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Phils beat Braves as Rowland drills two-run homer in eighth

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Rowand's fiery personality is a much-needed ingredient in the Philadelphia Phillies' low-key clubhouse. His clutch hits are even more important.

Rowand's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Phillies to their third straight comeback victory, 5-4 over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

The Phillies have won a season-high four consecutive games and are one game under .500 at 13-14 for the first time since they lost their opener.

"When you get on a roll like this, it definitely changes the attitude and the confidence level of the team," said Rowand, who had a go-ahead, three-run triple in the seventh inning of an 8-5 win at Florida on Tuesday night.

Brett Myers pitched seven solid innings and Rheal Cormier (2-0) got one out in the eighth inning for the victory. Tom Gordon pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in as many chances.

"Any time you come from behind in the late innings, that's going to pick a team up and give you energy and momentum," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Jeff Francoeur's RBI single off Ryan Franklin put Atlanta ahead 4-3 in the eighth, but Philadelphia rallied against Mike Remlinger (1-2) after John Smoltz came out following seven strong innings.

Chase Utley started the inning with a single and Rowand connected on an 0-1 pitch, sending a drive into the right-field seats. Rowand, who came to Philadelphia in the trade that sent slugger Jim Thome to the Chicago White Sox, has nine RBI in his last six games.

"Rowand's a good player, a team player," Manuel said. "He's a tough guy and a good guy. He talks at the right time. I like the way he plays. You have to sit and listen to him because he makes you."

Andruw Jones hit his ninth homer, a two-run shot for the Braves, who had won three straight.

Smoltz allowed three runs and seven hits, striking out five and retiring the last 12 batters he faced.

"It's frustrating," Smoltz said. "My brain has been working overtime with runners on."

Myers gave up three runs -- two earned -- and five hits, striking out five. He lowered his ERA to 3.11, while the rest of Philadelphia's starters -- Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle, Gavin Floyd and Ryan Madson -- have a combined ERA of 6.42.

The Phillies scored three in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead, but the Braves chipped away. Atlanta loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but only scored one run on Smoltz's double-play grounder.

Edgar Renteria started the sixth inning with an infield single, extending his hitting streak to 19 games, counting a hit in the final game last season. Renteria has hit in each of the 18 games he's played this year, sandwiched around nine games he missed with an injured rib cage.

After Chipper Jones flied out to deep right-center field, Andruw Jones hit Myers' next pitch into the left-field seats to tie it at 3.

Utley and Rowand had RBI singles in the third and Ryan Howard drove in a run on a fielder's choice groundout.

"Smoltz pitched a great game," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Myers threw well, but we came back."

Notes

  • LF Pat Burrell and 3B David Bell weren't in the starting lineup for Philadelphia. They are a combined 2-for-43 against Smoltz, including Bell's pinch-hit, pop-out in the seventh inning.
  • Andruw Jones has 33 homers against the Phillies. He's only 7-for-33 against Myers, but has four homers.
  • The Phillies were 0-6 when they had a chance to close within one game of .500. They are 6-10 at home.
  • Cormier hasn't allowed a run this season in nine innings, spanning 11 appearances.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Aaron Rowand delivers a two-run home run in the eighth, carrying the Phillies past rival Atlanta.  (AP)
Aaron Rowand delivers a two-run home run in the eighth, carrying the Phillies past rival Atlanta. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

A. Rowand
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Atlanta

A. Jones
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B5000021
Edgar Renteria, SS5110020
Chipper Jones, 3B3110101
Andruw Jones, CF4122012
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010111
Jeff Francoeur, RF4111001
Brian McCann, C3010001
Ryan Langerhans, LF3000113
John Smoltz, P3000000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000
    Ken Ray, P0000000
   a- Wilson Betemit, PH1000010
Totals344733810 
a-struck out for Ray in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chipper Jones (, Franklin)
HR - Andruw Jones (, Myers)
RBI - Andruw Jones 2 (), Jeff Francoeur ()
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur ()
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Jones-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz 7733050
Mike Remlinger (BS,; L,-) 0.1422011
Ken Ray 0.2100000
HBP - Rollins (by John Smoltz)
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 109-74, Mike Remlinger 19-11, Ken Ray 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 9-6, Ken Ray 1-0
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 28, Mike Remlinger 5, Ken Ray 2
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS3110001
Chase Utley, 2B4221011
Aaron Rowand, CF4123011
Bobby Abreu, RF4010011
Ryan Howard, 1B4021000
David Dellucci, LF3000013
   a- Shane Victorino, PH-LF1010000
Mike Lieberthal, C4020011
Abraham Nunez, 3B3110002
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000
   b- Pat Burrell, PH1000001
    Tom Gordon, P0000000
Brett Myers, P2000012
   c- David Bell, PH-3B1000000
Totals3451250613 
a-singled for Dellucci in the 8th
b-grounded into a double play for Cormier in the 8th
c-popped out for Myers in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (, Smoltz), Mike Lieberthal (, Smoltz)
HR - Aaron Rowand (, Remlinger)
RBI - Chase Utley (), Aaron Rowand 3 (), Ryan Howard ()
CS - David Dellucci (, 2nd base by Smoltz/McCann)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Rollins-Howard
E - Abraham Nunez (, Wild throw)
Philadelphia Phillies
Brett Myers 7532251
Ryan Franklin 0.2211110
Rheal Cormier (W,-) 0.1000000
Tom Gordon (S,) 1000020
IBB - LaRoche by Ryan Franklin
HBP - McCann (by Rheal Cormier)
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 117-75, Ryan Franklin 22-12, Rheal Cormier 5-2, Tom Gordon 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 11-5, Ryan Franklin 1-0, Rheal Cormier 1-0, Tom Gordon 1-0
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 28, Ryan Franklin 5, Rheal Cormier 2, Tom Gordon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26443
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Jeff Nelson