Castillo sacrifices winning run home


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The last time Mike Lowell had a game like
this, he was swinging an aluminum bat in college.

Lowell homered three times and Luis Castillo hit a sacrifice fly
in the 12th inning to send the Florida Marlins to their eighth
straight victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-7 Wednesday

Lowell led off the ninth with a tying shot off All-Star closer
Billy Wagner, who blew his first save with the Phillies. The
Marlins third baseman also hit a solo shot off Eric Milton in the
second and a two-run drive off Tim Worrell in the seventh, becoming
the first player in team history to connect three times in one

It was the first three-homer game in the majors this season.

"I didn't get caught up in the at-bats because we were trying
to come back," Lowell said. "It was a career day. I did it in tee
ball and once in college (at Florida International) my sophomore

With a chance to hit his fourth homer and tie a major league
record, Lowell popped out to third base in the 11th against Ryan
Madson. Lowell came in with one homer in the first 13 games.

"He stepped up big time," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said.

Pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee's two-run homer in the eighth inning
off Chad Fox gave Philadelphia a 7-6 lead. Jim Thome also connected
for the Phillies.

The World Series champion Marlins have won 17 of their last 19
games against the Phillies, who blew a slim wild-card lead over
Florida down the stretch last season.

"They find a way to win. That's why they won the World
Series," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

Juan Pierre walked with one out in the 12th against Madson
(0-1). Pierre stole second and went to third on an errant throw by
catcher Mike Lieberthal, despite a pitchout. Castillo then lofted a
medium fly to left, and Pat Burrell's throw to the plate hit

Justin Wayne (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Placido Polanco circled the bases on a hit to left field leading
off the Phillies' ninth, but was sent back to second because the
ball got stuck under the wall, drawing a heated argument from Bowa.

Philadelphia played the game under protest.

"Just because he (left fielder Jeff Conine) throws his arms up,
it doesn't matter. You have to play it," Bowa said.

Lowell and Wil Cordero hit consecutive homers off Worrell in a
five-run seventh for Florida. A two-out throwing error by third
baseman David Bell kept the inning alive.

"Lowell kept us in the game by himself," Pierre said.

Held without an earned run in 28 consecutive innings by
Florida's pitchers, the Phillies broke out with five runs in the
sixth against Carl Pavano.

The lead didn't last long, though.

Alex Gonzalez started the seventh with a double off Roberto
Hernandez. After two groundouts, Castillo reached on Bell's wild
throw to first that allowed Gonzalez to score.

Miguel Cabrera's RBI single cut it to 5-3, chasing Hernandez.
Lowell then hit Worrell's fourth pitch into the left-field seats.
Cordero followed with his first homer to nearly the same spot.

Ledee's shot off Fox was the first hit allowed by the
right-hander since opening day. Hitters were just 2-for-28 against
Fox this season before Ledee hit a 1-2 pitch into the right-center

Thome hit a two-run homer in Philadelphia's five-run inning.
Lieberthal added an RBI double and Bell had an RBI single that gave
the Phillies a 5-1 lead.

Milton allowed one run and four hits in six innings. Pavano gave
up five runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Lowell gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead when he homered leading off
the second.

Game notes
The Marlins equaled their best start through 14 games,
matching the 10-4 record of their 1997 championship team. ... The
crowd of 34,060 was the smallest in seven games at Philadelphia's
new ballpark. ... The Marlins have won eight of 10 in Philadelphia.
... Lowell has a seven-game hitting streak.