Phillies 6, Expos 3
“The ball was carrying, but you’ve still got to put the good part of the bat on it,” Bell said.
Kevin Millwood (1-2) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings and struck out seven to win his fifth straight decision against Montreal.
Montreal, which has lost six consecutive games, has scored just 15 runs in 11 games and has not scored more than three runs in any game. The Expos (2-9) are on their longest losing streak since dropping six in a row from Aug. 29 to Sept. 3 last year.
The Expos, who had seven hits, have the worst batting average (.187), on-base percentage (.244) and slugging percentage (.263) in the major leagues. Left fielder Terrmel Sledge went 0-for-4 and is 0-for-18 this season.
“We got some better swings today,” manager Frank Robinson. “We just haven’t put it all together yet. Hopefully, it will start tomorrow.”
The Phillies are finally starting to hit and the ball seems to carry well in their new ballpark. After hitting only two home runs in their first seven games, the Phillies have eight in their last three.
“There are some guys that are struggling, but we are coming out of it,” manager Larry Bowa said.
Bell was limited to only 85 games last season, playing just twice after the All-Star break because of a back problem and hip trouble that followed. He hit .195 with four home runs and 37 RBIs.
This year, he second on the team in RBIs and has two home runs.
“I want to be out playing and I’m getting the chance to that,” Bell said. “I feel great and am just excited about our team and being out there and playing. It’s going how I want it to be.”
Though it’s early, Burrell seems to have put last year’s awful .209, 64 RBI-season behind him. Burrell changed his stance, dropped his hands and early hits gave him a confidence boost. He was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk against the Expos.
“Last year he swung at everything,” Bowa said. “He’s very confident when he steps in the box. His confidence is pretty high right now.”
Patterson (1-1) gave up five runs and five hits in four innings.
“I just felt like I wasn’t aggressive enough with my pitches and that hurt me,” Patterson said.
Polanco hit a solo shot in the first and three batters later Burrell had a two-run homer that hit the netting on the right-field foul pole. Burrell also had one of two Philadelphia homers in Friday’s 4-2 win.
Millwood’s seven innings were the most by a Phillies starter this season and he won for the first time since last Sept. 3.
“It seems likes it’s been four years since I had a win,” he said. “To get that first one out of the way, hopefully it will snowball into a lot more.”
Jim Thome doubled his first time up after he went 4-for-4 Friday. It was his 1,500th career hit. … Manager Larry Bowa gave SS Jimmy Rollins the game off and put Marlon Byrd, who was batting seventh, back in the leadoff spot. Rollins is in a season-long slump, hitting only .121. “He’s been swinging at a lot of bad pitches,” Bowa said. “He’s overanxious. Stuff like that happens when you’re trying too hard.” … Bowa said Thome has been bothered by a bone bruise on his left hand. Bowa said Thome hurt the hand during the home opener Monday. … Robinson moved 2B Jose Vidro to the cleanup spot to shake up his team’s offense Vidro was 0-for-4. … The Phillies haveonly one error this season.