Thome goes deep twice to lead Phillies

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have had quite enough

of Jim Thome.

Thome punished St. Louis pitching again with two home runs, and

the Philadelphia Phillies ended Albert Pujols' 30-game hitting

streak in a 9-4 win on Friday night.

"Everybody asks me and says that I own these guys," Thome

said. "I think the problem is we think a little too much about it

and talk a little too much about it.

"It's the same from a preparation standpoint whether it's the

Cardinals or anybody else."

Pat Burrell also homered twice for the Phillies, giving him 101

for his career. The Phillies ended a three-game losing streak by

beating the Cardinals for the seventh consecutive time, rebounding

from getting swept at Milwaukee.

"I won't say we were in trouble, but we really needed this,"

Thome said. "You can't mope and you can't dwell on what's happened

in the past, you just have to worry about what's happening and just

go forward."

Earlier Friday, the Cardinals added pitching for the stretch

run, acquiring left-hander Sterling Hitchcock from the New York

Yankees for two prospects and right-hander Mike DeJean from the

Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named. Hitchcock, who was

squeezed out of the Yankees' rotation, will be a starter for the


Mike Matheny had two hits and two RBI and rookie Dan Haren had

a strong outing for the Cardinals, allowing two runs in six


Thome's two-run shot on a full-count pitch from Steve Kline

(4-5) with one out in the eighth put the Phillies ahead 5-4. He

also connected off Haren in the fourth, his 37th.

It was the first homer the left-handed Kline has allowed to a

left-handed hitter this season in 83 at-bats, and he flung his

glove into the dugout on his way off the field. Kline had thought

his 2-2 pitch should have been a strike.

"I wanted it, but they weren't going to give it to me," Kline

said. "Jim Thome vs. Steve Kline, do the math."

Thome has hit five homers in his last four games against the

Cardinals and is 22-for-49 (.449) against St. Louis for his career

with 13 homers and 27 RBI. This was his 31st career multihomer

game, the fifth this year, and second in nine days.

Mike Lieberthal doubled after Thome's go-ahead homer and Burrell

followed with a two-run shot off Esteban Yan.

Pujols missed four games with flulike symptoms that began to

drain him last Sunday -- and also served a two-game suspension

during that time. He was a surprise addition to the lineup Friday

after complaining he still felt weak about three hours before


Pujols batted .390 during the streak, the longest in the majors

this year. He grounded out twice, once into a double play, and

struck out twice, and left batting a major league-leading .367. He

lined out to short to end the game and was 0-for-5.

"I felt good," Pujols said. "I can't make an excuse that I

went 0-for-5 because I had a week off. I got my pitches to hit and

I didn't do anything with them."

Jose Mesa fell behind 2-0 in the count before retiring Pujols.

"I would have hated for his streak to end on a four-pitch

walk," manager Larry Bowa said. "Jose did a great job going right

at him."

Rheal Cormier (4-0) worked two hitless innings.

Matheny, who had been in a 1-for-18 slump, had run-scoring

singles in the fourth and sixth. The latter put the Cardinals ahead

3-2, and pinch hitter Orlando Palmeiro added a sacrifice fly in the

inning for a two-run lead.

Edgar Renteria's RBI double off Brett Myers gave the Cardinals

the lead in the second, and Thome's 35th homer tied it with one out

in the fourth.

St. Louis regained the lead in the fourth when Scott Rolen hit a

leadoff double and scored on a two-out single by Matheny. The

Phillies tied it again in the sixth on a leadoff triple by Marlon

Byrd and a run-scoring groundout by Placido Polanco.

The Phillies made it 9-4 on RBI singles by Polanco and Bobby


Game notes
Byrd had two hits and is 10-for-19 on the trip. ... Bobby

Abreu was 2-for-5 and is 16-for-37 during a nine-game hitting

streak. ... Kerry Robinson stole second and third on consecutive

pitches in the third. Phillies catchers have thrown out only 16 of

113 would-be basestealers. ... Thome's last two-homer game came

Aug. 13 against the Brewers. ... Thome and Burrell homered in the

same game for only the second time this season, also doing it April

9 against the Braves. ... Both benches cleared briefly after a

couple of inside pitches from Yan against Byrd in the ninth. ...

Pujols' streak was tied with Stan Musial (1950) for the

second-longest in franchise history.