Phillies 7, Braves 5


ATLANTA (AP) – Aaron Rowand hit a two-run homer, Pat Burrell also homered and the Philadelphia Phillies won for only the second time this season, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-5 Wednesday night.

The Phillies, who lost six of their first seven games, jumped ahead 4-0 in the second inning and held on at end.

Wilson Betemit, filling in for injured third baseman Chipper Jones, hit a two-out, two-run double in the eighth that brought the tying run to the plate. But Arthur Rhodes struck out pinch-hitter Matt Diaz to end the threat.

Rowand, acquired from the Chicago White Sox during the offseason in the Jim Thome trade, gave the Phillies a 6-3 lead in the seventh with his first NL homer, a towering shot down the left-field line. Two batters later, Burrell drove a pitch into the seats in left-center for his third homer of the year.

Both homers came off rookie reliever Chuck James, who had pitched eight scoreless innings this season – giving up only one hit – before he ran into trouble.

Cory Lidle (1-0) scattered 10 hits in six innings for the win. Tom Gordon, signed to replace Billy Wagner, pitched a perfect ninth for his first save with the Phillies.

The Phillies took the lead on Mike Lieberthal’s two-run double off Jorge Sosa (0-2). Two more runs scored in the second when shortstop Edgar Renteria failed to come up with Rowand’s sharply hit grounder, which should have been the third out but instead deflected into center field.

Brian McCann led the Braves back. The 22-year-old catcher had an RBI single in the second and a solo homer with two outs in the fourth.

Atlanta wasn’t done after McCann’s third homer of the season. Betemit doubled down the right-field line and came home on Pete Orr’s pinch-hit triple to the gap in left-center. But Lidle didn’t give up the lead, fanning Marcus Giles to end the inning.

Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins had two more hits and scored a run. He’s hit safely in five straight games since his 38-game streak ended last week, going 10-of-21 during that span. The Braves outhit the Phillies 14-8.

Notes: Jeff Francoeur went hitless in his first three at-bats, including two strikeouts, to drop his average to .056 (2-for-36). He raised it to .081 with a single to right in the eighth, scoring on Betemit’s double with a headfirst slide across the plate. … Lidle was the first Philadelphia starter to earn a win in 2006. … Australian reliever Peter Moylan made his major league debut for the Braves with a scoreless eighth. He gave up a double to David Bell but struck out David Dellucci to end the inning. … Gordon picked up his first NL save since 2001, when he had 27 for the Chicago Cubs. … Sosa went four innings, an improvement on the 2 1-3 innings he lasted in his first start. He’s only one loss shy of his total for all of 2005, when he went a surprising 13-3.

AP-ES-04-12-06 2238EDT