Bombs Bursting . . . Phils Put On Fireworks Display, Rout Cubs

Posted: July 04, 1999

The Phillies weren't taking batting practice against the Chicago Cubs last night at sweltering Veterans Stadium. It just looked that way.

Twelve batters, eight hits, eight runs, five extra-base hits, back-to-back home runs, and two stolen bases.

And that was just the Phillies' first inning in a 21-8 victory over the pitching-starved Cubs.

The Phils scored eight runs in the first inning and seven runs in an 11-batter fourth. They ripped 21 hits - including Scott Rolen's first career grand slam.

With a Fireworks Night crowd of 58,086 watching, the Phillies produced season highs in hits and runs. They had a long list of heroes:

* Rookie Marlon Anderson had the first five-hit game of his career, including a solo home run in the eighth off 40-year-old Gary Gaetti, who is normally a third baseman but was pitching because the Cubs' staff is that battered.

* Rolen, who began his career 0 for 19 with the bases loaded, bombed his fourth home run in the last three games, giving the Phillies a 16-4 lead with his fourth-inning slam.

* Rico Brogna had two hits, including a home run in the eight-run first. Ditto Mike Lieberthal.

* Doug Glanville and Alex Arias each had three hits and knocked in two runs, and Ron Gant had two hits and four RBIs.

The Phillies have scored 35 runs and collected 38 hits in the last two nights against the Cubs, who took a 5.46 team ERA into the game, next to last in the National League. Chicago's pitchers have surrendered 54 runs in the last three games.

Last night's beneficiary was Paul Byrd, who allowed seven runs in five innings but raised his record to 11-4. St. Louis' Kent Bottenfield (12) is the only National League pitcher with more wins.

Byrd, of course, is the poster boy for future waiver-wire castoffs.

Whenever a general manager plucks a pitcher off the waiver wire, he might think, ``I hope he turns into a Paul Byrd.''

Entering last night, Byrd ranked second among NL pitchers in opponents' batting average (.213) and was tied for fifth in ERA (3.32). He could be chosen when San Diego manager Bruce Bochy and National League president Leonard Coleman name the all-star pitchers Wednesday.

So you can understand why the Phils felt comfortable about their chances after their eight-run, first-inning bat-around that featured Gant's RBI double and run-scoring triple, along with consecutive homers by Brogna and likely all-star Lieberthal.

Lieberthal and Rolen now have 18 home runs, the most for a Phillie before the all-star break since Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt slammed 19 in the first half of 1987 en route to 35 homers.

All eight first-inning runs - six earned - were charged against rookie righthander Kyle Farnsworth, who got only one out and has not won in his last eight starts.

The Phillies had a season-high eight hits in the inning, which was capped by Gant's two-run triple over the head of centerfielder Curtis Goodwin. Unofficially, it was the first time a Phillie had recorded two extra-base hits in the same inning since Rick Schu had two doubles in the third inning of an Oct. 3, 1985, game in Montreal.

In a way, the eight-run inning hurt Byrd, Phillies manager Terry Francona said.

``It was like a rain delay,'' he said. ``It was a 35-minute inning, and when he went back out there, he was battling himself.

``But we're just grateful for the offense. They kind of made up for Byrdie not being himself.''

Said Byrd: ``With the big lead, I probably threw too many fastballs. It was a strange night, but I'm just glad to get the win.''

Does Byrd think an 11-4 record should make him an all-star?

``I'm not a reputation guy, and I have a high ERA now [3.72],'' Byrd said. ``If Bochy decides not to take me, I understand. And if he decides to, no one would be more excited than me.''

The Phils, coming off a 14-1 win over the Cubs, took a 9-1 lead into the third inning, when Chicago loaded the bases with no outs. After Sammy Sosa struck out while trying to check his swing, Henry Rodriguez rapped a hopper that got past first baseman Brogna - it was ruled a hit - and bounced into the right-field corner. Three runs scored, but rightfielder Bobby Abreu threw a strike to retire Rodriguez as he tried to stretch it into a triple.

Leading by 9-4, the Phillies tacked on another run when Anderson, Arias, and Byrd delivered two-out singles in the fourth. Byrd's single to center scored Anderson, who barely beat a strong throw by Goodwin. It marked the ninth time in the last 16 games that the Cubs had allowed a team to reach double figures in runs.

Before the inning ended, seven consecutive Phillies had reached base. All seven scored. Four scored when Rolen - after reliever Scott Sanders had entered the game and forced in two runs by throwing eight straight balls - launched a grand slam into the left-field seats.

The Cubs got to within 16-7 when Sosa rocketed a three-run homer that threatened to reach the Walt Whitman Bridge - it landed in the center-field seats - with one out in the fifth. Sosa, a Dominican who has become an American hero, received loud applause as he circled the bases with his 31st homer.

Glanville's RBI single made it 17-7 in the fifth, but the Phillies still had a way to go before reaching the club record - 26 runs in a June 11, 1985, win over the New York Mets. Last night's run total was the Phils' highest since that 1985 game.

Notes. It was the Phillies' largest crowd of the year. . . . The 35 runs scored by the Phils in the last two nights is their highest total since they scored 36 in back-to-back games in Chicago in 1979. . . . Gaetti's pitching appearance was the third of his career.

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