Three homers lead Phillies to victory

The Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Phillies' 48th come-from-behind victory was much easier on the nerves than many of the other 47. Home runs from Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell had the National League East title chasers back in front before the third inning was done.

Most Valuable Player contender Jimmy Rollins also homered, and the first four batters in the lineup accounted for all but one hit last night as the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals, 6-3, to keep the pressure on the struggling New York Mets.

The Phillies, who have won eight of nine, remain 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets. New York, which led Philadelphia by seven games Sept. 12, defeated the Florida Marlins last night.

The Phillies lead the majors in come-from-behind wins, but this one wasn't as dramatic as the rally from 6-2 down to beat the Nationals, 7-6, the night before. Washington's only lead last night was a mere 1-0 after one inning, and it was erased when Howard led off the second with his 42nd homer, an opposite field shot that barely cleared the left-field fence.

Chase Utley singled through a drawn-in infield to score Rollins in the third, and Burrell followed with a two-run homer, his 29th, to give the Phillies the lead for good.

Rollins kept pace with his teammate by also hitting his 29th homer, a bases-empty shot in the fifth. Howard had an RBI double later in the fifth to give starter Adam Eaton (10-9) a 6-1 lead.

Rollins (2-for-5), Utley (2-for-4), Burrell (1-for-4) and Howard (4-for-4) supplied nine of Philadelphia's 10 hits in a top-heavy attack.

Eaton got his first victory since July 20, ending a streak of eight winless decisions. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings.


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