Phillies 9, Mets 5

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NEW YORK (AP)—This time, Jason Michaels was proud to make the highlights.

One night after his most embarrassing moment in the major leagues, Michaels went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the New York Mets 9-5 Friday.

“Baseball players need a short-term memory,” he said.

Placido Polanco also homered and Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run single for the Phillies, who got another dominant effort from their bullpen to win their fourth straight and seventh in eight games. David Bell had three hits, including two doubles, and reached base four times.

Philadelphia entered the day 5 1/2 games off the NL wild-card lead, with five teams ahead.

“I think everybody in here knows where we are,” Michaels said. “I think everybody in here knows we have a shot.”

David Wright, Richard Hidalgo and Jeff Keppinger homered off Brett Myers for the Mets, who lost for the 17th time in 19 games but remained two games ahead of last-place Montreal in the NL East. They stopped an 11-game skid Thursday at Florida.

“There’s been a lot of negative things happening for us lately,” reliever Ricky Bottalico said. “You can’t just shut it down and say, `That’s it.”’

Michaels singled his first three times up, driving in a run in the third and fifth.

With the score tied at 5 in the seventh, he hit a two-run shot off Bottalico (3-2) to give Philadelphia the lead for good. Bell, who doubled leading off, also scored.

Michaels accidentally swatted Charles Thomas’ drive over the center-field fence for a bizarre home run Thursday night in Atlanta. The play made all the blooper reels, and Michaels flashed an embarrassed smile after Philadelphia won 9-4.

“You can’t explain it. It didn’t hurt my confidence at all,” said Michaels, who set a career high for hits Friday and matched his high for RBIs.

Polanco hit his career-best 15th homer off Bottalico in the eighth, and Bell’s RBI single off Vic Darensbourg made it 9-5.

That was more than enough for Philadelphia’s stellar bullpen, which has pitched 26 consecutive shutout innings since Sept. 1. Five relievers shut down the Mets in this one, each working a scoreless inning.

“It goes to show you when you’re healthy what can happen—but some people don’t understand that,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “As long as they’re on a roll like that, it’s nice.”

Todd Jones (10-5) pitched a perfect sixth for the win, helping the Phillies move three games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 12.

The bullpen isn’t done carrying the load, either. Because of a shortage of starting pitchers, the Phillies plan to use all relievers Sunday against the Mets. Right-hander Brian Powell or right-hander Geoff Geary probably will start.

“They’ve been wonderful,” Jim Thome said. “It’s fun to get those guys the ball. They have a role and each of them has been doing their role real well.”

Neither starter was effective. Myers gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings after beating the Mets 4-2 Sunday. New York left-hander Al Leiter lasted four-plus innings, allowing five runs—four earned—eight hits and four walks.

“They have the kind of lineup everybody in the NL thought they’d see all year,” Leiter said. “If you create some trouble, you have to make your pitch … I wasn’t able to.”

Rollins’ broken-bat single gave Philadelphia a 2-0 lead in the second.

Wright tied it with a two-run shot in the bottom half. It was his 11th home run since he was called up from Triple-A Norfolk on July 21, and second off Myers in five days.

Hidalgo followed with his 23rd homer, 19 with the Mets since he was acquired from Houston.

The Phillies went back ahead 4-3 in the third on Michaels’ RBI single and Wright’s 10th error at third base.

Keppinger’s two-run homer put New York up 5-4 in the third. Another RBI single by Michaels tied it in the fifth and chased Leiter.


Bowa’s 324th victory as Phillies manager pushed him past Pat Moran for ninth place on the club’s career list. … Philadelphia RHP Kevin Millwood, on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 5 with tendinitis in his right elbow, threw about 35 pain-free pitches in a simulated game and said it went well. He plans to throw on the side Sunday before another simulated game in a few days. … Polanco gave Philadelphia 186 homers this season, tying the club record set in 1977. … Phillies C Mike Lieberthal fouled a pitch off his left knee early in the game and came out in the eighth inning. He was scheduled for a day off Saturday afternoon anyway. … Mets LF Cliff Floyd is hitless in 21 at-bats and has not driven in a run in 13 games. … Bottalico had allowed only one homer all season. … The Mets purchased the contract of OF Victor Diaz from Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .292 with 24 homers, 94 RBIs and 133 strikeouts in 141 games. They will make another move before Saturday’s game to make room for Diaz on the 40-man roster. … Myers went 1-3 in six starts against the Mets this season. … Polanco hit 14 homers with Philadelphia last year.

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