PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies began a key
12-game homestand with a much-needed victory.
Philadelphia's 12-game homestand -- the longest of the season --
could be a major factor if the team will be buyers or sellers
before the trading deadline on July 31.
"This win was huge for many different reasons," Dellucci said.
"We're at home. We're playing the Braves and the way we won the
game was big. Hopefully, this sets the tone for the homestand. It's
a very important stretch for us."
Edgar Renteria and Scott Thorman each homered and Chipper Jones
extended his hitting streak to a career-high 20 games for the
Braves, who have lost two in a row after a season-high seven-game
Cory Lidle (7-7) gave up six hits and three runs in a season
high eight innings. He struck out five and walked one.
"Earlier in my career, I went eight innings all the time,"
Lidle said. "I haven't been able to get that far in a game in a
long time. I found a good rhythm earlier and carried it through
eight innings. It's big for me."
Dellucci, who is one of many Phillies mentioned in trade talks,
leads the majors with 15 pinch-hits.
"This game is tough enough, you can't let that stuff get into
your head," said Dellucci, who had a career-high 29 homers last
season at Texas. "No matter what you do or what you say, it's not
going to change what might happen. We're trying to win ballgames."
Atlanta's bullpen, which had given up the lead in six of John Smoltz's eight no-decisions, entered a tie game in the eighth and
couldn't hold Philadelphia down.
With newly acquired closer Bob Wickman ready to pitch, the
Braves couldn't get him into a save situation.
Aaron Rowand drew a one-out walk and moved to third on Bell's
single against Ken Ray (1-1). Dellucci followed with a grounder
through the hole on the right side to score Rowand and give the
Phillies a 4-3 lead.
One out later, Rollins hit a grounder to first baseman
Adam LaRoche, who was playing deep. Ray failed to cover first base
and Rollins beat the play out for a single.
Utley, who was hitless in his first four at-bats, lined a
two-out, two-run single to center to make the score 6-3.
"Ray definitely has to be there. That was the ballgame,"
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "I've never seen Ray make a
mistake before, but that was a big mistake."
Atlanta tied the game at 2-2 on Thorman's two-run homer in the
fifth. LaRoche singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Pitching with first base open, Thorman sent a 1-2 pitch into the
second deck in right field for his fourth homer.
In the sixth, Renteria hit a one-out homer to left -- his 10th of
The Phillies drew even at 3-3 when Rollins led off the seventh
inning with his 11th homer of the season.
Smoltz, who had won his previous three starts, worked seven
innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits, including two homers,
striking out seven and walking three.
Philadelphia broke up a scoreless game in the fourth inning.
Bell, who came into the game with just one hit in 24 at-bats (.042)
against Smoltz in his career, delivered a two-out single and scored
on Chris Coste's long homer into the left-center field seats. It
was Coste's second homer of the season.
"It's very frustrating for me personally," Smoltz said. "One
bad pitch to the No. 8 hitter."
Phillies RF Bobby Abreu drew two walks, increasing his
ML-leading total to 89. ... Braves C Brian McCann saw his five-game
homer streak snapped. ... Phillies LF Pat Burrell is 1-for-23
(.043) with 12 strikeouts against Smoltz in his career. ...
Dellucci's 15 pinch-hits are the most by a Phillies player since
Kevin Jordan had 15 in 1998. ... Meat Loaf sang "Take Me Out to
the Ballgame" in the seventh inning.