Timo, Mets Exterminate Phillies 6-3

The Mets are winning and, most importantly, they are doing it against teams ahead of them in their own division. Pinch hitter Timo Perez broke a tie in the sixth with a two run double into left center that propelled the Mets to a 6-3 victory. It allowed them to take two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon inside Shea Stadium.

The Mets (21-26) took an early lead against their N.L. East rival. Roger Cedeno led off the bottom of the first against Phillies' starter Vincente Padilla (3-6) with a double and moved to third on Jeff Duncan's bunt single. Robbie Alomar then hit a sacrifice fly to score a run and later an RBI groundout by Cliff Floyd plated a second.

The Phillies (26-21) got on the board in the second after Pat Burrell began the inning by drawing a walk of Mets' starter Pedro Astacio (3-1). The next two batters were retired, but consecutive singles by Ricky Ledee and Tomas Perez scored a run.

Jimmy Rollins began the Philadelphia third by drawing a walk and scored on David Bell's double. First basemen Jim Thome, signed this past off-season, also hit an RBI double and put the Phillies ahead 3-2.

Cliff Floyd hit a game tying homer in the third, his tenth of the year, and the Mets would never trail again. The left fielder is now the only current Met to have ever hit a home run off Vincente Padilla.

Jason Phillips -- who went 3-for-4 and is hitting .379 -- started the sixth with a single, but was erased after the very next batter, Ty Wigginton, grounded into a double play. With two outs, Vance Wilson hit a single into center, Joe McEwing drew a walk, and Timo Perez then drove them both home with a double into left center.

Pedro Astacio -- after giving up five runs and 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings last Friday against the Giants -- pitched six innings and allowed five hits, three runs, and four walks while fanning three.

David Weathers worked two perfect innings and Armando Benitez pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his thirteen save. The closer's previous five appearances were non-save situations, but he has yet to allow a run in the month of May.

The Mets added a run in the bottom of the eighth against Jose Mesa.

Vincente Padilla went six innings and surrendered eleven hits, five runs, and one walk while striking out two. It was his first career loss against the Mets. He came into the game 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA against them in his career.

Mets placed IF Jay Bell on the 15-day DL with a strained right groin... SS Jimmy Rollins went 0-for-3 against Astacio and now is just 1-for-17 against him in his career... OF Jeromy Burnitz has completed a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton and will join Mets in Atlanta on Friday. He is expected to play centerfield... Steve Trachsel (2-2, 4.50) draws Russ Ortiz (6-2, 3.18) in the series opener against the Braves on Friday night...

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