Phillies surge to just two games below .500


ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pat Burrell is more concerned with getting the
Philadelphia Phillies back to .500 than his own personal accomplishments.

Burrell homered and drove in three runs and Vicente Padilla pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies
to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.

Burrell's homer was his 32nd of the year, the most for a Phillies player
since Mike Schmidt hit 35 in 1987.

``It is what it is, the season isn't over and we need to get to the .500 mark before we think about anything else,'' Burrell said.

Getting to the .500 mark would be an accomplishment for a team that started the season 8-18. The Phillies are two games below the break-even point, the closest they have been since April.

``I've been saying we want to get to .500 and then see what
happens,'' manager Larry Bowa said. ``The way Atlanta is playing
this year it might not have made any difference how we started,
they've lapped the field.''

The first-place Cardinals remained four games ahead of Houston
in the race for first place in the NL Central.

Padilla (13-8) retired 10 straight Cardinals after getting out
of a bases-loaded jam in the first. He allowed four hits overall
and didn't walk a batter. He struck out eight.

``I thought getting out of the inning was huge,'' he said through an interpreter. ``I was able to regroup and get my best pitches locked in.''

Scott Rolen, who played behind Padilla before coming to the
Cardinals last month, said Padilla seems to get stronger as the
game goes along.

``He might start the game throwing 89-91 mph and end it throwing
96 or 97,'' Rolen said. ``He seems to loosen up and pick up speed
at the same time.''

Jose Mesa came on with two on and two outs in the ninth and
retired Edgar Renteria for his 34th save in 43 chances. The
Phillies won their fourth straight game.

Bobby Abreu had three hits and also hit a solo homer in the third inning against Andy Benes (3-4), giving him five longballs in the last nine games and 16 on the season. Abreu hit a game-winning homer in the 14th inning on Friday night.

Abreu doubled in the fifth inning to send Jimmy Rollins to third
base. Burrell followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

Burrell hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his 32nd of the year,
to make the score 4-0.

Benes gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals put their leadoff man on in the sixth when J.D.
Drew reached on a throwing error by second baseman Marlon Anderson. But Jim Edmonds struck out and Albert Pujols grounded into a double play to end inning. Only one Cardinal got as far as third base.

Game notes
Abreu's double was his league-leading 40th. He is the first Phillie with three straight seasons of 40 or more doubles since Ed Delahanty in 1895-97. ... Doug Glanville has stolen 13 straight bases. ... Rollins has hit safely in 15 of his last 18 games and is 22-for-55 (.400). .... Rolen has 16 RBI in 23 games as a Cardinal. ... Woody Williams pitched five innings for Triple-A Memphis on a
rehab assignment Saturday night and allowed one run with seven
strikeouts and one walk. Williams has been out since July 7 with a
left oblique strain and is expected to be activated this week.