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Updated: Friday, June 27, 2003 1:48 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Philadelphia Phillies
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
8 15 0
Atlanta Braves
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
1 5 1
W Wolf (9-3)
L Hampton (3-4)
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PHILADELPHIA 8, ATLANTA 1
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Different starters, same result.

Randy Wolf scattered three hits over six innings and Mike Lieberthal went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer as the Philadelphia Phillies posted its second straight 8-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves .

One day after Vicente Padilla limited the Braves to a run and four hits in seven innings to defeat Greg Maddux , Wolf (9-3) yielded a run, a double and two singles for his fourth consecutive win.

The lefthander, who has lost just once since April 30, walked four and struck out five.

"I know I have to build my own confidence against these guys," said Wolf, who improved his lifetime record against the Braves to 3-7. "My numbers really (stink). You have to put what happened behind you and try to fight that."

" Randy Wolf is one of the best lefthanders in the league," Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. "Every year, he gets better."

Lieberthal, who doubled and scored in the fifth inning, capped the scoring with a two-run blast to left-center field in the eighth, his first homer since May 9. The veteran catcher improved his lifetime average at Turner Field to .374 (52-for-139).

"The last couple of years, I've done really well," Lieberthal said. "It seems like even when I don't hit the ball hard, I'm finding holes. It's nice to play well against a team in your division."

Mike Hampton (3-4) struggled for Atlanta, surrendering five runs - four earned - and eight hits in five innings. The lefthander struck out six but walked three and uncorked two wild pitches, including one that allowed Lieberthal to score in the fifth.

"I thought I made some pretty good pitches," Hampton said. "But they made some pretty good swings on some pretty good pitches. I thought my stuff was good."

Manager Bobby Cox agreed.

"That's the hardest I've ever seen him throw," he said. "He really had electric stuff tonight. He got nothing for it. I thought if he ever was going to throw a no-hitter, it would be tonight."

Tomas Perez and rookie Marlon Byrd each posted career highs with four hits for the Phillies, who took two out of three games from the Braves for the second time in 10 days.

"I got a good hitting coach, a good team," Perez said. "The coach is behind me. I work hard. Anytime I get an opportunity to play, I try to do the best that I can."

"I've been swinging the bat well," Byrd added. "I got some good pitches. It's very important when you're facing the team in first place to do well."

Hampton was let down by his defense in the first inning to fall behind, 1-0.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal fielded leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins ' grounder but threw it away for an error. David Bell followed with a single and Jim Thome drew a walk to load the bases before a passed ball by Javy Lopez allowed Rollins to score the game's first run.

"It's the same thing as last night," said Cox, whose team fell behind after Vinny Castilla 's error in the first inning Wednesday. "We started the game with an error and got behind."

Wolf nearly gave the run back in the bottom of the frame, walking three batters before fanning Lopez to end the inning.

"It was a rough one," Wolf said. "Every pitch was crucial. I didn't want them to take back the lead. You really had to work. To get out of that inning without a run and a hit, I don't know how in the world I did that. Dumb luck."

"Obviously, that Javy Lopez pitch was a huge pitch," Lieberthal said. "He's so hot. (Wolf) made some great pitches on Javy Lopez with the bases loaded. That was probably the biggest at-bat."

Philadelphia struck for three runs in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.

After Pat Burrell struck out, Perez and Byrd singled to put runners on the corners. Wolf bounced to shortstop, plating Perez, and Rollins drove in Byrd with a single to center.

Wolf scored on Bell's base hit but after Thome struck out, Rollins was caught stealing home for the third out.

Julio Franco ended Wolf's shutout bid with an RBI double in the fourth, making it 4-1, but Lieberthal led off the fifth with a double, went to third on a groundout and scored on Hampton's first wild pitch of the inning to regain the Phillies' four-run advantage.

"Today, he had a little trouble with his control," Lopez said of Hampton. "Not in the beginning but later on in the game. ... They got a lot of tough hits off him."

Thome deposited a 3-2 offering from lefthander Jung Bong over the left field wall in the sixth for his 18th home run, and Lieberthal added a two-run shot off Kevin Gryboski in the eighth to give Philadelphia an 8-1 cushion.

Atlanta had not lost a series at home since opening the season with three losses to Montreal.

"That's going to happen sooner or later," Lopez said of losing by the same score on consecutive days. "That's how the game of baseball is. Unfortunately, the last couple of days, we haven't played the way we're used to playing."

"I don't think it's shocking," Bowa said. "We did what we had to do. We have to hope they hit a little bump in the road. We respect them. I don't think there's a guy out there who's afraid of that team. I don't have that word in my vocabulary."


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