It should be noted the Phillies (36-42) have won just three of their last 16 games, and two of those wins have come with Madson (8-5) on the hill. So the guy has been doing something right at a time when the Phillies have more wrongs than Goofus from the Highlights magazine.

In Madson’s seven wins as a starter, he has a 2.93 ERA. In his three losses and three no-decisions as a starter, Madson’s ERA is 12.00.

While no one expects him to be on his A-game all of the time, it would help immensely if during those off-days Madson had a C-game working -- something that would keep the Phillies in the game and keep his ERA within reasonable parameters.

"Hey, that’s part of the maturation process," catcher Sal Fasano said. "You have to teach these kids that you don’t have to try and get everyone out with your best stuff every time out there.

Madson got that against the aggressive Orioles. Through seven innings he had thrown just 77 pitches and faced two batters over the minimum, and even when the O’s tried to work him a little in the eighth, he still managed to get a 1-2-3 inning and convince manager Charlie Manuel that he should go out there for the ninth.

Madson got the first two outs of the inning and got two quick strikes against Brandon Fahey before losing him to a base on balls. When Melvin Mora singled cleanly up the middle to give the Orioles two base runners in an inning for the first time, Manuel brought in Tom Gordon for the final out.

Of course, on the way to the mound Manuel heard a hearty round of boos from the Philly fans who made the trek, but Gordon got Miguel Tejeda to ground out and end the Phillies’ season-long seven-game skid.

The offense even got an early, albeit modest, jump. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a walk, and David Dellucci followed with a two-run home run off Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez. It was Dellucci’s fifth homer of the season. He added a single and has used his increased playing time to boost his average to .311.

The Phillies didn’t get another run until the seventh when Aaron Rowand doubled and scored on a weak grounder by Abraham Nunez. They added one more in the eighth on Bobby Abreu’s RBI double.

"It’s been tough," Gordon said of the Phillies’ strife both on and off the field lately. "Then you see a guy go out there with the attitude that he wants to pitch, and you want to take that, run with it and see what happens.

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