PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Ricky Ledee was thinking bunt, but then
changed his mind.
Ledee hit a go-ahead triple in the seventh inning and Jim Thome
drove two runs as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Los
Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Wednesday night.The Dodgers' offensive woes continued as they failed to score
more than two runs for the sixth straight game. They have totaled
just five runs in going 3-3 over that span."As I've been saying for some time, it's tough to win when
you're only scoring two runs unless your pitching staff is flawless
and that is too much to ask," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.Ledee started in place of the slumping Pat Burrell. The
left-handed Ledee, once a can't-miss prospect with the Yankees, has
drawn the difficult duty of starting against some of the NL's top
right-handed pitchers such as Chicago's Kerry Wood, Arizona's Curt
Schilling and Wednesday's starter, Kevin Brown."It's not fair for (Ledee)," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
"Those aren't easy guys to hit off of. He has gotten all the stud
right-handed pitchers in the league, but he knows his role and is
always ready. Ricky always does something to help us win a
ballgame."Marlon Byrd singled off Paul Shuey (4-3) to begin the Phillies'
seventh. Ledee lined with a shot over center fielder Jeromy
Burnitz, who got a late jump on the ball. Second baseman Alex Cora
made a strong relay throw but Byrd slid under the tag, giving the
Phillies a 3-2 lead."When I was on-deck, I was thinking about bunting if Marlon got
on," Ledee said. "I just changed my mind when I got to the plate
and swung away."The hit lifted Ledee's batting average to .231, but he isn't
likely to notice."I don't worry about batting average any more, I'm just looking
to contribute anything I can in any spot I can," he said.Tom Martin relieved and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Thome,
scoring Ledee with an insurance run.Turk Wendell (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win. Dan Plesac
got the final two outs in the eighth and Jose Mesa pitched the
ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances.Despite Ledee's heroics, Bowa said that Burrell would be back in
the starting lineup on Thursday.Kevin Brown pitched six strong innings for the Dodgers, but
didn't help his own cause early. His three-base throwing error led
to two runs in the first inning.Ledee hit a grounder back to Brown, who knocked down the ball
but threw it over first baseman Jolbert Cabrera and down the
right-field line. The mistake allowed Ledee to advance to third.Los Angeles planned its defensive strategy around its recent
offensive trouble, bringing in the infield with just one out. Thome
followed with a broken-bat single over the drawn-in infield for a
1-0 lead.Bobby Abreu hit a soft grounder that Brown mishandled, and the
play was ruled an infield hit. Mike Lieberthal made it 2-0 with a
RBI single."I simply made mistakes," Brown said. "The fact is I really
made two errors in the first inning. We should have been ahead 2-0.
I just didn't get it done."Los Angeles cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second inning on Paul
Lo Duca's seventh homer of the season.The Dodgers tied it at 2 on Cesar Izturis' RBI grounder in the
third. The play scored Brown, who led the inning off with a double.Both starters worked to no-decisions.Brett Myers pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits.
He struck out seven and walked one."I was thinking I just had to keep the team in the game and I
felt I did that," Myers said.Brown lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.10. He gave up
two runs -- one earned -- on nine hits, striking out four and walking
three."(Brown) was fine, any manager would take that kind of start
every single night," Tracy said.
Philadelphia has won nine of its last 11 games against Los
Angeles at home. ... Lo Duca's homer snapped an 0-for-18 slump. ...
Thome appeared to aggravate a groin injury running the bases in the
fifth inning. He remained in the game. ... Brown is 0-4 with a 2.43
ERA in his last six starts. ... Byrd extended his hitting streak to
11 games with a seventh-inning single. ... The Phillies had two
baserunners picked off and another thrown out trying to steal.