Rowand's homer lifts Phils to third straight come-from-behind victory

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Aaron Rowand's fiery personality is a
much-needed ingredient in the Philadelphia Phillies' low-key
clubhouse. His clutch hits are even more important.

Rowand's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Phillies
to their third straight comeback victory, 5-4 over the Atlanta
Braves on Wednesday night.

The Phillies have won a season-high four consecutive games and
are one game under .500 at 13-14 for the first time since they lost
their opener.

"When you get on a roll like this, it definitely changes the
attitude and the confidence level of the team," said Rowand, who
had a go-ahead, three-run triple in the seventh inning of an 8-5
win at Florida on Tuesday night.

Brett Myers pitched seven solid innings and Rheal Cormier (2-0)
got one out in the eighth inning for the victory. Tom Gordon
pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in as many chances.

"Any time you come from behind in the late innings, that's
going to pick a team up and give you energy and momentum,"
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Jeff Francoeur's RBI single off Ryan Franklin put Atlanta ahead
4-3 in the eighth, but Philadelphia rallied against Mike Remlinger
(1-2) after John Smoltz came out following seven strong innings.

Chase Utley started the inning with a single and Rowand
connected on an 0-1 pitch, sending a drive into the right-field
seats. Rowand, who came to Philadelphia in the trade that sent
slugger Jim Thome to the Chicago White Sox, has nine RBI in his
last six games.

"Rowand's a good player, a team player," Manuel said. "He's a
tough guy and a good guy. He talks at the right time. I like the
way he plays. You have to sit and listen to him because he makes

Andruw Jones hit his ninth homer, a two-run shot for the Braves,
who had won three straight.

Smoltz allowed three runs and seven hits, striking out five and
retiring the last 12 batters he faced.

"It's frustrating," Smoltz said. "My brain has been working
overtime with runners on."

Myers gave up three runs -- two earned -- and five hits, striking
out five. He lowered his ERA to 3.11, while the rest of
Philadelphia's starters -- Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle, Gavin Floyd and
Ryan Madson -- have a combined ERA of 6.42.

The Phillies scored three in the third inning to take a 3-0
lead, but the Braves chipped away. Atlanta loaded the bases with no
outs in the fifth, but only scored one run on Smoltz's double-play

Edgar Renteria started the sixth inning with an infield single,
extending his hitting streak to 19 games, counting a hit in the
final game last season. Renteria has hit in each of the 18 games
he's played this year, sandwiched around nine games he missed with
an injured rib cage.

After Chipper Jones flied out to deep right-center field, Andruw
Jones hit Myers' next pitch into the left-field seats to tie it at

Utley and Rowand had RBI singles in the third and Ryan Howard
drove in a run on a fielder's choice groundout.

"Smoltz pitched a great game," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
"Myers threw well, but we came back."<
^Notes: LF Pat Burrell and 3B David Bell weren't in the starting
lineup for Philadelphia. They are a combined 2-for-43 against
Smoltz, including Bell's pinch-hit, pop-out in the seventh inning.
... Andruw Jones has 33 homers against the Phillies. He's only
7-for-33 against Myers, but has four homers. ... The Phillies were
0-6 when they had a chance to close within one game of .500. They
are 6-10 at home. ... Cormier hasn't allowed a run this season in
nine innings, spanning 11 appearances.