Phillies nearly blow all of four-run lead in ninth

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies will take a win any way they can get it.

Pat Burrell hit another home run against the Mets and Scott Rolen also connected Friday night as the Phillies held off New York 9-8.

Leading 8-4 after seven innings, the Phillies nearly gave it all back one night after the Mets scored eight runs in their final at-bat to beat the Phillies 9-1.

"I'll take a win any way I can get one, whether it's 20-19 or 9-8,'' Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. "It still goes in the left column.''

The Phillies are last in the NL East at 40-48 after finishing two games out of first last season at 86-76.

Rolen had three hits, Mike Lieberthal drove in three runs and
Bobby Abreu had two doubles and two RBI for the Phillies.

The bottom two teams in the NL East have split the first two
games of a four-game series.

Down 9-5, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Mike Piazza's double-play grounder scored a run that made it 9-6, and the Mets continued to chip away at closer Jose Mesa with three straight singles to make it 9-8.

Mesa retired Roger Cedeno on a grounder to short with two on to
preserve the victory.

The Mets scored six runs in the game's last three innings, after scoring eight in the eighth the night before.

"You get opponents when you get them,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "I thought we did a good job staying in the game.''

New York trailed 5-2 before the Phillies added three runs in the seventh off reliever Bobby Jones. Jimmy Rollins had an RBI single and Abreu hit a two-run double.

Rolen hit his 14th homer leading off the eighth.

Burrell went 2-for-4 and scored twice, raising his batting
average against the Mets to .378 (14-for-37) with four homers and
11 RBI this season.

Burrell has more homers (14) and RBI (41) against New York than any other team in his career.

Robert Person (4-5), who had not gotten past the sixth inning in five straight starts, got the win. He pitched six-plus innings and allowed four runs, including Mo Vaughn's 409-foot homer to center.

Person was pulled after he gave up two singles to start the
seventh, and Hector Mercado relieved.

"Of course I wanted to go as long as I can, but that's what we have a team for,'' Person said. "As long as the job gets done, it's fine.''

Mercado threw a wild pitch, then walked pinch-hitter John
Valentin to load the bases. After striking out Roberto Alomar and Timo Perez, David Coggin relieved and Piazza hit a two-run single to make it 8-4.

Jeff D'Amico (4-8) again struggled for the Mets, allowing five earned runs and eight hits in five innings. He has one win in his last nine starts and has given up 20 runs in his last 19 2/3 innings.

"He pitched about three innings without his curveball and it's hard for him to pitch without his curveball,'' Valentine said. "He wasn't pitching the way he needs to pitch.''

The fireworks night crowd of 49,424 at Shea Stadium loudly booed D'Amico as Burrell rounded the bases on his homer in the third, putting the Phillies up 4-0. Abreu doubled to lead off the inning and Burrell followed with his 23rd homer.

"I just feel comfortable in this stadium,'' Burrell said.

Game notes
The Phillies left a season-high 14 runners on base. ... SS
Rollins stole his 15th base of the season. ... Jeromy Burnitz, who
did not start for the second straight game, singled as a
pinch-hitter in the fifth. ... RHP Aaron Heilman _ the Mets' first
round pick in the 2001 draft _ was promoted to Norfolk after
starting the season with Double-A Binghamton. He was 4-4 with a
3.82 ERA in 17 starts with Binghamton.