<
>

Choi's 3-run homer in eighth sinks Phils

MIAMI (AP) -- A long night came down to one swing by Hee Seop Choi, ensuring more frustration in Florida for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Choi hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, and
the Florida Marlins beat the Phillies again Wednesday night, 6-3.

Philadelphia endured two rain delays and erased a three-run
deficit but still lost -- their 13th consecutive defeat in Miami,
including six this year.

"It's unbelievable," said Pat Burrell, who had two RBI for
the Phillies. "We just haven't been able to rise to the occasion,
and if we're going to beat these guys, that's what we've got to
do."

The Marlins have won three in a row for the first time since
May, and they'll bid for a series sweep Thursday. Florida remains
in contention in the NL East, which may make the front office more
inclined to upgrade the roster before the trading deadline
Saturday.

Mike Lowell's two-out double off Brett Myers put the Marlins
ahead 3-0 in the third inning, but the Phillies rallied and tied it
on Burrell's two-out RBI double in the eighth.

In the bottom of the inning, Tim Worrell (3-4) hit Lowell with a
pitch and walked Jeff Conine with two outs. Choi then hit his 15th
homer, his first since June 9.

"The worst part of it is the timing," Worrell said. "We
battled back, we tied the game and we were maybe a couple of outs
from having a chance to win it."

With the hour late and the weather wet, perhaps two thousand
hardy fans remained from the original crowd of 17,404. They roared
and chanted Choi's name.

"It was very exciting," he said. "Long game, but I'm happy.
Everybody's happy."

Rain fell during much of the game and delayed play twice -- for
29 minutes between the third and fourth innings, and for 44 minutes
before the bottom of the seventh.

Juan Pierre had two hits and scored twice for the Marlins.
Josias Manzanillo (3-2), their fourth pitcher, retired the final
four batters.

Florida extended its franchise record for consecutive home
victories against one opponent. Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa
said Tuesday he was embarrassed by the streak, but his
mini-outburst failed to inspire a better performance by the
Phillies.

They let the Marlins score five runs with two out.

"They're uncanny in their two-out hits, especially against
us," Bowa said. "I don't know how they do against the rest of the
league, but they get them against us."

The Marlins climbed just one game above .500, but they're 10-1
against the Phillies this season and have won 22 of the past 25
games in the lopsided rivalry dating to last year.

"They might be frustrated," Pierre said. "But they've got a
bunch of veteran guys and a good manager. It might get in their
heads, but I wouldn't bet on it."

Florida's Brad Penny left with no outs in the fifth because he
was struggling to catch his breath on a muggy, 80-degree evening.
He allowed five hits and two runs in five-plus innings.

Myers allowed six hits and three runs in five-plus innings.

Florida scored in the first when Pierre singled, took third on a
single by Luis Castillo and scored on a double play.

Pierre and Castillo again both reached in the third with two
out, and Lowell doubled them home.

Game notes
The Marlins have won a season-high five straight games at home. ... The Phillies' Mike Lieberthal grounded out with runners at first
and third to end the second. He's batting .132 (12-for-91) with
runners in scoring position, worst in the NL. ... Myers reduced his
ERA against the Marlins to 6.53. ... Philadelphia's David Bell went
0-for-3, extending his slump to 2-for-26.