<
>

Brewers beat Lidle to finish best homestand since '92

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The count was full, the bases loaded and the
score tied in the eighth when Junior Spivey watched the flight of
the ball and figured it was just his luck to line out.

Spivey has yet to find his stroke after two straight
injury-plagued seasons, and on the rare occasions he connects, it's
usually right at somebody.

On Wednesday, though, the ball glanced off left fielder Pat
Burrell's glove and bounced to the wall for a three-run double off
Ryan Madson that sent the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-2 comeback win
over the Philadelphia Phillies.

"Another inch, I catch it," Burrell said. "It was right off
the tip."

The resurgent Brewers went 9-3 on their homestand, the first
time they've won nine times during a homestand since going 9-1 from
Sept. 18-27, 1992. And they did it without pitching ace Ben Sheets,
slowly recovering from an inner ear infection that has sidelined
him since late last month.

Spivey's big hit made a loser of Cory Lidle (2-3), who struck
out a career-high 11 and retired 16 in a row during one stretch but
allowed a tying homer to Bill Hall leading off the eighth.

Winning pitcher Doug Davis (4-4) gave up two runs and six hits
in eight innings, including Bobby Abreu's seventh homer, a solo
shot in the eighth that gave the Phillies a brief 2-1 lead.

Derrick Turnbow, who only became the Brewers' closer two weeks
ago, pitched the ninth for his fifth save. During the homestand, he
had four wins and three saves.

After allowing two singles in the first inning, Lidle retired 16
straight batters before walking Chris Magruder to start the
seventh. Spivey's single off third baseman David Bell's glove put
runners at the corners, and Magruder scored when Carlos Lee
grounded into a double play, tying the game at 1.

Abreu restored the Phillies' lead the next inning by hitting a
homer in his fourth straight game.

Hall's 440-foot homer, his second of the year, off Lidle in the
bottom half knotted it up again at 2.

"That took a lot of pressure off everybody," Milwaukee manager
Ned Yost said.

Then, with two outs, Brady Clark singled off Lidle, and Magruder
drew a walk to load the bases.

In came Madson, and Spivey sent Burrell backpedaling for what
looked to all like a lineout.

"I went from a loss to a no-decision to a win," Davis said.
"It was fun to watch."

Spivey cringed as he looked on.

"I thought he was going to catch it," Spivey said. "I didn't
get under it enough."

Neither did Burrell.

"It looked to me like he had it in the web of his glove,"
lamented manager Charlie Manuel, whose Phillies fell to 15-20, last
in the NL East.

The Phillies, who came to town tied for 27th in the majors in
home runs, went deep nine times in the three-game series, including
Placido Polanco's first homer of the year, a solo shot in the first
inning. The Brewers have allowed 21 homers in their last six games.

All but one of the Phillies' nine homers in the series came with
the bases empty, however.

While Lidle was breezing through the Brewers' lineup, Davis kept
getting out of jams to keep it close. He escaped in the sixth when
the Phillies failed to capitalize on two blown double-play
possibilities. Spivey booted a groundball at second base for an
error, putting runners at first and second. One out later, Davis
muffed a comebacker and only got one out. But he struck out Marlon
Byrd to end the inning.

"Not only do I have to pick up my teammate but I have to pick
myself up, too," Davis said.

Two innings later, it was Spivey who did the heavy lifting.

Game notes
Sheets, who has been sidelined since April 21 with
dizziness from the inner ear infection, threw 65 pitches of pregame
batting practice and bunt-fielding drills. He got dizzy a couple of
times when he spun to throw the ball to a bag but said he's close
to recovered. "The first couple days was straight spinning, then
it turned to weak-kneed and disorientation all the time. Now it's
cloudy. Now it's foggy in the head," Sheets said. Yost said he
hopes his ace can return to the mound May 22 at Minnesota. ...
Lidle's previous career high was 10 strikeouts against Cleveland on
Sept. 26, 2003.