Phillies use homers to turn back Maddux in return to Dodgers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Kyle Kendrick outpitched Greg Maddux on Friday night -- and Maddux probably deserves some of the credit.

A week after a 40-minute meeting with Maddux to discuss pitching, Kendrick did an impersonation of the veteran while leading the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kendrick allowed the lone run on three hits while striking out three and walking two in 5 2/3 innings, spoiling Maddux's first start in his return to the Dodgers and leaving him stuck on 353 wins, one shy of tying Roger Clemens for eighth on the career list.

Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak to Los Angeles and remained 2 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

"It was exciting," Kendrick said of his meeting with Maddux in San Diego, which was set up by teammate Jamie Moyer. "He had advice for how he deals with struggles and the mental side. It was nice the way he put things. I told him I can be afraid of contact, and he said, 'I'm afraid of contact, too.' "

In that case, the Phillies must have been a nightmare.

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Chris Coste each homered as they pounded Maddux for seven runs and nine hits in just 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander, acquired Tuesday from the Padres, allowed more than nine hits only three times in 26 starts with San Diego.

"They weren't going after bad pitches and were hitting strikes. This is a good lineup," Maddux said. "I couldn't keep the ball in the park. You have to keep the ball in the ballpark no matter where you pitch. When you give up five runs on two swings, it's hard to win like that."

Howard opened the scoring against Maddux, hitting an opposite-field shot for his 34th home run and giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. Howard had entered the at-bat 3-for-36 with 18 strikeouts and just one homer in his last 14 games.

"It was a two-seamer that ran down and away and I just went with it and was able to get good wood on it," Howard said.

"Actually it wasn't a bad pitch," Maddux said, "he's just so gosh darn strong."

The Phillies did most of their damage, though, in the sixth inning, when they scored four runs and knocked Maddux (6-10) out of the game. Coste capped the scoring with a three-run homer to left field as the Phillies' slumbering offense tallied its most runs this month.

Philadelphia entered Friday night with 61 runs in its 19 games (3.1 per contest), and hadn't scored more than seven runs since July 31.

Kendrick, meanwhile, rebounded from two poor outings and a first-inning homer by Andre Ethier. Kendrick (11-7) had allowed 13 runs on 15 hits in seven innings his last two outings, including an 8-6 loss against the Dodgers on Aug. 11 in Los Angeles.

"I knew what was going on -- I was falling behind in counts and not being aggressive," Kendrick said. "Tonight I came out attacked the strike zone and got ahead."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Kendrick also did a good job of keeping the ball down.

"Here lately his fastball has been up more and out of the strike zone, but the good pitches that he made, the ball sunk and he kept it low," Manuel said.

Game notes
Jimmy Rollins went 0-for-4, dropping him to 3-for-37 (.081) since calling Philadelphia fans "front-runners" in a television interview last week. ... Beginning with Friday's game, the Dodgers play 23 of their last 35 on the road. ... Phillies outfielder Geoff Jenkins left the game after sustaining a high quad strain running the bases in the third inning. Jenkins is scheduled for an MRI exam Saturday, Manuel said.