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Schilling Cruises To 14th Win


Curt Schilling was on cruise control, again.

The Philadelphia Phillies ace won his sixth straight game to become the National League's second 14-game winner, and Scott Rolen hit two home runs as the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3-2 Sunday.

"This counts ... this is for real," said Schilling, who was the NL starter in last Tuesday's All-Star game. "The All-Star game and this don't compare as far as importance goes."

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Game Summary

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  • Schilling (14-4) retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced to join St. Louis' Kent Bottenfield as the top winners in the NL. He allowed two runs and four hits and struck out five in his major league-leading eighth complete game.

    "I don't think he pitched with his best stuff today, and that shows what kind of pitcher he is," Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild said. "There's a reason why he wins games. He can pitch a game like he did today without his best stuff. It's not an accident what he's done."

    Schilling overcame early shoulder stiffness to record his second consecutive complete game.

    "I've just been stiff recently and I'm having real trouble working it out now and then," Schilling said. "I deal with it as it comes. I felt good during the game. I didn't feel as bad as people were telling me that I looked in the first inning."

    Rolen's second homer of the game, off reliever Albie Lopez (1-2), hit near the top of the left-field foul pole to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth.

    "I thought it was going to go foul," Rolen said of his estimated 392-foot drive. "I don't know, some good currents of air flow I guess. Somebody told me to keep running, so I felt happy elation."

    Bubba Trammell hit a two-run homer for Tampa Bay in the fifth. The Devil Rays have played in 30 one-run games, going 19-11.

    Philadelphia improved its National League-best day game record to 19-9. The Phillies are 10-6 in interleague pla.

    Schilling had a 2-0 lead before he threw a pitch. Doug Glanville tripled and scored on Ron Gant's groundout. Rolen hit his first homer of the game a solo shot to center field.

    Rolen has eight homers and 18 RBIs in his last 14 games. Gant has six RBIs the past two days, including a season-high five in Saturday's 11-3 win at Boston.

    Tampa Bay starter Ryan Rupe, who allowed 12 runs 10 earned over 9 1-3 innings in his previous two starts, settled down after the rough opening inning. The rookie right-hander lasted six innings, giving up two runs and six hits. He struck out five and walked two.

    Schilling allowed just three baserunners two singles and walk before issuing a two-out walk to Paul Sorrento. Trammell, who went 6-for-9 in the series against the New York Mets, hit his third home run in the last five games and sixth overall.

    After Trammell's homer, Schilling retired 12 straight before allowing a two-out, ninth-inning single to Herbert Perry. Left fielder Gant preserved the win with a running catch on Fred McGriff's line drive.

    "Once we got him that run, I think he said `This is our game,'" Phillies manager Terry Francona said.

    Tampa Bay's Wade Boggs went 0-for-3 to remain 15 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

    Notes:

  • Schilling also went the distance July 9 in a 4-2 win against Baltimore.
  • The Devil Rays were bidding to become the second team since interleague play began to beat both All-Star game starting pitchers. Tampa Bay beat Boston and Pedro Martinez 3-2 on July 7. Baltimore accomplished the feat in 1997, defeating Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux.
  • Tampa Bay is dismal 8-24 all-time in interleague play, including 3-13 this year. The Devil Rays are 2-12 at home.
  • Sunday's crowd was 20,075, 20,111 less than Saturday's turnout of 40,186 for a "Turn Back the Clock" promotion against the Mets.
  • The Phillies are using outfielder Bobby Abreu as the designated hitter because he is nursing a sore right elbow.
  • Tampa Bay's Fred McGriff has gone 69 at-bats without a homer, his longest drought this season.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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