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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Howard finds Jacobs to his liking as Phillies top Tribe

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND - Ryan Howard enjoys hitting at Jacobs Field.

Howard hit a 451-foot homer and drove in four runs, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cleveland Indians 9-6 last night and helping Kyle Kendrick to his first major league victory.

Howard had an RBI single in a three-run first, homered into the second deck in right in the third off Jason Stanford (1-1) and added a two-run double in the ninth off Roberto Hernandez. Of Howard's last 27 hits, 13 have been home runs.

Howard also homered and had two hits in Monday's opener of the three-game series.

"So far, it's been pretty nice," he said of his two games in Cleveland. "It looks like a big ballpark, but the ball carries a little bit better, especially when you get it toward the lines."

Howard's long home run came on an 0-2 pitch with one out in the third, but he wasn't overly impressed with the distance.

"As long as it's over the wall, it doesn't matter how far it goes, whether it's 600 feet or 401 feet," he said.

Kendrick, a 23-year-old right-hander making his second major league start, allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Called up from Double-A Reading on June 13, he made his debut that day against the Chicago White Sox and didn't get a decision. He also allowed three runs in six innings in that game.

"I guess you can say it's happened a little bit sooner than I thought, but it's here and I'm trying to make something out of it," he said.

"I felt like Kyle did a good job," manager Charlie Manuel said. "His poise is good and he pitched well."

Slumping Pat Burrell hit a two-run double in the first, and Chase Utley added a two-run single off Aaron Fultz in the seventh.

Ryan Garko, who entered in a 2-for-41 slump, hit a solo homer in the second. He added an RBI single in the fourth.

Stanford allowed six runs and six hits in 62/3 innings. He struck out three, walked one and hit two batters.

"There were three pitches I wish I could have back," Stanford said. "The double to Burrell, the 0-2 to Howard and the 0-2 pitch that hit [Shane] Victorino [in the seventh]."

With the Indians trailing 6-3, Jason Michaels hit a two-run single with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth off Mike Madsen.

Jose Mesa relieved and was booed by Cleveland fans who haven't forgotten the pitcher blew the save for the Indians in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series against Florida, which Cleveland lost in 11 innings.

Mesa, signed by the Phillies on June 9 after being released by Detroit, quieted the fans a bit by retiring pinch-hitter Casey Blake on a groundout.

"Jose's popularity is good with me as long as he gets people out," Manuel said.

After Jimmy Rollins started the game with a bunt single, Utley was hit by a pitch with one out. Howard followed with a line drive single that hit off Garko's glove at first base.

With two outs, Burrell, who has been in a season-long slump, doubled to center for a 3-0 lead. Burrell had been hitless in his last 12 at-bats and was batting .150 (20-for-133) in his last 48 games.

Following Garko's single in the fourth, David Dellucci drove in a run with a fielder's choice groundout, but left when he injured his left hamstring making a headfirst dive into first base. Dellucci was on the ground for a couple of minutes and had to be helped from the field.

"It's going to be a DL situation," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It's just a matter how extreme it is."



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