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Wolf tosses four-hit gem in Rolen's return to Vet

8/17/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The cheers for Randy Wolf were almost as
loud as the boos for Scott Rolen.

Wolf pitched a four-hitter and Travis Lee hit a three-run homer
as the Philadelphia Phillies snapped St. Louis' six-game winning
streak with a 4-0 victory over the Cardinals on Friday night.

Rolen, playing his first game in Philadelphia since he was
traded to the Cardinals on July 29, went 2-for-4 and made an error.
The All-Star third baseman received venomous boos from the crowd of
31,117 at Veterans Stadium each time he came to the plate.

Though there were a few Rolen supporters in the crowd, several
fans brought anti-Rolen banners to the stadium. One read:
"Scotty's crying towel.'' Another said: "Beer: $5; Ticket: $10;
Rolen: Worthless.''

"I understand it. I played here a long time and now I'm wearing
a different uniform,'' said Rolen, who flied out to end the game.
"They're very passionate people here. It was a different
experience. I saw a whole different side of the game.''

Wolf (8-7) allowed singles to Rolen in the second and fifth
innings, a double to pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo in the eighth and a
single to Albert Pujols in the ninth.

The left-hander struck out eight, walked none and hit a batter
to win his third straight decision. It was Wolf's third career
shutout and sixth complete game.

The Phillies, who blanked Milwaukee on Thursday night, have
allowed just two runs in the last four games.

"I had good command of my changeup and that makes my fastball
more effective,'' Wolf said. "It was weird seeing Scott in a
different uniform. As a friend, I'm happy he's in a place where
he's happy.''

Philadelphia, which finished two games behind Atlanta in the NL
East last year, has won five straight to close within three games
of .500 for the first time since they were 17-20 on May 12.

Chuck Finley (3-3) gave up three runs, seven hits and struck out
eight in seven innings to lose for the third time in four starts.

Finley retired 11 of his first 13 batters before hitting Mike
Lieberthal with a pitch with two outs in the fourth. Placido
Polanco followed with a single to center, and Lee hit Finley's next
pitch deep into the right-field seats for his ninth homer and a 3-0
lead.

It was the first homer by a left-handed hitter against Finley
since Tampa Bay's Steve Cox did it on Sept. 6, 2000.

"I just elevated it and he got on top of it,'' Finley said.
"I'd throw the same pitch, but not in the same spot.''

Lieberthal hit a solo homer off Dave Veres in the eighth to make
it 4-0. He went 3-for-3 and has five homers in the last seven
games.

The Cardinals had scored 46 runs in the past five games, but got
just one runner past first base against Wolf.

The left-hander retired nine straight at one point and eight in
a row later in the game. He is 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in his last
eight starts.

"He's the staff ace if we were going to the playoffs,''
Lieberthal said. "He knows how to pitch, he has great intensity.
It's his game.''

Rolen, once a fan favorite in Philadelphia, was booed loudly
when his name was announced before the game and as he trotted onto
the field for the bottom of the first inning. The boos were loudest
when he stepped to the plate in the second.

After Rolen fouled off the first pitch from Wolf, fans yelled at
the fan who caught the ball to throw it back. Rolen then fouled an
0-2 pitch and a fan threw it back on the field, drawing loud
cheers. Rolen disappointed the fans, however, by hitting a single
to left on a 3-2 pitch.

The three-time Gold Glove winner drew cheers when he made an
error on a potential double-play grounder in the second -- the first
ball hit to him. He made up for it by starting an inning-ending
double play with a tremendous leaping catch on a liner by Tomas
Perez.

"I've heard them boo when there were 50,000 fans,'' said
Phillies manager Larry Bowa, a member of Philadelphia's only
championship team in 1980. "Mike Schmidt got booed and he's a Hall
of Famer. If you win and play hard, they're the greatest fans in
the world regardless of what anybody says.''

Game notes
Finley fanned Lee with one out and runners on first and
third in the sixth for his 2,565th career strikeout, moving past
Tim Keefe for 21st place on the career list. ... Cardinals slugger
Jim Edmonds struck out four times. ... Schmidt participated in an
alumni hitting challenge before the game. Schmidt, who had 548
career homers, hit four in the contest.