PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With help on the way, the Phillies'
inconsistent offense got a kick-start from Jim Thome.
Thome homered twice and Kevin Millwood pitched seven solid
innings, leading Philadelphia to an 11-4 victory over the Milwaukee
Brewers on Wednesday night.
Placido Polanco will move to third to make room for Utley, a
former No. 1 pick who was hitting .323 with 26 doubles, 18 homers
and 77 RBI in 113 games at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
"I think there was a sense of urgency after last night," Thome
said, referring to a 6-3 loss to the Brewers. "We had to win this
Keith Ginter hit a three-run homer for Milwaukee.
Bobby Abreu had three hits, three RBI and three runs scored,
while Polanco had two hits and scored three runs for the Phillies.
Millwood (12-8) allowed three runs and six hits for his second
win in six starts.
The Phillies scored four runs in the first and three in the
fifth off Ben Sheets (10-10). The right-hander allowed 10 runs --
eight earned -- and 12 hits in five innings.
"Getting four runs in the first was huge," Millwood said. "I
was able to relax. Every pitch wasn't a do-or-die situation."
Marlon Byrd led off the first with a single and Polanco was hit
by a pitch. Abreu drove in Byrd with a single and Thome followed
with his 29th homer, a mammoth drive off the facing of the upper
deck in right-center that made it 4-0.
Millwood retired six straight before Richie Sexson lined a
two-out single in the fourth. John Vander Wal followed with a
single, and Ginter lined a 1-2 pitch off the backdrop in
left-center for his ninth homer, making it 4-3.
Eric Young's RBI single in the eighth made it 10-4, and Thome
hit a solo shot in the bottom half to provide the final margin.
Thome has hit 30 homers in eight straight seasons.
"My location was bad," Sheets said. "They're good. They were
hitting at people for a while, but that didn't last long."
Millwood began the season 7-1, but lost seven of his next 11
decisions. He was 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in his previous four starts.<
^Notes: Ginter and Young have eight-game hitting streaks, and Keith
Osik has hit in nine straight. ... Byrd's single in the first
snapped a 1-for-23 slump. ... The Phillies are 27-9 when scoring in
the first inning and 44-8 when scoring first. ... Sheets made his
first start against the Phillies. He has pitched at least five
innings in each of his 27 starts this season. ... Phillies 3B David
Bell, on the disabled list with a back injury since July 11, had an
MRI on his left hip that turned out normal. He'll continue
treatment for his injury. ... Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins has one hit
in his last 18 at-bats. ... Abreu is 34-for-92 (.370) with 27 RBI
in his last 26 games. ... Thome has hit two homers in a game four
times this season. ... Amaury Telemaco will take Duckworth's spot
in the rotation and pitch Sunday night against St. Louis, but he
won't be officially activated until Sunday.