP Rheal Cormier pitched two scoreless
innings. ... Philadelphia is 10-1 since June 19 when it came back
to beat Atlanta closer John Smoltz. ... The Phillies' bullpen has a
0.29 ERA in the last 31 1-3 innings.