Pat Burrell may not have the power numbers yet, but he’s certainly making things happen at the plate.
Though he has just one home run in his first nine games, Burrell is hitting .324, a far cry from where he finished last season—at .209.
“Pat’s been picking us up big-time,” first baseman Jim Thome said. “When we all get rolling, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Burrell homered and drove in three runs Friday as the Phillies won for the second time in three games at new Citizens Bank Park, 4-2 over the Expos. Thome also homered and got his first RBI of the season, which drew a sigh of relief from manager Larry Bowa.
“When the big guys hit, you can’t tell if it’s a hitters’ park because they’re going to hit them out of Yellowstone National Park,” Bowa said. “I don’t know how it’s going to play right now, but we got some big hits tonight.”
Burrell and Thome had a combined 68 home runs and 195 RBIs last season.
“It’s always nice to hit the first one, especially in that situation when it added another run and allowed us to win a game like that,” Thome said. “Yesterday (6-4 comeback victory over Cincinnati) got us going and we carried it over into tonight.”
The Expos have lost five in a row and have scored just 12 runs this season.
“We’re just not giving ourselves enough chances,” manager Frank Robinson said. “If I could pinpoint it, I’d correct it. And it’s everyone—we just have to think positive. We have to think each day, go out there and get a win. It just comes down to not giving ourselves a chance.”
Third baseman Tony Batista ended the Expos’ scoreless streak at 34 innings with a second-inning home run Friday.
Batista started the season 2-for-25 and hadn’t homered since Sept. 24, when he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Juan Rivera and Luis Lopez followed Batista’s homer with singles, marking the first time this season the Expos had three hits in an inning.
“We got three hits in one inning, that’s a positive,” Batista said. “Maybe we get five hits in one inning the next game. The good times will come. We’re just going to have to wait.”