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Lieberthal hits 2 HRs to lift Phils over Reds

Phillies' Mike Lieberthal, right, is congratulated after hitting a three-run HR against the Cincinnati Reds.
Phillies' Mike Lieberthal, right, is congratulated after hitting a three-run HR against the Cincinnati Reds.
Chris Gardner, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Mike Lieberthal homered twice and drove in four runs as the Philadelphia Phillies beat Cincinnati 7-3 Friday night and reclaimed the NL wild-card lead.

The Phillies moved a half-game ahead of Florida, which lost 1-0 at Atlanta.

Randy Wolf (16-9) won his fourth straight decision, giving up two runs and four hits in six shaky innings. He worked around four walks, striking out eight.

Wolf's victory total is the highest by a Philadelphia pitcher since Curt Schilling won 17 in 1997. Wolf improved to 3-0 this season against the Reds and 5-1 lifetime.

The Reds lost their third in a row.

Wolf was aided by a three-run first inning. Marlon Byrd and Bobby Abreu were on with walks when Lieberthal homered off Josh Hall (0-1). Lieberthal added a solo shot in the seventh, also over the left-field fence. He has 13 homers this season.

Lieberthal has 13 RBIs in the last four games. He has three homers and three doubles in that span. Byrd hit a run-scoring single in the second for a 4-0 lead. He added an RBI single in the sixth that made it 6-2.

Wolf, cheered on by his faithful upper-deck followers, "The Wolf Pack," labored to hold the early lead.

Throwing more off-speed pitches than usual, he walked Ray Olmedo to lead off the third. Hall bunted back to the mound, but Wolf's throw hit Olmedo and bounced into left field.

Ryan Freel hit an RBI double and Juan Castro grounded out to score another run, making it 4-2. D'Angelo Jimenez walked, putting runners on the corners, but Wolf got Sean Casey and Wily Mo Pena to pop up and end the inning.

Again in the fifth, the Reds got two runners on with one out and again Wolf pitched out of it, striking out Jimenez and getting Casey on a comebacker.

Hall gave up five earned runs on five hits and four walks in five innings of his fifth career start.

Hall also allowed a bit of a rarity when Jim Thome tripled off him in the fifth for a 5-2 lead.

Abreu drew a two-out walk and Thome hit a liner at Freel in center field. Freel twisted the wrong way, regained his footing, then dropped to his knees in a feeble attempt to catch the ball.

The ball bounced over Freel's glove, and Thome chugged around the bases and slid into third with his third triple of the season.

It was Thome's 123rd RBI — the most by a Phillies player since Greg Luzinski's 130 in 1977.

Wolf, however, opened the sixth by allowing a single to Pena and walking Jason LaRue. Wolf ended the threat when he struck out the next three batters.

Pena hit a solo homer in the eighth off Dan Plesac.

EXPOS 7, METS 1: At New York, Jose Vidro hit a grand slam and a solo home run, leading Montreal over New York. The All-Star second baseman helped send the Mets to their sixth straight loss and 14th in 15 games. Zach Day (9-7) went six innings for the Expos before leaving with muscle soreness in his back.

BRAVES 1, MARLINS 0: At Atlanta, Russ Ortiz won his 20th game in style, pitching a three-hitter and driving in the only run as Atlanta defeated Florida 1-0 Friday night to bump the Marlins out of the lead in the NL wild-card race. The Philadelphia Phillies moved a half-game ahead of Florida with a 7-3 victory over Cincinnati. Ortiz (20-7) reached 20 wins for the first time in his career and gave Atlanta its first 20-game winner since Tom Glavine in 2000. It was Ortiz's second career shutout, the first coming in 2001 with San Francisco.

ROCKIES 6, PADRES 5: At Denver, Scott Elarton won for the first time in three months, and Juan Uribe and Pablo Osuna drove in two runs each to lead Colorado over San Diego. Elarton (4-4) allowed one run and three hits over six innings in his first victory in six starts.

ASTROS 8, CARDINALS 1: At St. Louis, Roy Oswalt dominated for seven innings and Houston got home runs from Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo, maintaining their NL Central lead with an 8-1 victory over St. Louis. The Cardinals are nearly out of the wild card race, trailing by six games with seven to play.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, BREWERS 2: At Milwaukee, the Big Unit got the big hit he had been seeking for 15 seasons. Randy Johnson hit his first major league home run, and Steve Finley's solo shot broke a ninth-inning tie as Arizona defeated Milwaukee. Matt Kata also homered for the Diamondbacks, but it was Johnson's surprise shot that was the hit of the night.<

"Get up, get up," Johnson said he thought to himself after he smacked his shot in the third inning off starter Doug Davis. "I knew I hit it pretty good. I just wasn't sure if it was high enough."

The five-time Cy Young winner, who began this season as a .124 lifetime hitter, had gone 436 at-bats without a homer.

GIANTS 6, DODGERS 4: At Los Angeles, Barry Bonds hit his 657th career home run and the NL West champion Giants defeated Los Angeles. The loss dropped the Dodgers three games behind Philadelphia for the NL wild-card spot. Bonds' 44th homer tied Texas' Alex Rodriguez for the major league lead. Bonds is three home runs shy of Willie Mays on the all-time list.

Bonds hit a solo shot into the bleachers in left-center field off reliever Guillermo Mota in the seventh inning. The Giants star has homered four times in his last six games.

Dustin Hermanson (3-3) went five innings for the win. He gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking one.

CUBS 10, PIRATES 9, PIRATES 10, CUBS 6: At Pittsburgh, Craig Wilson and Rob Mackowiak drove in two runs each and Pittsburgh beat Chicago in the second game of a doubleheader, dropping the Cubs 1 1/2 games out of the NL Central lead. The Cubs overcame Pirates rookie Jason Bay's eight RBIs to win the opener. Pittsburgh then ended Chicago's four-game winning streak.