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Lidle doesn't allow hit until seventh

MIAMI (AP) -- The Florida Marlins are fading so badly they can't
even beat the Philadelphia Phillies anymore.

Cory Lidle took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Ryan Madson
escaped a jam, and the Phillies ended two years of frustration in
Florida by winning 4-2 Tuesday night.

Philadelphia had lost 14 consecutive games in Miami, including
seven this season.

While Phillies manager Larry Bowa joked about celebrating with
the two bottles of wine in his locker, the Marlins' mood was glum.
The defending World Series champions have lost four of six, all at
home, and they dropped 5½ games behind NL wild-card leader San
Francisco.

"Hole or no hole, we'll take it one game at a time," leadoff
hitter Juan Pierre said. "We're in a position where looking up
does us no good."

Against Lidle (10-12), the Marlins struggled just to get on
base. He retired the first 15 batters.

"I was making all my pitches and getting ahead of the
hitters," Lidle said.

Lidle's bid for a perfect game ended when third baseman David
Bell bobbled a grounder by Juan Encarnacion for an error to start
the sixth. Lidle departed after giving up three hits in the
seventh, all infield singles, then hitting a batter and walking in
a run.

Madson, who came on with two outs and the bases loaded,
preserved a two-run lead by striking out pinch-hitter Mike Lowell.
Billy Wagner completed the three-hitter with a perfect ninth,
played in a sudden rainstorm, for his 18th save in 21 chances.

The Phillies had been swept four series in a row at Pro Player
Stadium since their last win in Miami on April 2, 2003. One of the
sweeps came in the final week of the 2003 regular season, ending
the Phils' bid for a postseason berth and propelling the Marlins
toward the World Series title.

"It hasn't been fun here for a while," Phillies left fielder
Pat Burrell said.

The problem hasn't been just in Miami. Philadelphia improved to
2-11 against the Marlins this year and beat them for only the
fourth time in 27 meetings.

"It's good that we won, plus it pushes them a little bit away
from the wild card," Bowa said. "They've had their way with us."

Three walks and a passed ball helped the Phillies score four
runs in the first off Dontrelle Willis (10-10), and that was all
Lidle and the bullpen needed.

Lidle faced the minimum number of batters through six innings
but failed to survive the seventh even though the Marlins didn't
hit the ball out of the infield.

With one out, Luis Castillo beat out a slow chopper to third for
Florida's first hit. The next batter, Paul Lo Duca, also reached on
an infield hit, and both runners advanced on a groundout. With two
out, Jeff Conine hit a sharp grounder off Lidle's glove and barely
beat his throw to first, scoring a run.

"When they got those three infield hits I thought, `We've been
here before," Bowa said.

Lidle hit Damion Easley on the bill of the batting helmet with a
pitch to load the bases. Encarnacion then walked to force in a run,
ending Lidle's night, but Madson retired Lowell, whose bat went
flying as he swung at a 1-2 curve and missed.

"That's the most fun I've had in a while," Madson said.

Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a single and took third on a
double by Placido Polanco. Jim Thome walked, and Bell walked to
force in a run. Polanco scored on a passed ball by Lo Duca, and the
Phils added two more runs on Jason Michaels' RBI groundout and a
two-out RBI single by Mike Lieberthal.

"They did a great job of jumping on my mistakes," Willis said.

He settled down after the rough start, allowing just six hits in
eight innings.

Game notes
Bobby Abreu has gone 152 consecutive at-bats without a
homer against Florida. ... Conine went 1-for-3 against Lidle but
his lifetime average against the right-hander fell to .600
(15-for-25). ... Pierre went 0-for-4 and remained at 199 hits.