Pujols' streak no help in loss to Phillies

Saturday, August 16, 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- Jim Thome showed Scott Rolen how to respond to a curtain call at Veterans Stadium.

Thome and Ricky Ledee homered, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Friday night.

Albert Pujols singled, doubled and tripled, extending his hitting streak to 29 games, and Jim Edmonds hit his 30th homer for the Cardinals, who had won five of six.

Vicente Padilla (11-8) allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings to win his fourth straight decision for the NL wild card-leading Phillies.

The Phillies' relievers pitched four shutout innings. Dan Plesac pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.

Thome's two-run homer in the sixth off reliever Pedro Borbon gave the Phillies a three-run cushion after the Cardinals scored four unanswered runs to get within 5-4.

The two-out, two-run shot earned Thome a curtain call on a night fans came to boo Rolen, the former Phillies third baseman who once last season refused to come out of the dugout and acknowledge the fans after hitting his second homer in a win over Montreal.

"It was great to get that," Thome said, unaware that Rolen once spurned the fans.

Woody Williams (14-6) gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings to lose his third straight decision.

Rolen, playing at the Vet for the second time since he was traded to St. Louis last July, heard loud boos each time he came to the plate. Fans booed from the moment he stepped out of the dugout until the second pitch of his first at-bat. Rolen struck out with two runners on to end the first inning.

Once a fan favorite in Philadelphia, Rolen has been vilified since turning down a lucrative contract extension from the Phillies in 2001 and forcing a trade last year.

"I think the fans perceived it as he didn't want to play in the city," said Phillies manager Larry Bowa, who often clashed with Rolen. "I still respect the hell out of him."

Ledee led off the first with a line drive homer to right-center -- his 10th of the season and third career to start a game.

Placido Polanco and Bobby Abreu followed with singles and Thome walked to load the bases. After Pat Burrell popped out, Chase Utley hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Consecutive RBI singles by Jimmy Rollins, Todd Pratt and Padilla gave the Phillies a 5-0 lead.

"It was just a rough night," Williams said. "I couldn't get the ball down and everything I threw, they hit."

Back-to-back doubles by Pujols and Tino Martinez to start the fourth cut Philadelphia's lead to 5-1. An RBI single by Orlando Palmiero made it 5-2.

Edmonds' two-run homer in the fifth -- a mammoth shot into the upper deck in right field -- got the Cardinals within 5-4.

Padilla left after allowing consecutive singles to Palmiero and Edgar Renteria to start the sixth. Terry Adams came in, retired Mike Matheny on a sacrifice, struck out pinch- hitter Kerry Robinson and got Bo Hart on a grounder to second.

Adams pitched two scoreless innings, Turk Wendell pitched one and gave way to Plesac.

Jose Mesa, who lost his job as Philadelphia's closer two weeks ago, would've entered the game had Plesac not retired Edmonds to start the ninth. Bowa said Mesa will return to his role as a closer.


Edmonds' homer was the 22nd that reached the upper deck in right field at the Vet, which closes this year after 33 seasons. ... Padilla has allowed four runs or more in three of his last five starts, but the Phillies are 3-0 in those games, scoring 29 runs, an average of 9.7 per game. ... Borbon has given up 14 hits and nine runs in four innings since being recalled last month. ... Rolen went 0-for-4. ... Rollins was 3-for-4. ... Renteria was 3-for-3. ... Thome has 31 homers.

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