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Howard the hero as Phillies inch closer to Mets

Aug 29, 2007 - 6:08 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After being stymied by a veteran pitcher, Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied against the New York Mets' bullpen.

Philadelphia tied the game in the eighth and Howard ended things in the 10th, launching a two-run home run to left-center field for a 4-2 victory Tuesday in the second game of a crucial four-game series.

The Phillies have taken the first two games of the series and pulled within four games of the Mets in the National League East Division race.

"The goal right now is to win series, so we want to go out (Wednesday) and do that," Howard said. "Every game that's starting to come down the stretch is gonna be a playoff atmosphere-type game. Especially with the Mets in town."

Howard's shot, his 35th of the season, came off Guillermo Mota (1-1). It gave him 108 RBI for the season and ruined a fine performance by Mets starter Tom Glavine.

"I was trying to find something good to hit and trying to get the runner into scoring position," Howard said. "Somebody had to lose and fortunately for us, we were on the upside of that."

Glavine pitched seven scoreless innings, scattering eight hits, all singles. He walked none and struck out one and was on the verge of improving to 3-0 against Philadelphia on the season before the bullpen gave it away.

"Glavine threw the ball well and was cruising, even though two runs in this ballpark is not safe," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "They didn't get the ball out of the infield on a couple of fortunate hits."

The Mets held a 2-0 lead when Jimmy Rollins greeted Pedro Feliciano with a leadoff home run over the left field fence in the eighth. One out later, Pat Burrell walked and Shane Victorino pinch ran for him.

After Howard flied out to deep left, Aaron Heilman replaced Feliciano. Victorino stole second and went to third on Paul Lo Duca's throwing error with Aaron Rowand at bat.

"(Victorino) going in there and stealing that bag and getting to third base was probably the biggest play of the game," Rowand said.

Rowand then tied the game when his dribbler down the third base line stayed fair as Victorino scored.

"That was a smash," Rowand joked. "I've had two taken away from me earlier this year already, so I'll take it."

Mets third baseman David Wright could only watch helplessly as the ball came to a complete stop on the dirt just inside the chalk line.

"It was placed perfectly," Wright said. "You couldn't have bunted it any better than that."

The Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Moises Alou led off with a single before Carlos Delgado drove a 3-2 offering from Phillies starter Adam Eaton into the second deck in right field for his 19th home run of the season.

"The only pitch I threw to him on the outside half (of the plate) all night and he definitely didn't miss it by any means," Eaton said. "I'd like to have that pitch back, but at the same time, I'm very happy with the result we had at the end of the game."

Eaton was making his first start since August 11, when he gave up six runs in only three innings in a 7-5 loss to Atlanta. He was then placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The righthander ran into trouble in the sixth, when he hit Carlos Beltran with a pitch, then walked Moises Alou with one out. After Delgado flied out to the fence in right to advance Beltran to third, Geoff Geary replaced Eaton and retired Lo Duca on a grounder to end the threat.

Eaton went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked two and hit a batter with one strikeout.

Brett Myers (3-5) worked two scoreless innings to pick up the win. He struck out one and did not allow a baserunner.

"I think our guys did a great job tonight," Myers said. "Jimmy came up and got it started in the eighth inning. This team has a lot of heart, to keep fighting until the last out."

The Phillies had numerous scoring opportunities against Glavine, but were unable to capitalize.

"Guys were just missing balls and that's what (Glavine) does best, he makes guys miss," Howard said. "You see a pitch, you think you're right on it and then the next thing you know, you're running back to the dugout."

In the first inning, Rollins led off with a single, stole second and took third on a flyout, but Howard lined out. The Phillies had runners on the corners with one out in the second, but Chris Coste bounced into an inning-ending double play. Howard singled with one out in the fourth and then Rowand hit into a double play.

"(Glavine) was throwing a lot of changeups," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He was giving us a fit. He had his changeup down and we were chasing it when he got ahead of us."

Glavine also pitched out of trouble in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Phillies had two on and two outs in the fifth, but Glavine got Rollins on a flyout. With runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, Glavine retired Rowand and Jayson Werth to end the frame.

"You would like to go out there and not have any baserunners or no difficult innings or things like that," Glavine said. "Most of the time, that's not gonna happen. I'd prefer to stay out of trouble, but it's nice to be able to make pitches when you do."






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  • NL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    NY METS 0 2 6 1
    PHILADELPHIA 2 4 13 0 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: NYM

    Aug 28 10:17 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (35) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 10TH OFF GUILLERMO MOTA SCORED SHANE VICTORINO.
    FINAL SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4, NY METS 2

    Mets vs. PhilliesAug 28 10:17 PM
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    Mets vs. PhilliesAug 28 9:43 PM


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    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON ROWAND SCORED SHANE VICTORINO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A ROWAND ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J WERTH (.306, 0-FOR-3)

    Mets vs. PhilliesAug 28 9:37 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIMMY ROLLINS (23) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF PEDRO FELICIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2, PHILADELPHIA 1
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C UTLEY (.339, 1-FOR-3)

    Mets vs. PhilliesAug 28 9:26 PM


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    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS DELGADO (19) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF ADAM EATON SCORED MOISES ALOU.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: P LO DUCA (.270, 5 HR, 33 RBI)

    Mets vs. PhilliesAug 28 7:32 PM
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