Phillies 8, Expos 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Kevin Millwood had already lost his temper during the first inning. If he didn’t keep his emotions in check, Philadelphia could have fallen way behind.
“After I got out of that inning, I still wasn’t very happy,” Millwood said. “I had to calm myself down to where I was going to go out and pitch and try and give us a chance to win the game.”
Philadelphia, which opens a four-game series with the Mets on Thursday, remained tied with Florida in the NL wild-card race
Montreal, which took an early lead on Wil Cordero’s three-run homer, lost its sixth straight following a five-game winning streak and dropped five games back of the Phillies and Marlins. The Expos are 25-47 on the road.
Millwood (14-9), who beat the Mets with eight shutout innings Friday, has won consecutive starts for the first time since May. He struck out eight in eight innings, allowing three runs and eight hits.
Millwood had a shaky start. After retiring his first two batters, he walked Jose Vidro and Vladimir Guerrerro on pitches Millwood thought were strikes. Cordero followed with his homer.
Millwood turned and snapped his head, uncharacteristically displaying his disgust with the calls and the homer.
“I don’t show emotions too much. Sometimes it pops out,” Millwood said.
Another borderline pitch was called a ball on Ron Calloway, bringing Phillies manager Larry Bowa to the mound. Plate umpire Alfonso Marquez soon followed Bowa and they became involved in a brief argument. Bowa then was ejected for the sixth time this season.
Bowa said he knew Millwood had a gripe when he started grimacing after each ball.
“Millwood doesn’t ever complain. Ever,” Bowa said. “They were all strikes. I’m going to stick up for him. He’s our No. 1 pitcher.”
Millwood gave up consecutive singles in the second inning, but didn’t allow another runner to reach second, and retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
“I tried to not let it bother me,” Millwood said.
An error by Montreal third baseman Jamey Carroll that led to five unearned runs in the third.
T.J. Tucker (0-2) retired his first seven batters, then gave up Todd Pratt’s homer. Carroll threw rushed his throw on Marlon Byrd’s two-out grounder, forcing first baseman Wil Cordero to leap high off the bag, and the Phillies followed with five straight hits.
Jimmy Rollins had an RBI double off the right field wall, Bobby Abreu singled and Thome singled home the tying run. Pat Burrell hit a go-ahead double, and Chase Utley hit a two-run single that gave the Phillies a 6-3 lead and chased Tucker.
Jerry Morales walked his first two batters, loading the bases, before retiring Millwood on a groundout.
“It seems like we lose focus and concentration. I know we did today” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “We were swinging at balls all day. You have to make Millwood throw it down in the strike zone.”
Abreu hit an RBI single in the fourth, and Thome hit his second homer in two games in the sixth. Thome has 39 homers, the most homer for Philadelphia since Mike Schmidt hit 40 in 1983.
Thome reinjured a sore left ankle but said it wouldn’t keep him out of any games.
“When games are meaningful, you want to go out and do the best you can tohelp your team win,” he said.
Millwood won two straight decisions on June 29 and July 9 with a no-decision in between. He improved to 11-5 against the Expos. … Cordero was in a 2-for-28 slump and was 1-for-14 against Millwood before homering. Cordero’s homer was the first in 10 games by a Montreal player other than Vladimir Guerrero or Brad Wilkerson. … It was the final game for the Expos at Veterans Stadium, where they went 126-148. … Phillies team photographerRosemary Rahn was hit by a foul and taken to a hospital.