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Lidle ends personal skid, stops Phillies' slide

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Cory Lidle had an outing similar to so many
of his other starts in the last month.

The right-hander kept the Phillies in the game by scattering a
few hits, giving up some runs and hardly walking anyone. The
difference this time: It was enough to give Lidle the win.

Lidle pitched six solid innings to snap an eight-start winless
skid and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2
Saturday night.

"It seemed like a long time," Lidle said. "I didn't want to
worry about how long it was, I just wanted to focus on making each
pitch and I did."

Chris Coste drove in three runs and Chase Utley had three of
Philadelphia's 10 hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

Lidle (5-7) allowed six hits, two runs, struck out six and
walked one in winning for the first time since May 21. He was 0-3
in his last eight starts, even though he pitched into the sixth in
all of those starts and allowed four runs or less in seven of those
outings.

Four relievers combined to finish the eight-hitter, which
stopped the Phillies' three-game losing streak.

"It's been a struggle over the last month, month and a half,"
Lidle said.

All-Star game starter Jason Bay hit his 21st home run for the
Pirates, who are 11-25 since June 1.

Lidle received some offensive help from Coste, who made his
eighth major league start. Coste had a pair of run-scoring singles
and matched his season RBI total. Known for scoring most of their
runs with home runs, the Phillies knocked in all their runs with
singles.

The Phillies got to Paul Maholm (3-8) for four runs in the first
inning, with all the baserunners reaching on six singles. Slumping
Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand drove in the first two runs. David
Bell poked an RBI single the other way into right field past a
diving Sean Casey and Coste made it 4-0 with another opposite-field
hit to right. Three of the runs scored with two outs.

"It's a whole different feeling when you're pitching ahead,"
Lidle said. "I'd welcome that any time. You don't feel like you
have to be perfect."

Rowand drew a one-out walk in the third and went to third on
Bell's double. Coste followed Bell with a two-run single to make it
6-1. After starting his career with an 0-for-14 skid, Coste has 12
hits in his last 26 at-bats.

Coste also earned the confidence in calling a game from the
veteran Lidle. The battery first worked together in spring
training, and Lidle said the two were in sync from the first
exhibition outing.

"He has a good feel for how I like to use my pitches," Lidle
said. "There were a couple times today where he actually got me to
throw a pitch I wasn't thinking of and it worked out good."

Maholm lasted only four innings and lost for the fourth time in
his last seven starts. He allowed six runs and nine hits.

"I threw the pitches exactly where I wanted to, and they found
the holes," Maholm said. "I was staying in the zone and they were
swinging the bats."

Bay hit a solo shot off Lidle in the sixth that skimmed over
Rowand's glove against the 401-foot sign in center field. Bay was
the leading vote-getter among NL outfielders for Tuesday night's
All-Star game.

"Consistency. That's obviously what we're still searching
for," manager Jim Tracy said.

The Pirates beat the Phillies Friday night, meaning one team
will end a dubious streak in Sunday's three-game series finale. The
Pirates have lost seven straight series and the Phillies have lost
eight straight series.

"I expect us to win tomorrow," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel
said. "We need to go into the break winning a series."

Game notes
Phillies LHP Randy Wolf, sidelined with ligament
reconstructive surgery since last July, will make another
rehabilitation for Class-A Lakewood on Tuesday. ... Phillies C Mike Lieberthal, on the 15-day DL with a strained left hip, caught six
innings and had a hit in his first rehab game at Triple-A Scranton
Wilkes-Barre. ... Philadelphia 76ers 6-foot-10 forward Edin Bavcic,
of Bosnia, spent his very first night in the United States at the
game. Bavcic was getting a tour of the city with a Sixers spokesman
and decided he wanted to see a baseball game. ... RF Bobby Abreu
walked in the fourth, raising his major league-leading total to 82,
and he reached base for the 33rd straight game.