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Lidle loses Phillies debut

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Shawn Estes was far from worried when he
started struggling with his command against the Philadelphia
Phillies.

"It's a confidence more than anything that I know I can get it
done," Estes said.

Estes allowed one run in six innings and Royce Clayton hit a
two-run homer to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 3-1 victory
Thursday night.

A day after hitting a season-high six home runs, the Phillies
were stymied by Estes (13-4). The left-hander scattered four hits,
struck out three and walked four to win his fifth straight
decision.

Only 46 of his 90 pitches were strikes, however. Still, Estes
won three straight starts for the first time this season and
improved to 6-3 on the road. He hasn't lost on the road since May
23 at New York.

"I didn't feel completely confident in my command early, but
there were at-bats where I felt like that it was real good," Estes
said. "It was there more than it wasn't and when you can do that,
you can get guys out."

Tim Harikkala pitched two perfect innings, and Shawn Chacon
allowed a hit but struck out the side in the ninth for his 29th
save in 37 chances, completing the five-hitter.

"You can go back to early in the season when we played really
bad and it's like a total 180 that we've done," Chacon said.

Clayton gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead in the third inning with his
eighth homer, a two-run shot to left off Corey Lidle (7-11) in his
Phillies debut. Lidle was traded by Cincinnati on Monday, a day
after he beat the Rockies, though he allowed nine hits and three
runs in that start.

Lidle struggled with his control most of Thursday's game,
walking three and giving up three hits in five innings on three
days' rest. Manager Larry Bowa said before the game he offered to
give Lidle an extra day off, but the right-hander said he felt good
enough to pitch.

"I got tired a little bit quicker than usual, but I thought I
threw a pretty good game," Lidle said.

Tomas Perez hit a leadoff triple in the fifth, lining a pitch to
left that bounced off the wall and rolled around the outfield. One
out later, pinch-hitter Lou Collier walked and Jimmy Rollins
followed with an RBI single.

Placido Polanco then grounded into his second double play of the
game, ending the rally.

Estes has induced an NL-best 23 groundball double plays.

"I feel confident in getting the groundball when I need to, I
just wish that I would get that groundball before a guy would get
on first base," Estes said. "I have a knack for getting that
groundball when I need it and I don't know why."

The Phillies' offense reverted to its recent anemic form after
scoring 15 runs Wednesday. Bowa shuffled the lineup for the second
straight game, moving Jim Thome up a spot to third in the order for
only the 10th time this year. Slumping catcher Mike Lieberthal
batted fifth for the fourth time this season.

Unlike the previous night, the shake-up didn't work. Thome went
0-for-4, and Lieberthal was 2-for-3 but hit into an inning-ending
double play against Estes in the sixth.

"We didn't do anything on offense tonight," Bowa said. "It
doesn't matter who you lose to when you lose three out of four."

Clayton nearly had another homer with one out in the eighth when
his shot to right appeared to be touched by a fan who reached over
the wall. The umpires ruled it a double and manager Clint Hurdle
came out for a brief argument, but the call stood.

"I don't think it was a home run -- it was a home run," Hurdle
said.

After Todd Jones intentionally walked Todd Helton, he got Vinny
Castilla to fly out but Jeromy Burnitz followed with an RBI single
to make it 3-1.

Game notes
Colorado left fielder Mark Sweeney made a nice hustling
catch, running into the corner on a long fly by Thome, who's tied
for the NL lead in homers with 35. ... Phillies third baseman David
Bell will have an MRI and bone scan on his injured back Friday.
He's listed as day to day with back spasms.