Redman keeps Phillies in check


MIAMI (AP) -- Mark Redman gave the Florida Marlins a boost by
throwing strikes, and they showed their appreciation by hitting
home runs.

Redman had a career-high 10 strikeouts in his debut for the
Marlins, who hit three homers and beat the Philadelphia Phillies
8-3 Thursday to avoid being swept in their opening series.

Florida pitchers gave up 15 walks in the first two games, but
Redman walked only one. The 6-foot-5 left-hander threw a
first-pitch strike to 21 of 28 batters.

"We needed this so badly,'' manager Jeff Torborg said. "He
knows how to pitch. He's a big Tom Glavine, the way he moves the
ball in and out.''

Redman received the worst run support in the American League
last season with Detroit, but the Marlins gave him an early lead.
Juan Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez and Mike Lowell homered, and Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run triple to hike his average to .455 with
five RBI.

"I had no doubt in my mind I'd get the run support here,'' said
Redman, acquired in a trade in January. "I put last year behind
me. This team has speed, power and the ability to drive the ball in
the gaps. And we have a manager who likes 'small ball' --
manufacturing one or two extra runs. That helps me relax as a

Florida had been outscored 16-7 in the first two games, but
Redman cooled the Phillies off. They settled for a 2-1 start going
into their home opener Friday against Pittsburgh.

"If we keep winning two out of three, we'll be in the World
Series, won't we?'' catcher Todd Pratt said.

There was no letup by Jim Thome, who went 2-for-4 and finished
his first series with Philadelphia batting .636 (7-for-11) with
three walks. Thome, whose $85 million, six-year contract was the
largest of the offseason, also made a diving stop at first base to
rob Todd Hollandsworth of a hit.

"Baseball is so up and down,'' Thome said. "You try to ride
your hot streaks out.''

Redman allowed seven hits and two runs -- one earned -- in 6 2/3
innings. When asked to explain so many strikeouts by the Phillies,
he laughed and said, "They haven't seen me before.''

Vicente Padilla (0-1) gave up six hits and three runs, all on
homers. David Bell hit the Phillies' first home run of the season.

The crowd of 14,585 included about 7,500 children attending
through a Marlins' program with local schools. Florida drew 62,256
for the first series of the year, an improvement of 84 percent over
the first series in 2002.

After Lowell singled, Encarnacion gave the Marlins their first
lead of the season with a two-run homer in the second. One batter
later, Gonzalez homered to make it 3-0.

With the score 3-2, Florida added five runs in the seventh
against Rheal Cormier. Pinch hitter Mike Mordecai and Juan Pierre
singled, and Rodriguez tripled for a 5-2 lead. After Derrek Lee
walked, Lowell hit a three-run homer.

Phils manager Larry Bowa questioned Cormier's choice of pitches
to Rodriguez, who hit a 2-2 delivery.

"We're all saying splitter, and he threw a slider in the middle
of the plate,'' Bowa said.

Cormier's first appearance of the season left him with an ERA of
22.50. Last year it was 5.25 in 54 games for Philadelphia.

"One thing you want is for the manager to have confidence in
you,'' the left-hander said. "I'm sure he's thinking about what
happened last year. I'm trying to turn the page on that.''

Game notes
The last time Redman pitched at Pro Player Stadium was last
June 22, when he helped end Luis Castillo's 35-game hitting streak.
... Redman's previous high of nine strikeouts came against Tampa
Bay and Cincinnati, both in 2000 when with Minnesota. ... Padilla,
an All-Star last year, went 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in spring training.