'Alomar of old' sparks Mets' eight-run eighth

NEW YORK (AP) -- Roberto Alomar spent part of his break watching tape of himself from last season, when he was an All-Star for the Cleveland Indians.

Thursday night, he let everyone else see the old Alomar, too.

He doubled to key an eight-run burst in the eighth inning and capped it with an RBI single as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-1.

"Well, I would have liked to go to the All-Star Game,'' said Alomar, whose streak of 12 straight appearances ended this year. "I saw some things I did. I feel much better and I'm seeing the ball better now.

Alomar struggled in the first half -- especially against left-handed pitching. Alomar came into the game hitting .207 against lefties, but got two key hits against Philadelphia left-handers Randy Wolf and reliever Rheal Cormier.

In the first inning, Alomar doubled off Wolf and scored on Mike
Piazza's RBI single for the Mets' only run until their avalanche

Piazza and Timo Perez each drove in three runs as the Mets
evened their record at 44-44.

After the Phillies tied it in the top of the eighth with a run off Al Leiter, the Mets broke it open.

Pinch-hitter John Valentin began with a walk off Cormier (4-5).
Perez pinch-ran and scored on Alomar's double for a 2-1 lead.

"He can't do that,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said of the leadoff walk. "He's got to be the guy.''

The Mets ripped off five hits in a row after that, including a two-run triple by Piazza. Perez hit a three-run double with two outs and scored on a single by Alomar.

"I think for us, it seems to be contagious if we can get someone to get a big hit,'' Piazza said. "Hopefully, every day it's a different guy.''

Alomar's run in the first was the only one that Leiter got to work with, and he wound up with just his second no-decision since April.

Leiter left to a standing ovation with two runners on base. He
gave up a one-out single to Pat Burrell, who went to third on Scott
Rolen's double.

Scott Strickland relieved and Mike Lieberthal blooped an RBI
single that bounced out of shortstop Rey Ordonez's glove. Ordonez
appeared to have trouble getting around Rolen, who was leading off
second base.

Mark Guthrie (3-0) finished the eighth, ending it with a double-play ball from Tomas Perez after walking Travis Lee.

Leiter pitched in and out of trouble all night, giving up seven
hits and two walks. He struck out eight and lowered his ERA over
his last seven starts to 1.90.

Game notes
Bowa said Vicente Padilla, whose spot in the rotation was
moved from Thursday to Saturday, could have kept pitching in the
All-Star Game Tuesday night. Padilla was pushed back because he
pitched the 10th and 11th innings in the All-Star Game. ... Wolf
pitched seven innings, striking out seven and giving up three hits.
He struck out Mo Vaughn three times. ... Cliff Floyd's name was
shown on the scoreboard several times, including as late as the
eighth inning, as one of the Florida players in town next week for
the Mets-Marlins series. One problem: Floyd was traded to Montreal
on Thursday. The Expos come to Shea on July 22. ... There was a
pregame moment of silence in memory of Ted Williams. ... Joe
McEwing was called out when he ran into the ball in fair territory
after a bunt attempt in the second inning. It was scored as a
putout for C Lieberthal.