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Bautista hitting streak ends at 21 games

5/2/2004

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Carlos Baerga made Randy Johnson feel better
about leaving the game early.

Baerga's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the sixth inning led the
Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia
Phillies on Saturday night.

Johnson (3-2) allowed three runs -- one earned -- and four hits in
five innings to win his second straight start. The five-time Cy
Young Award winner wasn't happy to come out of the game, but said
he understood the situation.

"I'm pretty convinced I'm a singles hitter, so I don't think a
single would've helped us in that case," Johnson said jokingly.
"It was a great at-bat by Carlos."

Danny Bautista went 0-for-3 with two sacrifice flies, ending his
21-game hitting streak. Struggling closer Matt Mantei put runners
on first and third with two outs then induced Placido Polanco to
line out to right for his fourth save in six chances.

The Phillies (10-12) wasted a 3-0 lead and an opportunity to
reach .500 for the first time since starting 1-1. Vicente Padilla
(0-4) gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

"Sometime in the course of the game, something goes wrong and
he loses concentration," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said of
Padilla. "We've got to get that straightened out."

Steve Finley hit a triple with one out in the sixth and scored
on Bautista's sacrifice fly to right field. Chad Tracy walked,
Robby Hammock doubled and Baerga, batting for Johnson, hit a 3-2
pitch deep into the right-field seats to give the Diamondbacks a
4-3 lead.

A three-time All-Star with Cleveland in the mid-1990s, Baerga
has become a valuable role player, setting a franchise record with
19 pinch hits for Arizona last year. But he was just 1-for-12 in
that role this season and hitless in his previous 10 at-bats before
hitting Padilla's 11th pitch into the seats.

Baerga's shot also snapped an 0-for-19 skid by Arizona's pinch
hitters, and it was the first homer allowed by Padilla this season.

"I was just trying to get a base hit," Baerga said.
"(Padilla) is one of the toughest pitchers in baseball. He never
throws the same pitch twice. It was the biggest hit for me this
season."

Finley had an RBI single and Bautista added a sacrifice fly off
Roberto Hernandez in the seventh.

Pat Burrell had a sacrifice fly off Jose Valverde in the eighth
to cut it to 6-4.

Jim Thome didn't play because he had a cortisone shot in his
left thumb Friday night. Bowa refused to immediately say why Thome
wasn't used as a pinch hitter in the ninth when the Phillies had
the tying run at the plate three times, but revealed it when
pressed later.

Thome is expected to return to the lineup Sunday.

The Phillies scored two unearned runs on a pair of errors by
shortstop Alex Cintron in the third.

Jimmy Rollins reached when Cintron misplayed his grounder to
start the inning. Rollins went to second on a sacrifice by Padilla
and scored when Cintron's throw to first on an infield single by
Doug Glanville sailed wide.

Polanco followed with a double and Glanville scored on Bobby
Abreu's grounder to second, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. An RBI
double by Rollins made it 3-0 in the fourth.

Game notes
The sellout crowd of 44,048 was the largest in the first
season at Citizens Bank Park. ... Finley made a sliding catch to
rob Rollins of a hit leading off the seventh. ... Bautista's
hitting streak was the third-longest in team history. ... The
Phillies haven't given Padilla much support, scoring seven runs in
his four losses. ... Johnson is 8-1 lifetime against Philadelphia.