Mets 11, Phillies 5
“Yesterday and today, I was kind of pressing a little bit, trying to do too much,” said Green, who was traded to the Mets by Arizona on Tuesday.
So Green decided to relax and in the seventh inning Saturday night, the strategy paid off with a bases-loaded double, his first big hit for the Mets. It came in the middle of a seven-run New York rally that carried New York to an 11-5 victory over Philadelphia.
Green’s hit put the Mets in front 7-5 but he was just as impressed with what went on around him in a batting order that produced 15 hits. There were home runs by Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, four hits, including another bases-loaded double by Endy Chavez, and two hits and two runs scored by leadoff man Jose Reyes.
“It’s an explosive lineup, without a doubt,” Green said. “Delgado and Beltran go gap to gap. The leadoff hitter (Reyes) is on base all the time. Chavez in the eighth spot has great at-bats all the time.”
Beltran hit his 200th career homer to give New York the early lead. Delgado hit his 33rd of the season to draw the Mets close and then tied it with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Chris Woodward also had a pinch single for two wrapup runs in the rally.
The Mets needed the comeback after Ryan Howard’s NL-leading 46th home run, a fifth-inning grand slam, staked Philadelphia to a 5-2 lead. It came against Oliver Perez, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to make the start.
Perez, acquired from Pittsburgh in a trade on July 31, held the Phillies hitless into the fifth inning but his control got him in trouble. He walked Chris Coste to open the inning and after a force play, Philadelphia pitcher Jon Lieber came up trying to bunt, but Perez walked him.
With Howard looming at the plate, Perez got ahead 0-2. The big first baseman hit the next pitch over the fence in right-center field for his third career grand slam.
“It was a little up,” Howard said. “I just tried to lock down. I just do what I can.”
Despite Howard’s slam, Mets manager Willie Randolph liked what he saw from Perez.
“It was an outstanding job by the kid,” he said. “He pitched well enough to get the ball again. He’ll probably get another start.”
Howard leads the NL with 121 RBIs. His 34 RBIs in August set a Philadelphia club record, breaking the mark of 31 set by Don Demeter in 1962.
Delgado drew the Mets close in the sixth with his fifth homer in the last six games. Then New York loaded the bases but Lieber got pinch-hitter Julio Franco to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Lieber allowed 10 hits and left after six innings.
“I made some mistakes, there’s no doubt,” he said. “I was lucky to get out of there with just four runs.”
“We just came apart, had a tough inning,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Nobody out, bases loaded, right in the middle of their lineup. They’ve got some good hitters but we couldn’t make good pitches.”
Pedro Feliciano (6-2) got the win.
Beltran’s homer gave New York a 2-0 lead in the first inning. He tied his career high with 38 home runs, set in 2004 with Kansas City and Houston; his 108 RBIs matched his best, done with Kansas City in 1999.
Lieber shut out the Mets with a five-hitter on Aug. 16. … Perez was the opening day pitcher for Pittsburgh each of the last two seasons. … Howard’s grand slam was his 18th home run since the All-Star break, leading the majors.