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Phillies' Myers earns first win of season

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies have a winning record
for the first time this season, thanks to five victories in six
tries against Arizona the last 10 days.

Brett Myers earned his first win of the year by pitching seven
strong innings and the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the
Diamondbacks with a 7-1 victory Sunday night.

After starting the season 1-6, Philadelphia has climbed to
15-14.

"That's nice, you know," said Jimmy Rollins, who was 4-for-5
with an RBI. "You can't look backward from this point. We've seen
how hard we had to work just to get to this point. We have to keep
rolling."

Myers (1-2) also doubled and scored as the Phillies swept
Arizona for the second time in the seven-year history of the
series, and first time at Bank One Ballpark.

Marlon Byrd hit a leadoff homer and scored three times. Byrd and
Rollins, the top two hitters in the order, reached base nine of the
10 times they went to the plate.

"That creates things," Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said.
"You get them to think about those guys on base. You get them to
lose their concentration a little bit. You mix in a steal."

Bowa downplayed the team's climb above .500.

"Am I glad? Yeah," he said, "but we've only played 29
games."

Myers' strong outing was needed because Philadelphia's bullpen
was spent, Bowa said, and closer Billy Wagner was unavailable for
the second straight game because of back spasms.

"His concentration level was the best I've seen it all year,"
Bowa said of Myers. "I think he knew what was at stake with
everybody down."

A 14-game winner last season, Myers allowed one run on seven
hits in his fifth start of the year, striking out five and walking
none.

"They were going to get their hits here and there," he said.
"I wasn't worried about it, because my sinker was working good. I
just tried to locate that and mix in my other pitches."

The Diamondbacks allowed a run to score on an error and walked
in two more -- all in the seventh inning -- en route to their fourth
straight loss and an 0-3 start to a 10-game homestand.

The top three batters in Arizona's lineup were 0-for-12.

"We've just got to find a way to get some leadoff guys on,"
manager Bob Brenly said, "but I don't know exactly how you go
about doing that. Guys tried to be patient tonight. Myers has had a
history of getting wild from time to time. We tried to work some
deep counts and he was ahead 0-1 on just about every hitter
tonight."

Knuckleballer Steve Sparks (2-2) gave up five runs and five hits
in 6 1/3 innings.

Byrd put Philadelphia ahead 1-0 on the second pitch of the game
with his second home run of the season.

Arizona tied it in the second when Shea Hillenbrand led off with
a double and scored on Danny Bautista's groundout.

Myers doubled with one out in the fifth. Byrd was hit by a
pitch, then Rollins singled to right. Bautista's throw to the plate
beat Myers, but catcher Brent Mayne dropped the ball when Myers
slid into him. Bobby Abreu followed with a sacrifice fly and the
Phillies led 3-1.

Tomas Perez led off the seventh with a double, then Byrd walked
with one out. Third baseman Chad Tracy barehanded Rollins' slow
roller, but threw wildly past first, allowing Perez to score from
second.

It was Tracy's eighth error in 16 games since being called up
from Triple-A Tucson. Randy Choate relieved Sparks and
intentionally walked Abreu to load the bases, then walked Jim Thome
to bring in a run.

Brian Bruney, called up from Tucson on Saturday, came on and
walked Pat Burrell to bring in another run.

The Phillies scored again in the eighth on a wild pitch by
reliever Oscar Villarreal.

It was the latest in a series of meltdowns by Arizona's bullpen.

"I don't know what it is, and it's from guys who have been
successful in these roles in the past," Brenly said. "We've
looked at mechanics. We've looked at pitch selection, and I can't
figure it out, but I'm getting tired of watching it, I know
that."

Game notes
Villarreal leads the NL with five wild pitches after
throwing just three in 86 games last season. ... The Diamondbacks
lead the NL in errors (27) and walks allowed (135). ... The only
other time the Phillies swept Arizona was a three-game series in
Philadelphia May 7-10, 1998, the Diamondbacks' first season. ...
Arizona leadoff hitter Matt Kata was 0-for-4 and is in a 1-for-19
slump.