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Houston's throwing error sends Phillies to victory

8/3/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The breaks are starting to go the right way
for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pat Burrell doubled home the tying run with two outs in the
eighth inning and Philadelphia scored twice more on Tyler Houston's
throwing error as the Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1
Friday night.

The Phillies have won three straight and eight of 10, moving
within 7½ games of Los Angeles in the NL wild card race.

"We had a little luck and we were able to take advantage of
it,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "It's been like that for
us lately.''

Carlos Silva (3-0) earned the victory by getting two outs in the
eighth, and Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 38
chances.

Paul Quantrill (2-4) got the first two outs of the eighth before
allowing a double to Jeremy Giambi and a walk to Bobby Abreu.

Burrell blooped a ground-rule double that hit the right-field
line and tied it at 1. Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy briefly argued
the call with first-base umpire Mike Everitt.

"It was a fair ball, he got it right,'' said Tracy, who checked
the replay after the game.

Travis Lee followed with a grounder to third. Houston made the
stop but threw wildly in the dirt to first, allowing two runs to
score.

Burrell tried to distract Houston on the play.

"That's what I was trying to do,'' Burrell said. "I tried to
get near him and maybe throw off his concentration.''

It worked.

"I was distracted a little,'' Houston said. "I didn't know
whether to tag (Burrell) or go to first. Then, I just threw it
away.''

The Phillies got off to a 9-19 start, then sent All-Star third
baseman Scott Rolen to St. Louis two days before the trade
deadline. But the winning streak has created a positive buzz in the
Philadelphia clubhouse.

"It's been fun around here lately,'' said Burrell, who was
quick to mention that the Phillies are climbing their way back into
the wild card race. "We're playing much better in the second half
of the season. We're doing the little things and getting great
pitching.''

Los Angeles broke a scoreless tie in the eighth against Phillies
starter Vicente Padilla. Eric Karros was hit by a pitch, and Mark
Grudzielanek and Alex Cora singled to load the bases.

Dan Plesac relieved and got pinch-hitter Mike Kinkade to pop out
as second baseman Marlon Anderson made a juggling catch in short
right field. But pinch-hitter Marquis Grissom drove in the first
run with a sacrifice fly off Silva.

Center fielder Abreu's throw bounced wildly off the mound,
allowing pinch-runner Cesar Izturis to score easily.

Starters Andy Ashby and Padilla each had strong outings but
settled for no-decisions. Ashby threw seven shutout innings,
allowing four hits, walking three and striking out five.

"I've been scuffling lately but I felt pretty good,'' he said.

Padilla scattered five singles in seven-plus innings, striking
out three. He did not walk a batter.

"I felt real strong,'' said Padilla, who hit 97 mph with an
eighth-inning fastball. "I was able to hit my spots with my
fastball.''

A rare call cost Philadelphia in the fourth. Abreu lined a
two-out single and stole second base as Burrell swung through a
pitch.

However, plate umpire Joe West said Burrell unintentionally hit
catcher Paul Lo Duca with his backswing and sent Abreu back to
first. Burrell then singled to center, moving Abreu to third. After
Travis Lee walked, Ashby got Mike Lieberthal to ground out to end
the inning.

Los Angeles left fielder Brian Jordan kept it scoreless in the
fifth, catching Jimmy Rollins' routine fly and throwing out Placido
Polanco at the plate to end the inning.

In the sixth, Giambi doubled and moved to third on Abreu's
groundout. But Ashby recovered by striking out Burrell and getting
Lee on a grounder to first.

Game notes
Padilla lowered his NL-best home ERA to 2.33. ... Cora went
2-for-3 and is hitting .385 (10-for-26) in his last nine games. ...
Ashby, who had two stints with the Phillies, is 1-7 career against
Philadelphia. ... Gametime temperature was 98 degrees.