Phillies Complete Sweep of Mets With 4-1 Win

What a long, strange trip it was. The Phillies wrapped up their 13 game road trip by beating the Mets 4-1 Sunday afternoon to sweep the three-game series at Shea Stadium and turn what could have been a disastrous road trip into just a bad road trip. The Phillies again got good pitching with Vicente Padilla throwing eight strong innings and Jose Mesa notching his second save of the series.

After his last outing, Larry Bowa and Joe Kerrigan took Vicente Padilla (12-9) to task for relying too much on his fastball. Sunday, Padilla showed that he was listening during their conversation as he mixed his pitches and threw six innings of no-hit ball and finished the day with eight strong innings, allowing just one run. The first baserunner against Padilla came with two outs in the fifth inning when he hit third baseman Ty Wigginton in the back with a curve ball. Padilla quickly responded to retire Marco Scutaro to end the inning and preserve his no-hit bid.

Padilla didn't allow another baserunner until the seventh when Jose Reyes led off the inning with an infield single. Timo Perez then flied out before Tony Clard delivered a double to score Reyes and end Padilla's shot at a shutout. From there, Padilla settled down to get Jason Phillips and Wigginton to end the inning without any further damage. Until Reyes' infield single, Jeff Duncan came the closest to getting a hit off Padilla when he tried to bunt his way on and would have if not for a great play by Chase Utley at second base.

Jim Thome started the Phillies scoring in the second inning when he hit his 37th homerun of the season off Mets starter Jae Seo (8-9). The homerun was an opposite field shot and moved Thome to within three homeruns of league leader Barry Bonds. Seo pitched well until he ran into more trouble in the fifth.

The Phillies used fundamental baseball to score three times in the fifth inning. Pat Burrell started the inning with a single and one out later, Todd Pratt drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Tomas Perez then delivered an RBI single and Padilla sacrificed to put runners on second and third with two outs. Marlon Byrd completed the scoring with a two-run double as the Phillies took a 4-0 lead, giving Padilla some breathing room to work with.

Padilla seemed strong through his eight innings of work, but had thrown 100 pitches – 70 for strikes – and was relieved by Jose Mesa in the ninth inning. Mesa retired Roger Cedeno to start the ninth, but walked Reyes. Timo Perez then hit a ground ball to short and Jimmy Rollins flipped to Utley, who threw to first to complete the double play and end the game. On the play, Reyes appeared to have injured his ankle sliding into the bag and had to leave the field on a cart to be taken for x-rays.

The sweep gave the Phillies a 4-9 road trip and guaranteed that they would keep at least a share of the lead in the National League Wild Card race, depending on the outcome of the Marlins and Expos game in Miami. The Phillies return home to Veterans Stadium Monday afternoon for a make-up game with the Boston Red Sox. Brett Myers (12-7, 4.04) starts for the Phillies and will be opposed by Jeff Suppan (1-1, 6.07) for the Red Sox. After the game with Boston, the Phillies have two home games against the Expos and a four-game series with the Mets to complete their seven-game homestand.

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