PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Bobby Abreu’s grand slam snapped a 25-game homerless skid, and Todd Pratt and Chase Utley added solo shots, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

Abreu was mired in a monthlong slump, hitting just .217 since winning the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break in Detroit. Abreu and manager Charlie Manuel both consistently denied the 41-homer exhibition performance affected the slugging right fielder’s swing.

His first inning grand slam off Mark Prior (7-4) was his 19th homer off the year and first since another grand slam against Pittsburgh on July 4.

The slam helped the Phillies win the final two games of the three-game series and remain in the chase for the NL wild-card lead.

Brett Myers (10-5) won his third straight start and fourth straight decision, getting through 6 1-3 decent innings on a steamy, sticky afternoon. He reached double digits in victories for the third straight season and is just one win shy from matching last year’s total.

Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save.

Prior ran into trouble in a hurry in the first, allowing two hits and a walk to open the game. Then Abreu – whose average dipped from .307 on July 14 to .291 entering Thursday – hit one that just cleared the 398-foot sign on the bullpen fence.

After Neifi Perez and Henry Blanco had RBI hits in the fourth to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead, Pratt got a run back in the fourth with his sixth homer of the year.

Myers gave up two more runs in the fifth on Aramis Ramirez’s two-RBI single to left, but Ramirez killed the rally when he was thrown out by Pat Burrell trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Myers allowed 10 hits, four runs and struck out four.

Utley’s 16th homer of the year in the fifth made it 6-4.

Notes: Cubs SS Nomar Garciaparra is set to be activated off the disabled list Friday and be in the Cubs’ lineup for the first time since he injured his groin in late April. Garciaparra will likely start Friday and Sunday against the New York Mets. … While Abreu’s homerless streak ended, Burrell extended his to 15 games and 1B Ryan Howard has gone 11 straight games without one.

AP-ES-08-04-05 1633EDT


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