PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Cory Lidle had an outing similar to so many of his other starts in the last month.
The right-hander kept the Phillies in the game by scattering a few hits, giving up some runs and hardly walking anyone. The difference this time: It was enough to give Lidle the win.
“It seemed like a long time,” Lidle said. “I didn’t want to worry about how long it was, I just wanted to focus on making each pitch and I did.”
Lidle (5-7) allowed six hits, two runs, struck out six and walked one in winning for the first time since May 21. He was 0-3 in his last eight starts, even though he pitched into the sixth in all of those starts and allowed four runs or less in seven of those outings.
Four relievers combined to finish the eight-hitter, which stopped the Phillies’ three-game losing streak.
“It’s been a struggle over the last month, month and a half,” Lidle said.
All-Star game starter Jason Bay hit his 21st home run for the Pirates, who are 11-25 since June 1.
Lidle received some offensive help from Coste, who made his eighth major league start. Coste had a pair of run-scoring singles and matched his season RBI total. Known for scoring most of their runs with home runs, the Phillies knocked in all their runs with singles.
The Phillies got to Paul Maholm (3-8) for four runs in the first inning, with all the baserunners reaching on six singles. Slumping Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand drove in the first two runs. David Bell poked an RBI single the other way into right field past a diving Sean Casey and Coste made it 4-0 with another opposite-field hit to right. Three of the runs scored with two outs.
“It’s a whole different feeling when you’re pitching ahead,” Lidle said. “I’d welcome that any time. You don’t feel like you have to be perfect.”
Rowand drew a one-out walk in the third and went to third on Bell’s double. Coste followed Bell with a two-run single to make it 6-1. After starting his career with an 0-for-14 skid, Coste has 12 hits in his last 26 at-bats.
Coste also earned the confidence in calling a game from the veteran Lidle. The battery first worked together in spring training, and Lidle said the two were in sync from the first exhibition outing.
“He has a good feel for how I like to use my pitches,” Lidle said. “There were a couple times today where he actually got me to throw a pitch I wasn’t thinking of and it worked out good.”
Maholm lasted only four innings and lost for the fourth time in his last seven starts. He allowed six runs and nine hits.
“I threw the pitches exactly where I wanted to, and they found the holes,” Maholm said. “I was staying in the zone and they were swinging the bats.”
Bay hit a solo shot off Lidle in the sixth that skimmed over Rowand’s glove against the 401-foot sign in center field. Bay was the leading vote-getter among NL outfielders for Tuesday night’s All-Star game.
“Consistency. That’s obviously what we’re still searching for,” manager Jim Tracy said.
The Pirates beat the Phillies on Friday night, meaning one team will end a dubious streak in Sunday’s three-game series finale. The Pirates have lost seven straight series and the Phillies have lost eight straight series.
“I expect us to win tomorrow,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “We need to go into the break winning a series.”
Phillies LHP Randy Wolf, sidelined with ligament reconstructive surgery since last July, will make another rehabilitation for Class-A Lakewood on Tuesday. … Phillies C Mike Lieberthal, on the 15-day DL with a strained left hip, caught six innings and had a hit in his first rehab game at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. … Philadelphia 76ers 6-foot-10 forward Edin Bavcic, of Bosnia, spent his very first night in the United States at the game. Bavcic was getting a tour of the city with a Sixers spokesman and decided he wanted to see a baseball game. … RF Bobby Abreu walked in the fourth, raising his major league-leading total to 82, and he reached base for the 33rd straight game.