Phillies Continue Battering Mets For 9-6 Win

The Phillies wouldn't mind if the Mets hung around for a few extra days. The Phillies notched their sixth straight win against the Mets with a 9-6 win over the New Yorkers Saturday night at Veterans Stadium. Brett Myers struggled, but the Phillies offense got the job done, leading the Phillies to a 9-6 win. Another member of the "closers committee" notched their first save in over two years as well, after Rheal Cormier accomplished the same thing in Friday night's win.

Ricky Ledee had two hits and three RBI and Turk Wendell notched his first save in over two years as the Philadelphia Phillies extended their winning streak over the New York Mets to six games with a 9-6 victory.

Expected to bolster the Phillies' bullpen when acquired from the Mets in July 2001, Wendell did the exact opposite, going 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA in 21 games. After missing the entire 2002 campaign following right elbow surgery, he returned with a vengeance, allowing just two runs in his first 24 appearances this year. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, Wendell had reverted back to his old ways of late, surrendering 11 runs in his previous six outings. But with the Phillies' closer situation in disarray, manager Larry Bowa called upon the veteran righthander to hold a three-run lead in this one.

Wendell did not disappoint, working around an error to record his first save as a Phillie and first since May 18, 2001 against Los Angeles - when he was a member of the Mets.

"I thought our relievers did all right tonight," Bowa said. "We made some mistakes (defensively). We gave away too many outs."

After Mike Lieberthal's RBI infield single with the bases loaded in the fifth tied the game, Ledee belted a three-run double to deep left field to give Philadelphia a 6-3 lead. Ledee, who also singled in the fourth, is 7-for-17 with a homer and eight RBI in 10 games against New York this season.

"Ledee's been unbelievable every time I've used him," Bowa said. "Here's a guy who knows what his role is. He likes playing in Philadelphia."

Brett Myers (13-7) labored through six innings to pick up the win. He allowed three runs - two earned - and six hits with four walks and six strikeouts to notch his eighth win in nine decisions.

"I thought early it was a struggle," Myers said. "I was still trying to get the feel for everything. I made some pitches that were good pitches and I got some outs, but I still think I got some work to do because I felt uncomfortable out there."

Myers joined teammates Kevin Millwood, Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla to give the Phillies four pitchers with at least 13 victories for the first time since 1973, when Steve Carlton, Jim Lonborg, Ken Brett and Wayne Twitchell each finished with a baker's dozen.

The win kept Philadelphia one game ahead of Florida in the National League wild card race.

After allowing just two runs in each of his previous two starts, Mets rookie Jeremy Griffiths (1-2) was hit hard. The right-hander surrendered seven runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Marlon Byrd and Bobby Abreu homered for the Phillies, who won for the eighth time in nine games. Byrd finished the night 2-for-4 with 3 runs scored an an RBI.

In the first inning, Myers allowed a leadoff single by Roger Cedeno. After two flyouts, Mike Piazza walked and Jason Phillips singled to left, plating Cedeno with the 23,000th run in the history of Veterans Stadium and a 1-0 Mets lead.

The Phillies stormed back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to move ahead. Byrd opened the inning with a walk and stole second before scoring on Jimmy Rollins' triple to deep right-center field. Abreu failed to bring in the run, flying out to shallow left, but Rollins raced home on Jim Thome's groundout.

Ty Wigginton led off the second with a double and went to third on an error by Byrd. After a flyout and a walk, Cedeno lifted a sacrifice fly to right to knot the game at 2-2.

With two outs in the third, Phillips walked and came home on Raul Gonzalez's triple to give New York the lead. The Phillies erupted for five runs in the fifth to chase Griffiths. It all started when Myers drew a leadoff walk and Byrd singled to left-center. Rollins struck out and Abreu grounded out before Thome was walked intentionally to load the bases. Lieberthal bounced Griffiths' next pitch to short, but Jorge Velandia's diving attempt failed, knocking the ball into shallow left to plate Myers with the tying run. Ledee followed by belting a shot that eluded a leaping Timo Perez in left field and cleared the bases for a 6-3 Philadelphia cushion.

"It was on the outside part of the plate," Ledee said. "I was trying to hit it hard. I thought I hit it out. I wasn't even at first when the ball dropped."

Jaime Cerda replaced Griffiths and yielded a grounder by Chase Utley that found the gap in right-center for a double, scoring Ledee.

Jason Anderson started the sixth for New York and served up solo homers to Byrd and Abreu around a groundout to put the Phillies ahead, 9-3. Abreu's blast was his 20th, marking the fifth straight season he has reached the plateau.

"I feel happy about it," Abreu said. "To put that together for five straight years has made me proud."

The homerun also gave the Phillies three players with at least 20 for the 10th time in franchise history and first since Abreu, Scott Rolen, Pat Burrell and Travis Lee did it in 2001.

Valerio De Los Santos, who gained the win in his Philadelphia debut Friday, started the seventh and let the Mets crawl back into the game. Perez opened the inning with a single, but Piazza struck out for the third time. Phillips walked and Gonzalez reached on an infield single to load the bases.

After Wigginton fouled out, Velandia singled to center to score two. Carlos Silva came on and uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Gonzalez to cross the plate and pull the Mets within 9-6, but Marco Scutaro struck out to end the rally.

The series wraps up Sunday night when Al Leiter (14-7, 4.06) tries to salvage a game for the Mets against Amaury Telemaco (1-2, 3.96).


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