Mets' Comeback Falls Short in Philly

After rookie Prentice Redman tied the game for the Mets in the top of the ninth, Mike Lieberthal's RBI single off of David Weathers in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-5 win over the New York Mets in the opener of a four-game series at Veterans Stadium to keep pace with the Florida Marlins in the NL Wild Card race.

With the Mets down 5-4 in the 9th, Prentice Redman tied the game with his first major league home run for the Mets, who then had their three-game winning streak snapped. Jorge Velandia drove in two runs for New York.

Marlon Byrd started the ninth inning with a walk from Mike Stanton and moved to second on a sacrifice by Jimmy Rollins. After Stanton struck out Bobby Abreu, David Weathers relieved Stanton the right-handed Mike Lieberthal. Lieberthal, though, ended the game with an RBI single to left-center field.

Jimmy Rollins hit a three-run homer and Jason Michaels added a solo shot for the Phillies. Marlon Byrd, Pat Burrell and Lieberthal each had two hits in the winning effort.

Valerio De Los Santos (4-3) earned the win in his Philadelphia debut after being picked up from the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the week. De Los Santos got the final two outs of the ninth inning, stranding Timo Perez on second base, after relieving Jose Mesa. Randy Wolf started the game and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits over seven innings.

Mike Stanton (2-6) took the loss for the Mets. Tom Glavine pitched the first six innings for the Mets and allowed four runs and eight hits.

The Mets jumped out to a an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Wolf walked Roger Cedeno to start the game. Cedeno then stole second and came home when Rollins misplayed Danny Garcia's ground ball at shortstop. New York made it a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning when Jorge Valendia's sacrafice fly plated Raul Gonzalez.

With the Mets leading 2-0, the Phillies exploded for a four-run 5th inning, highlighted by a Jimmy Rollins three-run homer. Randy Wolf drove home Nick Punto with the Phillies' first run of the game with a double to left-center. After Byrd walked, Rollins ripped a three-run homer to the seats in left field.

Down 4-2, Velandia's RBI single in the seventh inning pulled the Mets within a run, but Jason Michaels' pinch-hit home run in the home half of the seventh restored Philadelphia's two-run edge at 5-3.

Mike Piazza scored on an errant throw by 3B Tomas Perez to Jim Thome on a Ty Wigginton grounder in the eighth inning to pull the Mets back within one run.

Vicente Padilla (12-9 3.79) and Jae Weong Seo (8-9 4.25 ERA) will be the starters in game two of the series Friday night.

Game Notes: New York is 30-39 on the road this season...The Mets are playing their final series at Veterans Stadium, as the Phillies will open their new ballpark in 2004...The Mets are 121-148 all-time against the Phillies at the Vet.

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