Now,

this

is a test.

The Phillies completed their 10-game homestand with an 8-2 record after yesterday's 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.

But now the real fun begins. They will open a nine-game road trip tonight against the Atlanta Braves, who were 31-29 entering last night's play, at Turner Field. From there, they play the Florida Marlins, 32-26 entering last night, at Dolphin Stadium, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who are 36-25, at Busch Stadium.

And check out the opponents' home records: The Braves were 24-8 entering last night, the Marlins are 18-12, and the Cardinals are 21-13.

The Phillies will return home for a six-game homestand June 16 to June 22 against the Boston Red Sox, 37-25 entering last night's play, and the Los Angeles Angels, who are 37-24. The Red Sox lead the American League East and the Angels the AL West.

The Phils will finish the month and enter July on a nine-game road trip through Oakland, which is 33-27; Texas, which was 30-31 entering last night's games; and Atlanta.

That's six of seven teams with winning records, two first-place teams, and three second-place teams.

That's also 18 of their next 24 games on the road.

"Everything is important, but obviously it seems tougher to win on the road," rightfielder Geoff Jenkins said. "Just like we play good at home, a lot of other teams like Atlanta play good at home."

The Phillies should have a sense of how good they really are once the brutal stretch is over.

"It's going to stink," pitcher Cole Hamels said with a laugh. "I like the whole home-field advantage. I think we've had tremendous crowds." "

Griffey leaves with 599

Ken Griffey Jr.

entered this week's series against the Phillies with 599 career home runs. He left with 599.

He almost hit No. 600 in the ninth inning when he flied out to deep center field, with Shane Victorino catching the ball just short of the fence.

"I just hit it too low," Griffey said. "I hit it pretty good, but I just didn't hit it high enough."

"I'm glad I wasn't on the list, but I wouldn't have minded," Hamels said with a laugh.

Victorino said his heart started racing as the ball left the bat. What to do?

"If it was at the wall and you had to rob it, what [do] you do?" Victorino said.

Griffey got a standing ovation from Phillies fans as he returned to the dugout.

"I wasn't surprised," he said. "OK, I was. A whole lot."

Griffey hadn't started the first three games of the series because of a sore left knee, but said he wanted to play yesterday to say thanks for the tremendous response the fans gave him this week.

Position change

Welinson Baez,

once rated among the top prospects in the Phillies' minor-league system, is moving from third base to pitcher.

Baez, who turns 24 next month, was signed for $250,000 in the summer of 2002. At the time, he was viewed as a potential power-hitting third baseman, but his bat never developed. He hit just .241, with 33 homers, in 448 minor-league games, none above single A.

"He's got a double-plus arm," assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said. "We want to explore the mound before we say it's not going to happen."

Crowded Bank

The Phillies had an announced crowd of 45,492 yesterday, the third-largest crowd in the ballpark's history. It was the team's 16th sellout this season.