Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Tampa Bay won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, June 16
Tampa Bay10Final
Philadelphia4
Game 2: Saturday, June 17
Tampa Bay7Final
Philadelphia2
Game 3: Sunday, June 18
Tampa Bay5Final
Philadelphia8

Devil Rays 5

(29-41, 15-26 away)

Phillies 8

(34-35, 17-21 home)

    1:35 PM ET, June 18, 2006

    Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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    TB 012000110 5 10 0
    PHI 00204020 - 8 11 1

    W: R. Madson (7-4)

    L: S. McClung (2-10)

    S: T. Gordon (19)

    Howard drives in four vs. Rays to halt Phils' six-game skid

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The boombox was blaring music loudly in the Philadelphia locker room for the first time in eight days, and it sounded really good to the Phillies.

    Ryan Howard homered and drove in four runs to help the Phillies snap a season-worst six-game losing streak, 8-5 over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Sunday.

    Philadelphia salvaged its first victory on its nine-game homestand, which concludes with a three-game set against the New York Yankees beginning on Monday. The team starts a nine-game road trip on Friday that includes stops in Boston, Baltimore and Toronto.

    "We wanted to turn on the music in the clubhouse and have some fun again," Ryan Madson said.

    Nobody may have been more happy than Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who has come under scrutiny for his team's sloppy and unproductive play over the recent stretch.

    "Two things can happen in this game with a stretch of games like this, you either lay down and die, which happens a lot, or you can rise up and go," he said. "We're going to be all right."

    The win also ended a five-game losing streak to Tampa Bay, which owns a 10-5 mark against the Phillies since the series started in 1998.

    David Dellucci had three hits and Chase Utley scored three runs for Philadelphia, which finished with 13 hits, including one by every position player.

    Utley and Howard both needed a big day and got it against the Devil Rays.

    Utley, who came into the game mired in a 5-for-42 (.119) stretch, went 2-for-5. His two-out RBI single tied it at 3 in the fifth.

    Howard hadn't been much better. He had four hits in his previous 21 at-bats and, making matters worse, committed a costly error in Tampa Bay's two-run third inning.

    He turned it around in the fifth.

    With two runners on and two outs, Howard hit a pitch from Seth McClung (2-10) the opposite way into the left-field seats to give the Phillies a 6-3 lead -- the team's first lead of the series. Fourteen of Howard's 23 homers have gone to left field.

    "Everybody has to step it up to help break us out of this. Nothing had to be said before the game, we all knew what we had to do," Howard said.

    Howard added an RBI single and Abraham Nunez doubled in a run in the seventh to make it 8-4 Philadelphia.

    Madson (7-4) gave up four runs -- two earned -- and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for his fourth win in his last six starts. He struck out four and walked two. He blanked the Devil Rays in the first inning -- something no Phillies starter had done in the last five games.

    "I felt really good out there," Madson said. "We know this team is going to score runs, as a staff, our job has to stop giving up big runs."

    Rheal Cormier relieved Madson in the seventh with runners on first and third. After Tomas Perez scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4, Cormier got Carl Crawford to ground out to end the inning.

    Arthur Rhodes gave up an RBI double by Aubrey Huff in the eighth and left the game with two runners on and one out. Tom Gordon, who hadn't pitched since June 10, got the final five outs for his 19th save in 20 opportunities.

    "I definitely had a rush, probably because it had been a long time since I had pitched," said Gordon, who gave up two hits and a walk.

    Tampa Bay, which scored first in all three games of the series, took a 1-0 lead when Russell Branyan hit a drive to right field in the second inning for his eighth homer.

    The Devils Rays took advantage of some shoddy defense to pad their lead to 3-0 in the third. Josh Paul hit a soft liner to first baseman Howard, who dropped the ball. Two outs later, Crawford lined a shot into the right-field seats for his 10th homer.

    Philadelphia strung together three two-out singles in the third, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Shane Victorino scored on a wild pitch and Bobby Abreu added an RBI single.

    McClung lost his sixth straight start, surrendering six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.

    "Seth's just got to keep pushing, you can't give up," Tampa Bay catcher Josh Paul said.

    Game notes


    The Devil Rays used five consecutive pinch hitters in the top of the eighth inning. ... The Phillies are 15-5 when Howard homers. ... Before Howard's home run, eight of the team's last 10 homers were solo shots. ... Since a 13-1 streak in June, the Phillies are 12-20. ... Tampa Bay finished 5-5 on its 10-game road trip. ... Eight of Branyan's last 13 hits have been homers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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