Phils Miss Chances In 4-2 Loss To Mets

For the first time this season, the Phillies have lost three straight games, dropping the opener of their three-game series with the Mets Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium. Once again, the offense struggled, especially with runners in scoring position, leading to 13 stranded base-runners. Randy Wolf took the loss, his first in his last five starts at The Vet.

Al Leiter and Jeromy Burnitz continue to be bright spots in an otherwise bleak season for the New York Mets.

Leiter battled through six scoreless innings and Burnitz had three hits, including a two-run homer, as the Mets held on for a 4-2 win over the Phils Tuesday night at The Vet.

Although he struggled with his control, issuing six walks and throwing a season-high 136 pitches, Leiter (5-2) gave up just two singles. Leiter reached full counts on 13 hitters, but also struck out eight. Among his strikeouts were two against Mets nemesis Pat Burrell, who homered twice last Tuesday in New York.

Burnitz staked Leiter to a 2-0 lead when he crushed an 0-2 pitch from Phillies starter Randy Wolf (5-3) into the left field stands with one out in the second inning. It was his sixth homer of the season and third in four games since being activated from the disabled list Friday. Since returning, Burnitz has collected seven hits in 15 at-bats. He had a pair of singles to go along with his homer and is hitting .313 this season.

The Mets added two more runs with the bases loaded and none out in the fourth. Vance Wilson hit a grounder to third baseman David Bell, who elected to go for the double play. He got the first out, but second baseman Placido Polanco made a bad throw to first, allowing another run to score.

The Phillies got their first run in the eighth when Jim Thome led off with a double against Graeme Lloyd, who was then lifted in favor of David Weathers. Weathers retired Burrell and Bell before uncorking a wild pitch and giving up an RBI single to Mike Lieberthal to make it a 4-1 game.

The Phillies stranded a season-high 13 runners and had the go-ahead runner on in the ninth, but Mike Lieberthal popped out to shallow left-center field as Philadelphia matched a season high with its third straight loss.

Facing pinch hitter Nick Punto, Benitez gave up a leadoff single in the ninth and uncorked a wild pitch during an at-bat to Jimmy Rollins that moved Punto to scoring position. He struck out Rollins and got Polanco on a flyout, but Thome singled to right field, plating Punto. Benitez was one strike away from ending the game, but walked Burrell and threw three straight balls before walking Bell.

Wolf gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out nine, walked two and lost for the first time in five home starts this season.

"I just didn't do my job today," Wolf said. "I made a couple of big mistakes. My stuff was OK. I wasn't able to locate my curveball like I can. I think that was a big difference."

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