Saturday, May 21, 2005

BALTIMORE (AP) - Randy Wolf made sure the Baltimore Orioles had another rough night against a National League team.

Wolf remained unbeaten against Baltimore, Chase Utley hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Orioles 9-3 last night for their fourth victory in five games.

Wolf (3-4) went six innings, allowing two runs - one earned - and seven hits, walking two and striking out six. He improved to 4-0 in five games - three starts - against the Orioles, whose 56-84 mark is the worst interleague record in the majors.

“A win is a win. It wasn’t too pretty today,” Wolf said. “As a team, we need to get on a roll. We’ve scored runs the last few games. That’s what we need to do.”

Utley, who had three RBI, homered in his first career Camden Yards at-bat, giving the Phillies a home run in 12 consecutive games. That matches their longest streak from 2004.

“I feel like we’re playing better baseball,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I feel like we’re enjoying ourselves right now.”

Kenny Lofton, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, and Jimmy Rollins each had three hits for Philadelphia. Bobby Abreu drove in two runs.

Jeff Fiorentino homered for the Orioles.

Larry Bigbie doesn’t know why Baltimore struggles against NL teams.

“I have no clue. I guess it’s just one of those things,” Bigbie said. “But it’s our first interleague game this year, and we could just as easily rattle off a bunch of wins.”

The Phillies took a 3-0 lead in the second. Pat Burrell drew a leadoff walk, and Utley hit an 0-2 pitch from Daniel Cabrera (3-3) down the right-field line for his eighth homer. With two outs, Rollins delivered an RBI single.

“It’s really nice to get a big lead,” Wolf said. “The way they hit the ball, they can score four runs in an instant.”

Baltimore scored twice with two outs in the bottom half to get within a run.

Snapping an 0-for-11 slump, Fiorentino hit his first major league homer, a looping shot to right. Brian Roberts singled and scored when center fielder Endy Chavez overran Bigbie’s single for an error.

“They didn’t bring me here to hit my first major league home run,” Fiorentino said. “They brought me here to help them stay in first place. If we don’t win, my home run doesn’t mean as much.”

Philadelphia extended the lead to 7-2 in the fourth. Chavez made up for his error with a run-scoring single, Abreu added a two-run single, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, and Burrell chased Cabrera with an RBI double.

Cabrera allowed seven runs and seven hits in 3[2/3] innings. He also walked two and hit two batters with pitches.

Miguel Tejada doubled in a run off reliever Terry Adams in the seventh.

In the Phillies’ eighth, Burrell drew a bases-loaded walk, and Utley hit a run-scoring groundout.

Notes - After the game, the Orioles purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher James Baldwin from Class AAA Ottawa and optioned outfielder Keith Reed to Ottawa. Right-hander Kurt Ainsworth was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Phillies first baseman Jim Thome (lower back strain) played first base for the first time in three weeks and homered in an extended spring training game against the Blue Jays. To clear a roster spot for Lofton, utility man Jose Offerman was designated for assignment. Roberts doubled in the first, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. By plunking Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal twice, Cabrera has hit a team-high five opposing batters this season. Orioles catcher Sal Fasano had trouble holding onto third strikes. He had to complete four strikeouts by throwing the batter out at first base.

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