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Phillies hit five home runs to help snap losing skid

5/29/2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies hope they can
build on this offensive performance.

Ricky Ledee and Bobby Abreu hit three-run homers and Vicente
Padilla pitched seven solid innings, leading the Phillies over the
New York Mets 11-3 Wednesday night.

Jim Thome, Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had solo
homers for the Phillies, who stopped a three-game losing streak.

It was the sixth time Philadelphia scored in double digits this
season. But the Phillies have averaged just 2.4 runs in the five
games that followed those offensive outbursts.

"We needed one of these. Hopefully it snowballs. I've said that
before,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "We have to be more
consistent. You're not going to get 11 runs every night. There's a
happy medium. We have to find it.''

The Phillies had scored just 18 runs in their previous six
games, five losses. They are averaging 4.8 runs per game, but only
3.7 runs excluding the double-digit games.

"Hitting is contagious,'' Ledee said. "Hopefully, it carries
over. We have to come out with the same attitude.''

Padilla (4-6) allowed one run and three hits in his first
victory since shutting out the Atlanta Braves on April 19. Despite
a career-high six walks, he improved to 5-1 against the Mets.

Mets starter Pedro Astacio (3-2) gave up seven runs and eight
hits in four innings.

"He struggled with his command, and couldn't get in any kind of
groove,'' Mets manager Art Howe said. "He just couldn't hit his
spots.''

Ledee gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead in the second inning with his
fifth homer. Abreu walked to start the inning and Mike Lieberthal
was hit by a pitch. Ledee then hit a 2-1 pitch deep into the
right-field seats for his fourth homer in 13 at-bats against
Astacio.

Rollins' solo shot with two outs in the fourth made it 5-1.
Thome led off the fifth with his 11th homer to put the Phillies
ahead 6-1. Polanco homered off David Cone in the sixth for an 8-1
lead. Abreu hit his shot off Pat Strange in the eighth.

"I wish I'd been a little sharper,'' said Cone, making his
first appearance since coming off the disabled list. "I still
think I can help this team. That's what all athletes feel when
they're nearing the end.''

The Mets took a 1-0 lead on a RBI groundout by Rey Sanchez in
the first. Roger Cedeno started the game with a triple to center
that Ledee misjudged.

Padilla didn't allow another runner past second base after
Cedeno. He retired Jason Phillips on a flyout to right with two on
to end the third, and got Ty Wigginton to hit into a double play
with two on to end the sixth.

An All-Star in his first season as a starter last year, Padilla
had been 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA in his last five starts.

"It was my first win in a while and I'm glad to help the team
out,'' Padilla said through an interpreter. "I hope to do the same
thing next start.''

Game notes
The Phillies hadn't hit five homers in a game since May 9,
1999, at Colorado. ... Ledee is 8-for-13 with six RBIs off Astacio.
... The Mets are 12-11 without Mike Piazza, 11-18 with him. Piazza,
an All-Star catcher, is out with a groin injury. ... Rollins was
caught stealing in the first, breaking a string of six consecutive
steals by the Phillies and seven by him. ... The Mets have scored
first in 12 of their last 15 games. ... Thome's homer measured at
364 feet was the shortest of the five.