After getting hit hard in his previous two starts, the
right-hander took a shutout into the ninth inning, and the slumping
Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 Saturday.
Myers (6-4) allowed three runs and four hits in 8 1/3 innings.
He struck out nine, including seven looking, in his first win since
"He had a gem going. That's what we needed," Phillies manager
Charlie Manuel said. "He had real good command of his breaking
ball and his fastball."
Pinch-hitter Julio Franco followed with another single, and
Rafael Furcal drew the only walk off Myers to load the bases. Myers
lost his shutout bid with a wild pitch, and after Kelly Johnson
struck out, Marcus Giles doubled in two runs to chase Myers.
Billy Wagner got the final two outs for his 20th save in 22
In his previous two starts, Myers was roughed up for 13 runs and
18 hits in just 7 1/3 innings. The poor stretch may have cost
Myers, who was among the NL leaders with an ERA that hovered under
2.20 all season, an All-Star invitation.
Myers said the solution in this start was simple.
"Throwing strike one," he said. "It gives you many more
options on what you can do from there when you get ahead of the
Myers followed the plan perfectly. He threw just eight
first-pitch balls, and 72 of his 106 pitches were for strikes.
"He got ahead of everybody," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.
"That's one of the best jobs against us all year. He was
Myers even had some fun with Manuel, who threatened to take him
out of the game in the sixth inning if he didn't get a hit.
"He said he would choke me if I took him out of the game at
that point," Manuel said. "He really wanted the shutout, that was
easy to tell."
Burrell gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead with a homer to left-center
field off starter Horacio Ramirez (7-5) in the second inning. It
was his 17th home run of the season.
Bell connected for a three-run shot, his fifth, to chase Ramirez
in the fifth inning as Philadelphia opened a 6-0 lead.
Ramirez, who had won his previous four decisions, allowed six
runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. Five of the six runs came
with two outs. Ramirez walked three and struck out one.
"The last two games were the best of the year for me," Ramirez
said. "I wanted to keep my team in the game, but I wasn't able to
Myers, who was mired in a 1-for-27 slump, had a two-out RBI
single in the fourth to make the score 3-0.
Burrell leads the major leagues with 22 RBI against
left-handers. He had just 17 RBI against lefties in 2004. ... Both
Atlanta (44-37) and Philadelphia (41-40) have reach the halfway
point in the season. ... Franco is 8-for-21 (.381) as a
pinch-hitter this season.