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Phillies' Roa wins first game in over five years

8/15/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Joe Roa said it was definitely worth the
wait.

The 30-year-old right-hander scattered four singles over a
career-high seven innings for his first win in more than five years
as the Philadelphia Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the
Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-0 victory Thursday night.

"This win, in all honesty, means more to me than the first
one,'' Roa said. "That's because I now know how hard it is to get
up here and stay here.''

Bobby Abreu and Jeremy Giambi each hit a two-run homer in the
first inning for the Phillies, who have won four straight.

Roa (1-1) didn't overpower hitters -- his fastball reached just
88 mph -- but his control remained masterful. He struck out two and
hasn't walked a batter in any of his four starts (22 innings) this
season.

Roa, a 14-year pro, had a strange journey to the big leagues
this season. He began spring training with Florida before he was
released and signed with Pittsburgh.

The Pirates traded him to the Phillies for no compensation on
March 28. Roa went 14-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 17 starts at Triple-A
Scranton before being called up to Philadelphia on July 11.

"After seeing him face all that adversity and still come out
battling every time out, it's great to see him win,'' Phillies
manager Larry Bowa said. "It's also nice for some of our pitchers
in our system to see that you don't have to throw 95 mph to be
successful at the big league level.''

Roa's last victory came while pitching for the San Francisco
Giants on June 14, 1997, at Anaheim. His other major league win
also came in '97.

"I've matured as a pitcher since my last victory,'' said Roa,
who missed the entire 1999 season with elbow surgery. "I know what
type of pitcher I am. I won't strike out a lot of hitters and I
can't give up free passes.''

Mike Timlin and Carlos Silva finished the five-hitter.

The Brewers scored just two runs in the series -- one in 23
innings against Phillies starters. It was the ninth time Milwaukee
has been shut out this season.

"This trio that Philly has has been something else,'' Brewers
manager Jerry Royster said, shaking his head. "But it's
demoralizing to a team that is swinging the bats like we are right
now.''

The Phillies have four shutouts this season.

Roa's biggest test came in the seventh when he gave up one-out
singles to Ryan Thompson and Jose Hernandez. Roa got Izzy Alcantara
to fly out and Paul Bako to ground out.

"I have trouble giving (Roa) a lot of credit,'' Royster said.
"It's hard to tell if it was him or the team behind him.''

The Phillies jumped on starter Ruben Quevedo (6-11), who leads
the NL with 28 homers allowed, for a four-run first inning. With
one out, Placido Polanco tripled and Abreu followed with his 13th
homer of the season to right field.

The rally continued as Pat Burrell walked and Giambi launched
his 10th homer for Philadelphia into the right-field bullpen.

"That was big, it gave our pitching some breathing room --
another thing we haven't done much of this season,'' Bowa said.

The first five batters in the lineup each had a hit and a run
scored for the Phillies, who moved into a third-place tie with the
New York Mets in the NL East -- Philadelphia's highest spot since
April 11.

Jimmy Rollins, Polanco, Giambi and Abreu each had two hits and a
run scored for Philadelphia.

"We're a different team when our top guys get on, it's just
something we haven't done that often this season,'' Bowa said.

Polanco added an RBI single in the fifth, scoring Rollins.

Quevedo lasted five innings, allowing five runs on six hits.

Game notes
Quevedo set the Brewers NL mark for home runs allowed in a
season. Hideo Nomo and Allen Levrault gave up 27 in 1999 and 2001,
respectively. Mike Caldwell established the franchise mark of 35 in
1983. Milwaukee entered the National League in 1998. ... Giambi has
18 homers this season. He hit eight in 42 games with Oakland. ...
The Brewers are 17-44 overall and 2-13 since the All-Star break.
... Milwaukee finished the season 1-8 on artificial turf. ... The
Phillies lead the NL in doubles (239) and triples (33).