Phillies 4, Cubs 3

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Mike Lieberthal stood in the on-deck circle, trying to remember the last time he had a game-winning hit. Minutes later, he got one.

Lieberthal’s two-out RBI single in the ninth inning led the Philadelphia Phillies to their seventh consecutive victory, 4-3 over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

The Phillies have won 12 of 14, closing within 4 1/2 games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East. Philadelphia trailed the Braves by 10 games just 13 days ago.

“It was my turn I guess,” Lieberthal said. “I can’t remember the last time I got a game-winning hit.”

Chicago has lost six of seven and 13 of 19.

“This is like a recurring nightmare,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “It seems like the other team always gets the big hit when it needs it.”

Terry Adams (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for his first victory since winning both games of a doubleheader against Cincinnati last Sept. 21.

Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels started the ninth with a single off Mike Remlinger (4-2). Michaels went to second on a sacrifice by Placido Polanco. After Jimmy Rollins walked, Michaels moved to third on Jim Thome’s fly out to center. Bobby Abreu walked to load the bases, chasing Remlinger.

Lieberthal then hit Antonio Alfonseca’s 2-2 pitch past the diving Alex Gonzalez at shortstop to give Philadelphia the win.

“He left a pitch over the middle of the plate,” said Lieberthal, who hit a long foul early in the at-bat.

Phillies starter Randy Wolf allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in six consecutive starts since his last loss on May 27.

Cubs starter Mark Prior gave up three runs—one earned—and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He also has allowed three runs or fewer in six straight starts.

“We went up 3-2 and I gave up a run. I feel I let the team down in that situation,” Prior said.

After squandering an early 2-0 lead, the Phillies tied it at 3 on an RBI double by Pat Burrell in the fourth. Lieberthal started the inning with a double and scored on Burrell’s shot down the third-base line.

Prior pitched out of a jam in the fifth, getting Abreu to ground into a double play with runners on first and third.

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the second with two unearned runs. Abreu reached on third baseman Jose Hernandez’s error to start the inning, went to second on a groundout by Lieberthal, and scored on David Bell’s RBI single to left.

Bell went to second when left fielder Moises Alou let the liner bounce off his glove and over his head. After Burrell lined out to right field, Ricky Ledee singled in Bell to make it 2-0.

Gonzalez cut it to 2-1 with his 10th homer in the third. It was Gonzalez’s 1,000th career hit.

Eric Karros led off the fourth with his second double and scored on Hernandez’s triple, tying it at 2. Hernandez scored on Ramon Martinez’s groundout, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead.

“We’re getting timely hitting. Our pitching and defense has been theresince the start,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.


The Phillies are 29-4 when scoring first, and 16-30 when their opponent scores first. … Karros got his first steal of the season in the second inning. … Cubs RF Sammy Sosa was in a 3-for-16 slump before singling in the eighth. … Thome extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … More than 5,700 fans purchased their tickets before the game, pushing the total attendance to 25,307 at Veterans Stadium. … Alou went 0-for-4 and hit into his third double play of the series. He has two hits in his last 20 at-bats. … Phillies LHP Rheal Cormier pitched two scoreless innings. … Philadelphia is 10-1 since June 19 when it came back to beat Atlanta closer John Smoltz. … The Phillies’bullpen has a 0.29 ERA in the last 31 1-3 innings.

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