PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Trade rumors, defensive mistakes and a steady drizzle all added up to Brandon Duckworth’s best start of the season.
“Anytime you don’t win, it’s tough,” Duckworth said. “But the most important thing is that the team wins. We have to win the wild card and anytime you can get a win for the team, that’s all that matters.”
Duckworth gave up one run and four hits, striking out four and walking one.
With a light drizzle turning into a steady rain, Tomas Perez reached out and lined a drive inside the right-field foul pole for his third homer to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.
The rally continued as Duckworth and Marlon Byrd singled. Polanco, back in the lineup after missing two games with a sore left quadriceps, hit his ninth homer and finished Perez.
“(Odalis Perez) had his changeup going today,” Polanco said. “We just kept battling and taking tough at-bats and I’m glad we were able to put the good part of the bat on the ball.”
Mike Lieberthal added a single in the seventh that scored Byrd.
While the Phillies’ bats came alive in the six-run fifth, the Dodgers’ offensive woes continued.
Los Angeles has scored a total of eight runs in their last seven games, going 3-4 in that span. They had gone seven games in a row without scoring more than two runs.
“If we expect to get back in this thing, we need offensive contributions from everybody,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “We don’t quit. We play all 27 outs and we’ll continue to play hard every game for the rest of the season.”
Earlier in the day, Los Angeles got third baseman Robin Ventura from the New York Yankees in a trade for two minor leaguers. Ventura, expected to play first base in place of injured Fred McGriff, plans to join his new team Friday.
Tracy said he hopes the addition of a veteran bat in the lineup will end the slump that has slowed the Dodgers down during their road-trip.
“Robin Ventura is a guy who needs no introduction as to what he has done,” Tracy said. “He’s a winner and he helps to make teams winners.”
Duckworth had four losses and six no-decisions since his last win. Phillies general manager Ed Wade said earlier in the day that the team was in talks to add another starting pitcher, but that the deal fell through.
With his spot in the rotation secure, Duckworth appeared more confident and even escaped a one-out, first-and-third jam in the fifth after Burrell overran a fly ball that fell in for a double and an errant throw allowed Alex Cora on base after a swinging strikeout.
“You have to make routine plays and we didn’t do that,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “Our defense has been our strength, but we’re going through a little period of time right now where we’re making some mistakes.”
The Phillies won a series from the Dodgers for the first time since sweeping three games in August 2001 at Veterans Stadium. … Byrd extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his fifth-inning single. It is the longest streak by a Phillie this season. … Jeromy Burnitz went 0-for-4. He is hitless in his last 12 at-bats and 3-for-26 on the current road trip. … Polanco’s home run tied his career high, set last year with the Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals. … 1B Jim Thome sat out with a strained left groin, but expects toreturn to the Phillies’ lineup Friday against the San Diego Padres.