Phillies at .500 for first time since April 11

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Joe Roa plans to stay in the big leagues.

Roa pitched six strong innings and went 2-for-2 with his first two career RBI as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Montreal Expos 4-2 Tuesday night for their sixth straight victory.

The Phillies have won 10 of 13 to reach .500 for the first time since they were 5-5 on April 11. Philadelphia also moved ahead of the Expos into second place in the NL East, but are 18 games behind Atlanta.

Roa (3-1) allowed two runs, six hits, walked two and struck out four to win his third straight start. The 30-year-old right-hander was 14-0 at Triple-A Scranton before joining the Phillies last month.

His strange journey back to the majors after a five-year absence began in spring training with Florida. He was released by the Marlins, signed with Pittsburgh and was traded to the Phillies for no compensation on March 28.

"Ever since I got here, my teammates have treated me like I belong,'' Roa said. "I keep hearing nice things from people I run into. Some people say I'm an inspiration. I'm not doing anything different.''

Roa had a three-hit shutout through six innings, but didn't retire another batter after his single gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the sixth.

Andres Galarraga and Fernando Tatis hit back-to-back homers to start the seventh, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Orlando Cabrera chased Roa with a double off the left-field wall, but relievers Mike Timlin and Dan Plesac retired the next three batters to preserve the one-run lead.

Timlin got Brian Schneider on a fly to center that advanced
Cabrera to third. Timlin then struck out pinch-hitter Will Cordero
and Plesac fanned Brad Wilkerson to end the inning.

"My main objective was to the out and preserve the win for
Joe,'' Plesac said.

Terry Adams pitched the eighth and Jose Mesa worked the ninth
for his 37th save in 46 chances.

Expos starter Masato Yoshii (4-6) allowed three runs -- two
earned -- and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"We didn't have a good approach to his pitching,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said of Roa. "He's a junk-ball pitcher. We didn't adjust to him.''

Doug Glanville gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead by leading off the
first with his fifth homer.

Roa made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly that scored Marlon Anderson
in the third. Anderson reached on a three-base throwing error by
third baseman Tatis.

Mike Lieberthal singled to start the sixth and moved to second
on a single by Placido Polanco one out later. After reliever Joey
Eischen struck out Anderson, Roa fouled off three pitches with a
3-2 count before hitting a sharp grounder off shortstop Orlando
Cabrera's glove.

Pat Burrell's RBI double in the seventh scored Jimmy Rollins to
make it 4-2. Burrell just missed his 34th homer when his liner hit
the top of the wall in left-center.

Roa went five years between victories in the majors before beating Milwaukee on Aug. 15. In between, he made 84 minor league starts and missed one season due to injury.

"He could've hung it up,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
"He respects the game. He appreciates where he is. He doesn't take
for granted he's in a big-league clubhouse.''

Game notes
Roa hadn't allowed a walk in any of his five previous starts, spanning 29 innings, before walking Jose Vidro in the first. ... The Phillies have hit a homer in 13 straight games. ... Glanville's leadoff homer was the ninth of his career and his second this month. ... Montreal has hit back-to-back homers five times this season. ... Plesac's strikeout in the seventh was the 1,000th in his career. ... Vladimir Guererro extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a bloop single in the first inning.