PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Placido Polanco put the best last-place team
in baseball two games over .500 for the first time this year -- and
only 1½ games out of first in the NL East.
Polanco homered twice and the Phillies beat the Arizona
Diamondbacks 5-3 Saturday night for their fifth straight victory
and a doubleheader sweep.
In the opener, Bobby Abreu homered twice and drove in four runs,
and Vicente Padilla won for only the second time this year in a
10-6 win that pushed the Phillies above .500 for the first time
since they were 7-6 on April 18.
"I've enjoyed it and our players are enjoying it," manager
Charlie Manuel said. "We are having fun. They're enjoying it.
That's how I want us to play."
The Phillies have been stuck in last place since April 22 and
were as many as 7½ games out of first place.
"We will get out," Manuel said. "We're on our way out."
The Phillies (29-27) are off to a sensational start to their
13-game homestand and have won 14 of 20 overall. They are still
last in the tight NL East, but just 1½ games behind
"We're kind of lucky I reckon that nobody every really ran off
and just left us," closer Billy Wagner said. "We were able to
hold our ground and get a little spurt going on here and claw our
way back into the division."
Arizona starter Russ Ortiz (4-5) was in complete control going
into the sixth in the second game, retiring 15 straight after
Polanco's single in the first inning. He was sharp, but not
overpowering, striking out only one during that span and getting 10
He just couldn't keep the ball on the ground when he really
With the Phillies trailing 3-1, pinch-hitter Endy Chavez led off
the sixth with a single and scored on Kenny Lofton's second triple
of the doubleheader. Then Polanco lined a two-run homer to left for
a 4-3 lead.
That turned Brett Myers (5-3) from a tough-luck loser into a
winner. Myers was solid, striking out six and giving up three runs
in six innings.
Polanco added a solo shot in the eighth, his third homer of the
Ryan Madson struck out four in two scoreless innings and Wagner
finished for his 13th save. With Troy Glaus at the plate, Luis
Gonzalez was thrown out at second on the back end of a double steal
for the final out.
"Just a mix up," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said before taking
a question. "It was a strange way to end the game."
Myers ran into trouble in the fifth, leaving his fastball high
in the strike zone for Alex Cintron to hit over a beer sign in the
second deck in right for his first homer of the year and a 2-1
Then Gonzalez followed with his 299th career homer and seventh
of the season that just squeaked over the right-field wall.
Myers pitched out of a jam in the first inning after giving up
three straight hits to open the game for a 1-0 Arizona lead. He
struck out Jose Cruz Jr. and Chad Tracy with the bases loaded to
end the inning.
"Brett battled and kept us in the game and gave our offense a
chance to come back," said Todd Pratt, who threw out Gonzalez with
a perfect throw.
Ortiz let the Phillies tie it in the first on an RBI groundout
by Jim Thome, but he was near perfect until the sixth.
Melvin and Manuel each said the doubleheader will force
them to use a spot starter on Wednesday. Melvin said he would
probably use RHP Claudio Vargas, while Manuel was undecided. ...
Vazquez gave up eight runs and 10 hits in four innings.