ATLANTA -- Seeing his club edging closer to full strength
only made Philadelphia Phillies manager Larry Bowa more mindful
that it's probably too late to make a push for a playoff berth.
In the opener, Jim Thome hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the
eighth inning to lead the Phillies to a 5-3 victory. Philadelphia
outhit the Braves 21-7 in the two games.
"I know what they can do," Bowa said of the Phillies. "They
just didn't get the opportunity to do it this year."
The only hit Phillies relievers allowed in eight shutout innings
in the two games was a ninth-inning single by Julio Franco off Tim
Worrell in the second game.
Worrell retired the next three batters for his 18th save. Billy
Wagner, another key Phillies player to have missed substantial time
on the disabled list, picked up his 17th save in the first game.
"It's nice, especially in the bullpen, it's nice," Bowa said.
The Braves' lead in the NL East was cut from 8½ to seven games
over second-place Florida, which beat the New York Mets 3-0 for its
ninth straight win.
The Phillies won the second game with only one extra-base hit, a
fourth-inning double by Ryan Howard.
Leading 2-1, the Phillies loaded the bases off Juan Cruz in the
top of the ninth. Marlon Byrd reached on an error by shortstop
Rafael Furcal and moved to second on Todd Pratt's sacrifice. Cruz
walked David Bell and gave up a long single to Jimmy Rollins that
loaded the bases. Thome walked as a pinch-hitter to force in Byrd
for a 3-1 lead. Bobby Abreu's single drove in Bell.
Byrd robbed Atlanta's Andruw Jones of an extra-base hit by
climbing the wall and then reaching back to make a catch in center
field in the bottom of the ninth.
"Andruw deserves that," a smiling Bowa said. "He does that
once a night. Payback is deserved because he's such a great center
A grinning Jones said Byrd had to make the catch to protect
"He's lucky that he caught it; it probably would have hit his
face," Jones said.
The Braves were swept in a doubleheader for the first time at
home since Aug. 7, 1990, when San Diego won two games at
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The Braves had not been swept in any
doubleheader since July 22, 1994, at St. Louis.
Bowa was ejected in the sixth inning of the second game after he
argued a called third strike on Pat Burrell. Bowa was thrown out by
first-base umpire Lance Barksdale, who called Burrell out on the
Byrd (6-5) gave up eight hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings,
setting a season high with eight strikeouts.
Floyd, making his second major league start, gave up two hits
and one run in four innings. Floyd walked three batters, including
two in the fourth, when the Braves took a 1-0 lead on Eli Marrero's
Bowa is under orders to limit Floyd's pitch count.
"He's shown me a lot. He's got a lot of poise," the manager
The Phillies tied it in the sixth inning when Chase Utley beat
out a two-out bunt single, allowing Abreu to score from third base.
J.D. Drew had to leave the game in the sixth inning after he was
hit on his right elbow by a pitch from Todd Jones.
Drew, 0-for-2 in the game, had his 16-game hitting streak
snapped. He is listed as day-to-day with a bruised elbow.