Mets rally to overcome Howard's blast, beat Phils

NEW YORK (AP) -- Billy Wagner worked the count full against Mike
Lieberthal with runners at the corners and two outs in the ninth
inning and Tom Glavine, watching on television in the Mets'
clubhouse, closed his eyes.

He heard the broadcaster say David Wright made a diving stop at
third, so he opened his eyes to make sure the throw to first was on
line and in time.

With his second diving stop of the game, Wright preserved the
New York Mets' 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday,
giving Glavine his first win since June.

"I know what's going on. I knew I hadn't won a game in a
while," Glavine said. "You start hearing that stuff, and it
starts getting in your head a little bit."

Ryan Howard hit a three-run, opposite-field homer to left in the
first, but Glavine (12-4) didn't allow any more runs.

Endy Chavez hit a two-run double in a three-run sixth inning off
Jon Lieber (4-9), who retired 17 straight batters but then was done
in by a pair of defensive mistakes.

"It didn't look good for a while there," Mets manager Willie
Randolph said.

Lieber led 3-1 and hadn't allowed a runner since the first when
he fielder Carlos Beltran's check-swing grounder with two outs in
the sixth and threw wildly to first for an error. The game turned
on the next four pitches.

"I just have to make that play. I'm trying to get off the mound
quick. I was trying to rush it," Lieber aid. "It's

Carlos Delgado singled up the middle, just past the outstretched
glove of shortstop Jimmy Rollins, and Wright took a ball, then
lofted a high drive to left field off the end of his bat.
Frustrated he didn't make good contact, Wright didn't hustle out of
the batter's box. But on a sunny, cloudless afternoon, the ball
fell between Rollins and left fielder Pat Burrell for a single that
scored Beltran and left runners at the corners.

"I should have caught the ball," Burrell said. "It was my
play, and I didn't make it."

In the Phillies' dugout, manager Charlie Manuel took off his cap
and rubbed his head.

"Today we kind of beat ourselves," he said.

Wright knew he should have been on second, and when he got back
to the dugout, he apologized to Randolph.

"I'm fortunate he didn't snatch me out of the game there,"
Wright said.

Chavez, who entered in the bottom of the first when Cliff Floyd
left because of sore left Achilles' tendon, drove the next pitch
off the fence in left-center to put the Mets ahead.

"I attacked the fastball and I was trying to be aggressive. I
made good contact. It felt great," Chavez said. "It's hard when
you know you're not in the lineup every day."

Glavine got 16 groundball outs, including two on Chris Coste's
inning-ending double play in the sixth. He had been 0-2 in seven
starts since June 23, matching the third-longest winless streak of
his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

After allowing five hits in seven innings, he felt good about
his performance.

"You start putting pressure on yourself to do some things," he

Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect eighth, and Wagner got into
trouble and escaped once again for his 24th save in 29 chances.

Howard singled leading off the ninth before Burrell took a
called third strike and Coste struck out swinging. Chase Utley
pinch hit, a day after the Mets stopped his hitting streak at 35
games, and singled to right to move the potential tying run to

Wright had made a diving backhand stop on Shane Victorino in the
third and threw out Coste from foul territory in the fourth, with
Delgado applying the tag. On this one, he made the backhanded stop
on Lieberthal and threw to first to end it.

"You can't really practice it or teach it," Wright said. "It
has to be a first-step reaction."

Wright's dives reopened a cut on his arm sustained in Florida
earlier in the week.

"It's going to be sticking to the sheets tonight," he said.

New York, which had lost three of four, reopened a 12-game lead
over the second-place Phillies in the NL East. Philadelphia, which
had won four straight, lost for just the second time in nine games.

"This is a huge loss," said Lieber, who pitched a six-hitter
for his first complete game since June 14 last year. "That's the
bottom line."

Game notes
Floyd, held out of the starting lineup on July 30 because
of the tendon, aggravated it when he unsuccessfully chased Aaron
Rowand's foul in the left-field corner. ... Howard has four homers
against the Mets this year. ... Jose Reyes doubled leading off the
bottom of the first and scored on Lastings Milledge's single. ...
Lieber has won once in nine starts since May 13.