Rookie Ruins Phillies Comeback In Mets 4-3 Win

The Phillies came from behind only to have rookie Jason Phillips drive in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning and snap the Phillies five game win streak with a 4-3 Mets win Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The game sends the Phillies into the all-star break in second place in the National League East, having won five of their last seven games.

Jason Phillips brought a positive end to a negative first half for the New York Mets Sunday with a game winning RBI in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Mets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Phillies at Shea Stadium.

The Mets' lone All-Star, closer Armando Benitez (3-3), blew his seventh save opportunity in the top of the ninth when the Phillies tied it at 3-3 on a two-out, RBI single by Mike Lieberthal. The Mets answered in their half of the ninth, beginning with a one-out single by Rey Sanchez off Terry Adams (1-3). Jose Reyes hit a line drive that evaded right fielder Bobby Abreu, who had turned the wrong way before racing to the wall for the ball. Pinch runner Roger Cedeno hesitated twice between first and second and had to stop at third while Reyes cruised into second with a double. Rookie Jeff Duncan was intentionally walked and Phillips singled the opposite way to right field for the game-winner.

"The pitchers are trying to pitch me down and away because I'm a young guy," Phillips said. "I'm trying to mature and trying to go with the pitch instead of pulling it. I was successful with that."

The Mets salvaged the finale of a seven-game homestand and avoided just the fourth winless homestand of seven games or more in franchise history. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Phillies, who are second in the NL East at the All-Star break. Philadelphia completed a seven-game road trip at 5-2.

"We played hard. We came back and tied it," Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. "We gave ourselves a chance to win. It was a good game. We just came up short."

The Phillies made life miserable for Benitez in the ninth. With two outs, Nick Punto singled, Jim Thome walked and Lieberthal singled to left field. When the inning ended, Benitez left to a chorus of boos.

"I don't complain about the fans. They don't pay me and my job is on the field," Benitez said. "The Phillies have good hitters. They have tought at-bats. I have no complaints and make no excuses."

New York scored three times in the fifth to take a 3-2 advantage, marking the first time since last Sunday in Cincinnati that they held a lead. Reyes, who had his second straight three-hit game, had an RBI single and Phillips and Jeromy Burnitz had consecutive RBI doubles. All of the runs came off Brett Myers, who allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Tom Glavine, who was knocked out early in his previous outing, worked on three days rest and allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. Glavine allowed an RBI double to Jimmy Rollins in the second and an RBI single to Thome in the third.

Prior to the game, the Mets honored their 1973 National League championship team. Tug McGraw, a reliever on both that team and on the Phillies 1980 World Series champions, who is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor, threw out the first ball.


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