Washington (61-86) at Philadelphia (75-71)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 91° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 17, 2004
  • TV: CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Looking to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Philadelphia Phillies hope to have Jim Thome back in the lineup when they open a three-game series against the Montreal Expos.

Thome, who leads the Phillies with 41 home runs and 100 RBIs, bruised his chest in the first inning of Wednesday’s 9-1 win at Cincinnati when he collided with catcher Todd Pratt while grabbing a popup. Though the All-Star first baseman was immediately removed from the game, he doesn’t seem too concerned.

“I don’t think I’ll miss any time,” Thome said. “It knocked the wind out of me, and then I got a little dizzy.”

With Wednesday’s win, their 10th in the last 13 games, the Phillies avoided a three-game sweep and remained 6 1/2 behind San Francisco in the NL wild-card race with 16 to play.

“That was a big win,” Phillies third baseman David Bell said. “We wanted to come in here and win every game, but it didn’t work out. To get a win today is important going into the last 2 1/2 weeks here. It keeps us alive.”

Bell, the Phillies’ leading hitter this season, is batting .469 (15-for-32) with three homers and seven RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak. He should be able to keep up that pace in this series as he is batting .333 (15-for-45) with four homers and 14 RBIs against the Expos this season.

The Expos are coming off dropping three of five to defending World Series champion Florida, including Thursday’s 4-3 defeat. Montreal has lost six of eight overall.

Tony Batista hit a solo home run and Endy Chavez added two RBIs for the last-place Expos.

Batista is riding a six-game hitting streak, during which the 30-year-old third baseman is batting .333 (9-for-27) with five homers and 12 RBIs.

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C. Vargas Tor vs. E. Milton LAD
5-5 Record 14-6
5.25 ERA 4.75
89 K 161
64 BB 75
1.55 WHIP 1.35