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Burrell has four hits, three RBIs

4/28/2004

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pat Burrell is quickly bouncing back from an
awful season.

Burrell had four hits, three RBI and two nice defensive plays
in the Philadelphia Phillies' 7-3 victory over the St. Louis
Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Burrell slumped to a .209 average last year with 21 homers and
64 RBI, a big drop-off after he hit 37 homers and drove in 116
runs in 2002. So far this year, he's hitting .339 with two homers
and 14 RBI.

"I've never had a good start, not that I was anticipating a bad
one," Burrell said. "But to come out and swing the bat well, it's
a great plus for me."

Mike Lieberthal hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth
for the Phillies, who are 3-1 with two games to go on a six-game
trip. They lost five of their first six on the road, but have
averaged 5.5 runs on this trip and got to Matt Morris (3-2) for two
homers and two doubles.

Burrell, who batted .190 against the Cardinals last season, went
4-for-4. He had RBI doubles in the first and third, walked and
scored in the sixth against Morris, added a run-scoring single in
the seventh off Cal Eldred and singled in the ninth.

Bobby Abreu had two hits with a homer and two walks as the
Phillies' 3-4-5 batters reached base 11 times in their first 12
at-bats, going 6-for-7 with five walks. Jim Thome, who was 9-for-20
with five homers and 10 RBI against the Cardinals last season,
walked in his first two plate appearances and was 2-for-3.

"It looked like early they didn't want any part of Jimmy,"
manager Larry Bowa said. "When Burrell swings the way we know he's
capable of swinging, they're going to have to pitch a little bit to
him."

In the fifth, Burrell robbed Scott Rolen of a three-run homer
with a leaping catch at the left-field wall and then easily threw
out Albert Pujols trying to take an extra base on a single by Edgar
Renteria, helping hold the Cardinals to one run on three hits in
that inning.

"I'm trying to make plays, trying to keep innings short for
those guys on the mound," Burrell said. "The defensive stuff
sometimes gets overlooked in games like this where you see a 7-3
score, but plays do have an impact later on."

Phillies starter Eric Milton (2-0) lasted five innings and gave
up three runs on seven hits.

Renteria hit a two-run homer in the second for the Cardinals,
who are 3-8 at home and have been outscored 67-33 in the losses.
They've lost the opener of all three homestands.

"It's pretty much the same game," manager Tony La Russa said.
"We haven't done things as consistently well here. It's a long
season; we'll be all right at home."

Morris gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings, losing
for the first time since opening day. He had won his last three
starts, allowing seven earned runs in 22 innings while benefiting
from double-figure run support each time.

"I'll take all the blame for this one," Morris said. "I put
us in a hole right off the bat and we couldn't battle back."

Morris allowed one more run than the previous three Cardinals
starters combined in 19 2-3 innings, continuing an early trend of
poor pitching at home. St. Louis has a 2.72 ERA on the road but
entered the game at 6.60 at home.

Abreu also had an infield hit and is 14-for-28 during a six-game
hitting streak. He's also 14-for-28 against the Cardinals the last
two seasons and is a .349 career hitter (30-for-86) at Busch
Stadium with three homers and 16 RBI.

Abreu's homer and Burrell's first RBI double gave the Phillies
the lead in the first before Renteria tied it with his second
homer, following a walk to Rolen, in the second.

Abreu reached on a two-out infield hit and scored on Burrell's
second RBI double in the third as the Phillies took a 3-2 lead.

The Cardinals had to settle for a 3-all tie in the fifth when
Burrell leaped to snare Rolen's drive with runners on first and
third.

Game notes
Undisputed welterweight boxing champion Cory Spinks of St.
Louis, wearing a vintage Pujols jersey, threw out the ceremonial
first pitch. Spinks is the son of former heavyweight champion Leon
Spinks. Unlike President Bush on opening day, who threw several
warmups under the stands, Spinks said he didn't need it. "Nah,"
he said. "I'm stronger than the president." ... Thome is 7-for-15
against Morris. He walked his first two trips before striking out
to end the fifth. ... Marlon Anderson is 5-for-7 as a pinch-hitter
after his single in the sixth.