Pirates 6, Phillies 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The Philadelphia Phillies can start planning their vacations.
Ty Wigginton hit a two-run homer and Oliver Perez pitched 6 2-3 strong innings, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates stop a seven-game road losing streak with a 6-1 victory over Philadelphia on Monday night that eliminated the Phillies from postseason contention.
“Anytime you get X’ed out, it’s disappointing,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “Now you try to win as many games as you can and finish as high in the standings as possible.”
The underachieving Phillies can at most win 87 games, one fewer than San Francisco or San Diego must finish with because they face each other three times. The Phillies (81-75) need one more victory to ensure consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1982-83. That’s little solace for a team picked by many last spring to win the NL East.
“When we left spring training, we had high expectations,” slugger Jim Thome said. “We had some injuries. We have to overcome those. There’s a lot of good times to come here. We have good players. We have to finish out the season, go home and figure out the adjustments we have to make.”
Perez (11-10) allowed one run and five hits, striking out five to win for just the second time in his last six starts.
“He really didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept the ball down,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He wasn’t overpowering as he has been, but he had an exceptional sinker.”
Eric Milton (14-5) gave up four runs and four hits in six innings, falling to 3-3 with nine no-decisions since the All-Star break, when he was 11-2.
Milton retired the first eight batters before walking Perez. He didn’t allow a hit until Wigginton’s homer.
Craig Wilson walked with two outs in the fourth, before Wigginton hit the next pitch into the bullpen in right-center field for his 16th homer.
Craig Wilson also started a two-out rally in the sixth with a double. After Wigginton was intentionally walked, Redman lined a shot off the right-center field fence, scoring Wilson and Wigginton to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
“I felt very comfortable out there,” Perez said. “I threw a lot of sinkers. I just tried to pitch. I tried to keep the ball down and throw ground balls.”
Jack Wilson had a two-out, two-run single off Todd Jones in the ninth.
Milton, acquired from Minnesota last December, can become a free agent after this season. Despite a 4.73 ERA, his .737 winning percentage should help him get several attractive offers.
Craig Wilson was hit by a pitch for the major league-leading 30th time, giving the Pirates a club record 93 batters hit this season. Redman and Bobby Hill were hit by Jones in the ninth, increasing the total to 95. … Perez lowered his ERA to 3.08. … The Pirates are 12-25 since pulling within three games of .500 (58-61) on Aug. 19. … Pittsburgh is 61-1 when leading after eight innings. … The Pirates are 17-37 on the road since starting the season 14-8 away from home. … Thome was out of the lineup, still suffering from discomfort in his chest resulting from a collision on Sept. 15. … The crowd of 30,268 was the smallest at Citizens Bank park this season. … Pirates C Jason Kendall went 0-for-5, ending his hitting streak at 12 games. … Lieberthal’s hitting streak ended at 14 with an 0-for-4 performance.