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Eaton, Rowand lift Phillies in rubber game

May 20, 2007 - 11:07 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Adam Eaton is starting to give the Philadelphia Phillies a return on their investment.

Eaton pitched into the seventh inning and Rowand homered as the Phillies posted a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber game of a three-game interleague series on Sunday.

Despite Eaton never having won more than 11 games in any of his first seven seasons, the Phillies inked the veteran to a three-year, $24.5 million contract as a free agent.

Eaton struggled with the team with which he began his career with, allowing at least four earned runs in five of his first six starts and pitching past the sixth inning just once.

However, Eaton (4-3) has turned things around in his last three starts, giving up a total of four earned runs in 20 2/3 innings while going 1-1 during that span.

Eaton knows why he's improved.

"Fast-ball wise it's just getting my hand behind the ball, on top of the ball, and able to keep it down in the zone," he said. "In the starts against Arizona and the ones here, I was able to get some quick outs, quick innings, and put the other team on the defensive at the plate."

On Sunday, Eaton worked around five walks and allowed four hits in six-plus innings. He struck out two and departed to a standing ovation after throwing 66 of 109 pitches for strikes.

"He didn't allow too many people to get on base," Phillies catcher Rod Barajas said. "When you are throwing strikes and not giving up walks, not giving guys a free pass, it's going to help you out. His fastball had a lot of life to it." Geoff Geary turned the cheers to boos as he surrendered solo homers in the eighth inning to Alex Rios, Matt Stairs and Vernon Wells that allowed Toronto to pull within 5-3. Stairs homered in each game of the series.

But converted starter Brett Myers was able to record the final four outs for his sixth save, helping the Phillies complete an impressive 7-3 homestand.

"It gives the fans something to cheer about," Eaton said. "We came from behind in the games against Milwaukee, and had some big innings in this series. It's nice to come home and win at home where before it was a little bit of a struggle for us. We're playing to our strength a little bit more, and it will be nice when we get Ryan Howard back."

Again batting leadoff, Rowand helped Eaton to his first win in three starts by launching a solo homer in the third inning and delivering an RBI single in the sixth. It was his seventh homer of the season.

Pat Burrell staked Eaton to an early lead, reaching rookie Jesse Litsch (1-1) for a solo homer - his sixth of the season - in the second inning.

Greg Dobbs, who has filled in nicely at first base for injured MVP Ryan Howard, stroked a run-scoring single in the third to give the Phillies a 3-0 advantage.

Making his second career start, Litsch (1-1) surrendered four runs and seven hits in four innings. The 22-year-old righthander gave up one run over 8 2/3 innings in beating Baltimore in his debut on Tuesday.

"I left some balls up. It wasn't like last week where I was working down in the zone," Litsch said.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 7 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 x 5 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - JESSE LITSCH, BRIAN TALLET (5TH), CASEY JANSSEN (6TH), JEREMY
    ACCARDO (8TH) AND JASON PHILLIPS
    PHI - ADAM EATON, GEOFF GEARY (7TH), BRETT MYERS (8TH)
    AND ROD

    May 20 4:31 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (4) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF GEOFF GEARY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, PHILADELPHIA 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: C JANSSEN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 4:08 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VERNON WELLS (5) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF GEOFF GEARY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, PHILADELPHIA 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: T GLAUS (.310, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 4:04 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (9) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF GEOFF GEARY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1, PHILADELPHIA 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.257, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 4:01 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON ROWAND SCORED ROD BARAJAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A ROWAND ON FIRST, A EATON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    PHILADELPHIA 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.267, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 3:36 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    AARON ROWAND HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING ROD BARAJAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    PHILADELPHIA 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.269, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 2:52 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREG DOBBS SCORED SHANE VICTORINO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G DOBBS ON FIRST, J ROLLINS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: A NUNEZ (.325, 1-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 2:36 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AARON ROWAND (7) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JESSE LITSCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, PHILADELPHIA 2
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.269, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 2:25 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY PAT BURRELL (6) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF JESSE LITSCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, PHILADELPHIA 1
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: G DOBBS (.283, 2 HR, 12 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. PhilliesMay 20 2:04 PM