The Philadelphia Phillies are still tied for the NL wild-card lead. The way they’ve been playing lately, they may not be in that position much longer.
Philadelphia, which is a dismal 1-7 on its 13-game road trip, will again look to reverse its fortunes away from home when it resumes a four-game series with the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium.
Despite their recent struggles, the Phillies are deadlocked with the Florida Marlins atop the wild-card race, but other teams have been gaining ground quickly. Eight teams are within 2 1/2 games of the top spot.
The Phillies jumped out to an 8-0 lead Tuesday, but the Expos staged a tremendous comeback to win 14-10.
“It’s devastating, there’s no question about it, but it’s not like there’s two games left,” Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. “We just didn’t get the job done tonight. There’s no excuses.”
The Expos trailed 10-4 before rallying for seven runs in the seventh inning, highlighted by two-run doubles from Wil Cordero and Jose Vidro. Cordero finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and Vidro was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
“How exciting was that game?” Vidro said. “We came back—unbelievable, one of the most exciting games I’ve played since I’ve been in the big leagues.”
The Expos have won three straight to move within two games of the Phillies and Marlins. Montreal has won seven straight and 12 of its last 13 at Olympic Stadium.
“It’s unreal. You see it happening but you don’t believe it,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “That was a great win for this ballclub, this organization, and for the fans and for this city. It’s just a great win and it’s what we really need to do.”
STANDINGS: Phillies - 2nd place (tied), 14 GB, NL East. Expos - 4th place, 16 GB, NL East.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Brett Myers (12-7, 3.89 ERA). Myers has won seven of his last eight decisions. On Friday, he worked 5 2-3 innings, allowing four runs—three earned—and nine hits, but did not get a decision in the Phillies’ 9-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The 23-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.25 ERA in four career games against the Expos.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomo Ohka (8-10, 4.52 ERA). Ohka has not received a decision in any of his last four starts. On Friday, he worked six innings, allowing two runs and nine hits in the Expos’ 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. In eight career games against the Phillies, the 27-year-old right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.83 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .321 avg.; Jim Thome, 36 HRs, 100 RBIs and 85 runs; Bobby Abreu, 17 SBs. Expos - Vidro, .326 avg.; Vladimir Guerrero, 18 HRs; Orlando Cabrera, 69 RBIs, 85 runs and 21 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Phillies, 9-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Phillies - C Lieberthal is 1-for-18 (.056) in his career against RHP Ohka. … The Phillies are 30-10 when scoring first. … 1B Thome is batting .371 (13-for-35) in his last 11 games. Expos - SS Orlando Cabrera is batting .231 (3-for-13) in his career against RHP Myers. … RF Guerrero has had two or more hits in four of his last seven games. He is 10-for-27 (.370) during that stretch. … The Expos are 14-10 in August and need one win to clinch their second winning August in the past nine seasons.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Phillies - 31-35 on the road; Expos - 44-23 at home.
INJURIES: Phillies - 3B David Bell (back), 15-day DL; RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 15-day DL. Expos - C Michael Barrett (hip), 15-day DL; 3B Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Scott Stewart (appendicitis), 15-day DL; RHP Claudio Vargas (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 60-day DL.