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No warm welcome for Rolen in Cards' shutout loss to Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- 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."
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."