PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Randy Wolf is back -- and so is his
Wolf (7-7) allowed four hits, including three singles, over
seven innings and earned his third win in his last four starts. He
struck out five and walked one.
After missing his first two starts of the season with tendinitis
in his left elbow, Wolf encountered a rough stretch, losing three
of his first nine decisions. He has rebounded with four wins in his
last five decisions.
"I went back to the way I wanted to throw the ball,'' Wolf
said. "When I first came back, I didn't want to rehurt myself and
I think I was throwing the ball differently. It definitely had a
negative effect on me.''
The outing was a boost for the Phillies staff, who watched their
previous two starters, Brandon Duckworth and rookie Brett Myers,
fail to reach the fifth inning. Making matters worse for the staff
was the news that Robert Person will have shoulder surgery on
Tuesday and could miss the rest of the season.
"Randy picked us up big time tonight,'' Larry Bowa said. "His
arm strength is back.''
Barry Bonds was out of the Giants' lineup, but pinch-hit in the
ninth inning. After missing 10 starts due to a strained right
hamstring, Bonds went 3-for-4 with a homer Wednesday night, but
appeared to aggravate the injury making a shoestring catch.
Mesa, who loaded the bases the previous night before earning the
save, retired Kenny Lofton to end the game.
"I thought (Minor's fly ball) was out, I think everybody did,''
Giants shortstop Rich Aurilia said. "That's two nights in a row we
had a chance in the ninth but came up short. It's tough.''
Wolf consistently kept the Giants off-balance with a slow
curveball that ranged from 67 to 71 mph on the stadium's radar gun.
"Randy actually has a curveball this year and it's been a huge
pitch for him,'' Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal said.
Giants manager Dusty Baker agreed.
"That pitch is the major difference between how (Wolf) was last
year and now,'' he said. "It has helped him develop into a
Wolf's lone mistake came to the third batter of the game as Rich
Aurilia hit his ninth homer of the season.
Philadelphia took advantage of some poor defensive decisions in
the seventh inning to ruin what began as a solid outing by Russ
Ortiz (7-8) allowed just six hits in the complete-game loss, and
gave up just four hits in the first six innings.
"It was one of the best performances we've seen this season,''
Jeremy Giambi singled and Doug Glanville came into the game as a
pinch-runner before Mike Lieberthal followed with a single. Placido
Polanco got a bunt down that Ortiz fielded and threw late to third,
loading the bases.
Marlon Anderson hit into a force play at second, allowing
Glanville to score. Pinch-hitter Travis Lee hit a slow roller to
first base, where Jeff Kent fielded and threw late to the plate as
Lieberthal scored. Ortiz got out of further trouble when Ricky
Ledee hit into a double play to end the inning.
Ortiz's biggest jam came in the second when he surrendered a
pair of one-out singles to Lieberthal and Polanco. Ortiz escaped
when he got Anderson to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
"It was a great performance by Ortiz,'' Baker said. "We
certainly wanted to win it for him and because the other two teams
(NL West rivals Los Angeles and Arizona) both lost.''
Phillies pitchers have hit 49 batters -- more than any other
team in the NL after Wolf plunked Kent in the sixth inning. ... The
Phillies and Giants split the season series, 3-3. ... Mesa is just
the third Phillies player to have back-to-back 30-save seasons,
joining Mitch Williams and Ricky Bottalico. ... Wolf is tied for
second with Chicago's Jon Lieber in the NL with 3.5 runs of support
per game. Milwaukee's Ben Sheets averages the fewest with 3.3. ...
C Lieberthal has hit in five straight and is 10 for 19 over the
span. ... Ortiz has two complete games this season, both 2-1