Lieber, Myers shine as Phillies climb back to .500

Hero: After starting the season in the bullpen, Jon Lieber has turned his season around now that he's starting again. Lieber allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven to earn his second win the year.

Figure this The Phillies, who started the year 4-11, have gone 17-10 over their last 27 games.

Quotable: "I definitely don't think it was a panic move. It was a move that made our pitching better. Myers gives us a big arm in the
bullpen. He can impact 60 games instead of 35.'' – Phils manager Charlie Manuel on flip-flopping the roles of Myers and Lieber

-- ESPN.com news services

Phillies 5, Blue Jays 3

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Back in the rotation, Jon Lieber has settled in nicely. Meanwhile, Brett Myers has solidified the closer's spot for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Lieber pitched seven-plus strong innings, Myers escaped a bases-loaded jam and the Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Friday night.

Aaron Rowand and Shane Victorino each hit RBI singles, helping the Phillies even their record with their seventh victory in nine games. Philadelphia won with just three hits -- all singles in the fifth inning.

The Phillies have come a long way since a terrible start. They're 17-10 since opening 4-11.

"Our starting pitching has been unbelievable," Myers said.

Aaron Hill and pinch-hitter Matt Stairs homered for the Blue Jays, who had won five of six.

Lieber (2-2) allowed three runs and six hits, striking out seven. Blue Jays starter Dustin McGowan (0-1) retired the first nine batters and didn't allow a hit through four innings, but fell apart in the fifth.

A month ago, the decision to move Myers to the bullpen and replace him with Lieber was intensely scrutinized in Philadelphia. After all, Myers was the opening day starter and had just signed a $25.75 million, three-year contract. Lieber was coming off a poor season and is in the final year of a three-year deal.

But Lieber has a 2.50 ERA in six starts, and Myers has an 0.96 ERA with four saves in five chances in 16 relief appearances. He loaded the bases in the ninth, before retiring Alex Rios on a bouncer to third baseman Abraham Nunez.

Myers turned and pumped his fist after first baseman Wes Helms stretched and held the bag on a wide throw.

"I definitely don't think it was a panic move," Manuel said of the decision to make the switch with Lieber and Myers. "It was a move that made our pitching better. Myers gives us a big arm in the bullpen. He can impact 60 games instead of 35."

Lieber left after Stairs homered into second deck in right field to cut the deficit to 5-3 leading off the eighth. Antonio Alfonseca came in and retired three of the four batters he faced.

"As long as the team wins, that's all I care about," Lieber said.

The Phillies scored all of their runs in the fifth. Pat Burrell led off with a walk and Greg Dobbs followed with a single. Helms walked to load the bases, but McGowan struck out Carlos Ruiz.

With the crowd cheering every pitch out of the strike zone, McGowan fell behind Lieber 3-0 before walking him on a full count to force in a run. Rowand and Victorino hit consecutive RBI singles to make it 3-0. Lieber scored on a wild pitch and Jimmy Rollins added a sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead.

"Just a lack of concentration," McGowan said. "Tried to do too much and that's what happened. Every game it's one big inning. I have to learn to eliminate that. I'm waiting for that game when everything just clicks."

Hill ended Lieber's shutout bid with a two-run shot in the seventh after Troy Glaus singled.

Game notes
Injured Phillies reliever Ryan Madson struck out two in one inning in a rehab appearance at Double-A Reading. ... The Phillies are 79-91 in interleague play, 10-9 against the Blue Jays. ... Toronto is 83-93 against the NL. ... Stairs has 11 career pinch-hit homers. ... Lieber got his first RBI of the season. ... Lieber hasn't got much support this season. The Phillies scored a total of eight runs in his two losses and two no-decisions. They have 14 runs in his two wins.