Inside Pitch: Randolph teaching Milledge

Rookie Lastings Milledge was not in the lineup for Thursday's game at Philadelphia, but manager Willie Randolph said it was not related to him not hustling the previous night on a play where he was thrown out at the plate to end the seventh inning.

"I mentioned to him it's not a good idea to watch the ball," Randolph said. "He was very receptive. He's a good kid. I like him a lot.

"Milledge is 21, he's learning how to play the game, and it is my job to teach him."

Randolph said the game is played much faster on the major league level than in Triple-A, and Milledge misjudged how quickly the outfielder would get to the ball and the arm of the relay man.

Even so, there were two outs and Milledge should have been running on contact.

Milledge earned another talking-to when he arrived just 70 minutes before game time Thursday. Randolph and Mets GM Omar Minaya said that they would not fine Milledge, who may not have known what time to arrive for an afternoon game.

REPLAY: David Wright hit a three-run homer to highlight a four-run first, and Steve Trachsel and the bullpen made it stand up in a 5-4 victory Thursday to complete a three-game sweep at Philadelphia.

With the win, the Mets opened a 9 1/2-game lead on the second-place Phillies in the National League East.

The victory was the Mets' ninth on their 10-game road trip, and their eighth straight on the road to set a club record.

At 42-23, they have the best record in the major leagues.


  • 3B David Wright hit a three-run homer in Thursday's victory at Philadelphia. The National League's leading vote-getter at his position for the All-Star game hit four homers and drove in 12 runs during the Mets' road trip.

  • 1B Carlos Delgado hit .441 (15-for-34) with four homers and 15 RBIs on the Mets' road trip.

  • RHP Alay Soler (2-1, 3.33) will make his fifth start with the Mets on Friday since assuming the fifth spot in the rotation. Soler won his last two starts, including a complete-game victory at Arizona last Saturday. Manager Willie Randolph feels better about the back end of his rotation, "but I'd like to see it three, four times in a row," he said about Soler.

  • The Mets scored in the first inning for their eighth consecutive game on the road, tying the 1913 Chicago Cubs and the 1938 Philadelphia Athletics for the major league record.

  • With Thursday's victory, the Mets won their eighth consecutive road game to tie the franchise record set in 1988.

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