New York (60-74) at Philadelphia (66-68)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 4, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Even though the Philadelphia Phillies are fading from postseason contention, Pat Burrell did not want to miss the remainder of the season.

He’ll try to lead the Phillies to their second straight win when they continue their weekend series with the visiting New York Mets.

Burrell returned to the lineup Friday and homered in his second at-bat to lead the Phillies to an 8-1 win. He had been out since Aug. 3 with an injured left wrist.

Burrell had delayed season-ending surgery after seeking a second opinion. Doctors told him that continuing to play would cause no further damage. He played four games this week on a rehabilitation stint at Double-A Reading, hitting two homers in 15 at-bats.

He has not ruled out offseason surgery, but said he feels no discomfort.

“It is surprising, but the thing doesn’t hurt,” Burrell said. “I don’t know what to think. I’m just happy to be back playing.”

In the second year of a six-year, $50 million contact, Burrell has rebounded from a dismal 2003 season in which he hit .209 with 21 homers and 64 RBIs. He is batting .265 with 19 homers and 69 RBIs.

Rookie right-hander Gavin Floyd was impressive in his major league debut Friday, allowing one run and four hits over seven innings, and Jason Michaels had the first two-homer game of his career to help Philadelphia snap a three-game losing streak. The Phillies had lost 16 of their previous 24.

They now hope to get another strong start from Cory Lidle. Acquired from Cincinnati on Aug. 9, Lidle was winless in three starts with Philadelphia before throwing a four-hitter in a 10-0 win over Milwaukee on Sunday.

The 32-year-old right-hander said he had worked on his mechanics between starts.

“Sometimes you just forget what made you successful,” Lidle said.

The Mets, coming off a 1-10 homestand, opened a six-game road trip Friday by losing their seventh straight. New York has lost 12 of 13 overall.

Eric Valent hit a solo homer off Floyd to give the Mets their only run Friday.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Leiter NYY vs. C. Lidle NYY
10-8 Record 12-12
3.21 ERA 4.90
117 K 126
97 BB 61
1.35 WHIP 1.35