Duckworth (3-1) may have been close to being removed in the first inning, when he gave up two hits and three walks. His bases-loaded pass to
gave the Astros a 2-0 lead.
But the righthander recovered, allowing the Phillies to rally from a 3-0 deficit. He surrendered three runs and five hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
"The first inning was tough," Duckworth said. "I wasn't throwing strikes and I got behind in the count. You never want to give up two runs in the first inning."
hit late solo homers for the Phillies, who handed the Astros just their fourth loss in 16 games.
The six double plays were one shy of the major league record held by the Astros, who turned seven against the
San Francisco Giants
on May 4, 1969.
"It was a weird day," Duckworth said. "Both teams had a lot of opportunities to score a lot of runs. Fortunately, we broke it open first."
Thome's homer in the ninth cleared the second deck in right field and was estimated at 443 feet.
"We scored nine runs and I'm real happy with that," Phillies manager
said. "I wasn't worried when we were down three runs, not in this park. I thought Duckworth pitched a good game for us."
's RBI triple made it 3-0 in the second. But the Phillies began their comeback in the fourth on
's sacrifice fly.
"My fastball got better as the game progressed and I was able to get some quick at-bats," Duckworth said. "They key for me was to go right at them, throw strikes and put the ball in play."
Philadelphia settled for one run in the fifth as Duckworth grounded into a double play with runners at the corners and none out.
But the Phillies reached starter
and rookie reliever
for three runs in the sixth to take the lead. Linebrink was lifted after giving up a leadoff double to Thome.
's bases-loaded groundout tied it, the Astros intentionally walked
to reload the bases. But Bland walked
to force in the go-ahead run, and Philadelphia made it 5-3 when rookie
reached on shortstop
"This is a very good win for us," Polanco said. "They are playing good baseball. We came back after getting down early, and that's a good feeling."
gave up an RBI double to
in the seventh, but
tossed two scoreless innings, extending his scoreless stretch to 19 - the longest current streak in the majors.
' two-run single made it 8-4 in the eighth as the Phillies improved to 7-0 on Saturdays.
Astros left fielder
was ejected by plate umpire Dan Iassaogna in the seventh inning. Berkman struck out swinging but objected to called strikes on the first two pitches of the at-bat.
"I didn't say hardly anything," Berkman said. "I said, 'There's your strikeout,' and he threw me out. Anybody with half a brain can see where those first two pitches were. All game long, players were turning around and asking where the pitch was. There's not 50 different strike zones open to interpretation. There's one strike zone."
Houston's bullpen has been a strength this season, but in this one four relivers combined to allow six runs and five hits in four innings.
"We were in the ballgame until the last out," Astros manager
said. "You can't expect the bullpen to do it every time. Linebrink gave us five good innings. I wanted the matchup with Bland and the lefthander."
After Linebrink gave up the double to Polanco, Bland allowed an infield single to Thome, then hit Burrell to load the bases.