Phillies 11, Mets 7

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NEW YORK (AP)—Pat Burrell came to the perfect place to find his stroke.

Burrell feasted on New York Mets pitching once again, hitting a solo homer in the sixth and a tying shot in a seven-run seventh as the Philadelphia Phillies rallied from four runs down to win 11-7 Tuesday night.

Burrell broke out of a 1-for-17 slump with the homers in his final two at-bats, giving him 10 at Shea Stadium and 19 in 176 career at-bats against the Mets. Those are his best numbers against any opponent.

“I don’t know what it is,” Burrell said. “I just feel comfortable here. It’s a good background to see the ball.”

The Phillies trailed 4-0 before Burrell hit a sixth-inning homer against Jae Seo and a three-run drive in the seventh against David Weathers to help Philadelphia win for the fourth time in five games.

New York began a crucial 12-game stretch against division rivals Philadelphia and Atlanta with a lopsided loss. It was the second time in a week the Mets blew a big lead—they failed to hold onto a seven-run advantage in a 9-8 loss at Colorado last Tuesday.

Only this time, they don’t have the thin air at Coors Field to blame. It was all about shoddy relief pitching.

Manager Art Howe lifted Seo to start the seventh when Phillies manager Larry Bowa sent up pinch-hitter Nick Punto to hit for Brett Myers (4-3).

Weathers retired two of his first three hitters before walking Jim Thome with two outs. Burrell then sent a drive into the left-field bullpen for his ninth homer, tying the game at 4. It was his fifth career multihomer game, including two at Shea.

“I came in not swinging the bat well basically all year,” said Burrell, who raised his average to .220. “Hitting .200 is embarrassing, is what it is. Regardless of whether I’ve hit well here, it’s nice to be able to help the team win.”

Graeme Lloyd (1-1) came on and gave up a single to the only batter he faced, Bobby Abreu. Pat Strange then walked Mike Lieberthal, gave up a go-ahead single to David Bell, walked Ricky Ledee and gave up an RBI single to Punto.

Jimmy Rollins then hit a two-run single to cap the scoring but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.

“The third out is awfully tough to get some times,” Howe said. “We saw that tonight.”

Strange allowed the first four batters in the eighth to reach, giving up a two-run homer to Thome, before being replaced by Jaime Cerda. All eight batters Strange faced reached safely and he allowed six runs in one-third of an inning.

“Burrell’s homer was a big momentum changer,” Bowa said. “Until then we weren’t doing anything. It tied the game up and then we put together lots of base hits. We haven’t done that in a while. Hopefully, it will lead somewhere.”

New York’s relievers allowed 10 runs in three innings after Seo allowed just one in six frames. It was their major league-leading 13th loss of the season— half of the team’s total—and raised their ERA to 5.68.

“Jae Seo threw a great game. I’m not worried about myself so much as him— after pitching like that and having nothing to show for it,” Weathers said. “If I do my job, he gets a win and so does the team. The whole inning was pretty much my fault.”

Even All-Star catcher Mike Piazza couldn’t have helped the Mets win this game. The Mets announced before the game that Piazza will be out for at least six weeks and possibly the rest of the season because of a tear in his right groin muscle.

The Mets broke out to a 4-0 lead against Myers, who came into the game second in the NL with a 2.21 ERA.

Roberto Alomar and Jason Phillips hit run-scoring singles in the first and Cliff Floyd added a two-run homer in the third.

Myers allowed four runs, four hits and three walks in six innings to raise his ERA to 2.59. He got the win because he finally got some offensive support. The Phillies scored 26 runs in his first eight starts.

“It was great to watch, seeing the guys swing the bats the way they did”Myers said. “That was fun.”

Notes

Roger Cedeno was caught stealing second by Lieberthal in the fifth inning—just the fourth runner thrown out by a Phillies’ catcher all season. … Floyd has 19 RBIs in his last 18 games. … Punto drove in his first career run. … Rollins made a great defensive play to end the sixth inning, going deep in the hole at shortstop to rob Phillips of a hit. … Philadelphia LHPDan Plesac made his 1,022nd career appearance, tying Lee Smith for fifth.

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