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Wolf hasn't allowed a run in 21 innings

4/30/2004

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Randy Wolf decided rest was more important
than consecutive shutouts.

Wolf extended his scoreless inning streak to 21, and Bobby Abreu
and Jim Thome hit consecutive homers to lead the Philadelphia
Phillies to a 4-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday
night.

Wolf (2-1) had another strong outing after his shutout at
Montreal. He allowed five hits in seven innings and struck out five
before asking to come out of the game after 106 pitches, citing
fatigue.

"I just got drained," Wolf said. "I didn't want to be a hero
out there. It's a rarity for me. I usually want to stay out
there."

Wolf was cheered on by his faithful upper-deck followers, "The
Wolf Pack," but one of his biggest fans was silent and mostly
unnoticed -- his older brother Jim was the third base umpire.

Turned out big brother really was watching.

There were no close calls at third and nothing to draw attention
to the unique situation.

"He stayed out of it, so that was great," Wolf said. "The
best umpires are invisible."

Wolf got all the runs he needed in the third inning when Abreu
hit a three-run homer to left. Thome followed with a shot to almost
the same spot off Elmer Dessens (1-3) for his seventh home run of
the season.

The inning was extended was Placido Polanco reached first on a
fielder's choice on a close play. Arizona manager Bob Brenly
screamed at first base umpire Tony Randazzo from the dugout,
complaining he blew the call.

"This is one particular instance where a missed call cost us a
ballgame," Brenly said. "Elemer ended up throwing 17 more pitches
in that inning than he should have. You never know what would have
happened after a call is missed, but certainly they wouldn't have
hit those two home runs."

The Phillies did, and Dessens was chased after giving up six
hits and four runs in four innings.

Another of those hits was in the third, when Dessens allowed a
bloop single to left field by Wolf, who scored. Against the Expos,
Wolf homered and had an RBI double.

"It's great, but I wouldn't get used to it," Wolf said of his
hitting . "It's really luck."

The third inning was an offensive explosion for the Phillies,
who have five starters hitting under .250.

"We have to believe those batting averages aren't going to be
there for long," manager Larry Bowa said. "The numbers are below
career averages. I expect that to change."

Wolf cruised for the first 6 2-3 innings before loading the
bases on three straight singles, but he got pinch-hitter Bobby
Estalella to strike out swinging to end the rally.

Rheal Cormier closed the game with two scoreless innings,
finishing off Philadelphia's second shutout of the season.

For Arizona, Danny Bautista singled in the seventh inning to
extend his career-best hitting streak to 21 games, longest active
in the majors.

The superstitious Bautista has not talked about the streak.

The Diamondbacks played their first game without injured
All-Star first baseman Richie Sexson. Sexson was placed on the
disabled list Thursday with a shoulder injury.

Greg Colbrunn started at first for Arizona and went 0-for-4.<
^Notes: Abreu and Thome also hit consecutive homers last Friday
against Montreal. ... Arizona reliever Randy Choate struck out the
side in the fifth inning. ... X-rays on the bat of Philadelphia's
LF Pat Burrell showed no cork. Burrell had his bat confiscated
Thursday by St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa. In the eighth, Burrell
cracked his bat when he fouled a pitch.