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Lieberthal's three homers not enough for Phillies

8/11/2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A beaming Mike Lieberthal stood out like a sore thumb among a sea of forlorn faces in the Philadelphia Phillies' clubhouse, wondering what they have to do to win a
ballgame.

Lieberthal hit three home runs, but the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied past Philadelphia 10-8 Saturday night.

"They're definitely stealing all the glory from our side,''
Lieberthal said. "That's the third time they've done it to us.''

Lieberthal homered in three consecutive plate appearances, drove in four runs and went 4-for-5. He became the second player with three homers Saturday. Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa also did it at Colorado.

But it all went for naught, as Mark Grudzielanek tied it with a two-run shot during a five-run seventh inning, and Marquis Grissom added a go-ahead two-run single for Los Angeles.

It was the Dodgers' fourth consecutive victory, and marked the
second straight night that Grudzielanek nullified a multihomer game
by one of the Phillies.

On Friday, he hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth after
Pat Burrell hit a grand slam in the top half for his second homer
of the game.

"It may look like just two games in the win column, but it's a
lot more than that to us,'' Shawn Green said. "It was two emotional games -- especially tonight. After coming back last night and being able to do it like this two nights in a row is a lot tougher than people realize.''

Green homered for the fourth straight game and drove in four
runs for the Dodgers, whose fourth consecutive victory maintained
their 1½-game lead over San Francisco in the NL wild card race.

Paul Quantrill (3-4) pitched a perfect eighth for the victory. Eric Gagne got three outs for his 39th save in 41 attempts, striking out Lieberthal in the ninth.

The two-time All-Star catcher led off the fourth and sixth
innings with home runs against Hideo Nomo. Giovanni Carrara gave up
Lieberthal's third homer and 12th of the season in the seventh on a
2-0 fastball after a leadoff walk to Burrell.

"He's a good hitter and he's got a lot of power,'' Green said. "His power numbers are down a little bit this year, but that doesn't mean he's not a power hitter. So when a guy gets locked in, you've got to be really careful.''

Lieberthal is 7-for-9 in the first two games of this series, and
10-for-21 against Los Angeles this season. His seventh career
multihomer game gave him five home runs against Dodgers pitching in
a span of eight days. The other two came in a 12-inning victory at
Veterans Stadium.

"When a guy is hot like that, if you make a little mistake, you're going to pay,'' Carrara said. "Lieberthal's swung the bat real well in all the games we've played against them, so we've got to find a way to get him out.''

Grudzielanek's seventh homer of the season came against Rheal Cormier (5-6), following an RBI single by Eric Karros.

The Dodgers then loaded the bases with singles by Alex Cora and
pinch-hitter Cesar Izturis against Cormier and Dan Plesac's walk to
Dave Roberts.

Grissom greeted Carlos Silva with his tiebreaking hit.

Lieberthal is the fifth player in the past week to homer three
times in a game. Cincinnati's Aaron Boone went deep three times
Friday night against the Padres. Russell Branyan also did it for
the Reds at San Diego on Sunday, and Toronto's Chris Woodward accomplished the feat Wednesday against Seattle.

The three-homer game was the first by the Phillies since Sept.
4, 1997, by Bobby Estalella at Montreal.

Ricky Ledee hit a two-run double in the sixth off Nomo, giving Philadelphia a 6-5 lead. Nomo allowed six runs and 11 hits in six
innings and remained winless in his last four starts at Dodger Stadium.

The six earned runs tied a season worst for Nomo, who surrendered hits to the first four batters he faced.

Phillies starter Brandon Duckworth was charged with five runs
and six hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Green followed Adrian Beltre's RBI double with his 34th homer and sixth in 10 games, driving a 2-1 pitch an estimated at 440 feet into the right-field bullpen in the first inning for a 3-2 lead.

Green chased Duckworth in the second with a one-out double that
scored Marquis Grissom and Beltre.

Placido Polanco and Burrell had RBI singles in the first inning
for the Phillies.

Game notes
Phillies manager Larry Bowa was ejected during a
seventh-inning argument with plate umpire Rob Drake and first base
umpire Steve Rippley after the critical walk to Roberts. ... The
Dodgers' victory was their 9,000th as a franchise. ... Duckworth is
0-4 with a 6.94 ERA in his last seven starts. ... All six games of
the season series have been decided by two runs or less.