Phillies bullpen holds off Pittsburgh

April 25, 2008 8:32:51 PM PDT
Chris Coste was surprised when he saw the lineup card. The Philadelphia Phillies catcher, who had hit either seventh or eighth this season, was penciled in at the No. 5 spot. After Friday night's game, he could be seeing more of the middle of the lineup.

Coste had three hits and three RBIs, and the Phillies' bullpen pitched more than five innings of effective relief in a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"It was fun to come in and see that," Coste said of the lineup card. "I'll have to take a picture."

Jayson Werth hit his fourth home run in five games and had two RBIs for Philadelphia, which has won five of six games.

Tom Gordon (2-2) pitched one inning of relief to pick up the win. Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances. He has pitched 11 innings without allowing a run.

Xavier Nady had two hits and three RBIs, Ryan Doumit added two hits, and Jason Bay homered for the Pirates, who have lost eight of 10.

The Phillies, whose last three wins were thanks to late-inning rallies, jumped out to a six-run lead against Zach Duke (0-2).

Philadelphia scored twice in the first inning. Werth and Chase Utley drew back-to-back walks with one out. They scored on a two-run double from Coste, who went 3-for-5 and is now 6-for-12 with five RBIs in his career at PNC Park.

"Those two walks in the first inning really set the tone," Duke said. "I fell apart there. I wasn't really sharp. That's the way it goes."

Coste said he played last night's game fighting the effects of flu-like symptons, including shortness of breath and light-headedness. Running the bases during his first at-bat proved to be a challenge.

"I ended up on third base, and I wish I could have called a TV timeout," he said.

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel praised his catcher's effort.

"The night he had, Coste might be working his way into the four hole," he said.

The Phillies added to their lead in the third. With one out, Werth hit his fifth home run of the season. Later in the inning, Coste added another run with a single that scored Pat Burrell. Brad Harman and Werth then had run-scoring hits in the fourth to make it 6-0.

Werth went 2-for-4 and has four multi-hit performances in his last five games. He's now three home runs away from matching last season's total.

"He's using his power more than he did last year," Manuel said. "I talk all the time about his power and his ability. When he stays behind the ball, that's his power. He could be very, very good. It's hard to tell how good he can be. He's definitely improving."

Duke allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out two.

"That's the one positive I can take away from this game is the two zeroes I put up in the fifth and sixth inning," Duke said.

The Pirates rallied against starter Adam Eaton and reliever Chad Durbin by scoring three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

Bay started the rally with his fifth home run of the season, which came with one out in the fourth. Nady extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI double and later scored on a double from Doug Mientkiewicz to make it 6-3.

Durbin, who relieved Eaton with two outs in the fourth, allowed a two run single to Nady in the fifth that pulled the Pirates to within one run.

But the Pirates, who rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat St. Louis on Wednesday, couldn't complete the comeback this time and were shut out over the final four innings.

"We showed a lot of character in fighting back the way we did," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We were right there. We just didn't get that one big hit to get us over the top. The guys fought and battled back. That's all I can ask for."

Eaton lasted 3 2-3 innings and was charged with three runs and five hits. He walked two batters and struck out three.

Notes: Philadelphia's Ryan Howard did not start for the second straight game. He was used as a pinch hitter in the eighth. He struck out against Damaso Marte and then remained in the game at first base. ... Utley, normally Philadelphia's second baseman, made his first start of the season at first base in place of Howard. ... Harman and Durbin each collected their first major-league hit. ... A fireworks promotion drew a crowd of 23,930, the Pirates' largest since Opening Day.