Series: Game 1 of 3

Philadelphia leads 1-0 (as of 7/1)

Game 1: Monday, July 1
New York 3Final
Philadelphia 6
Game 2: Tuesday, July 2
New York 12Final
Philadelphia 6
Game 3: Wednesday, July 3
New York 7Final
Philadelphia 8

Mets 3

(40-41, 19-23 away)

Phillies 6

(37-43, 22-18 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 1, 2002

    Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 001000020 3 - -
    PHI 02310000 - 6 - -

    W: B. Duckworth (5-5)

    L: S. Estes (3-6)

    S: J. Mesa (21)

    Duckworth strikes out nine as Mets fall again

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- After a disastrous start that included seven walks in 3 2/3 innings in his previous outing, Brandon Duckworth was content on changing things around with his control.

    Brandon Duckworth

    Philadelphia's Brandon Duckworth retired the side in five of the first six innings.

    Duckworth pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and Travis Lee homered and drove in four runs as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the New York Mets 6-3 Monday night.

    "I wanted to get ahead of hitters 0-2 as soon as possible,'' Duckworth said. "I used the middle of the plate more instead of going after the corners like I did in my last start. It was a big key.''

    Relievers Dan Plesac and Jose Mesa helped the Phillies escape an eighth-inning jam. Philadelphia has won six of eight and the Mets have lost four of five.

    Duckworth (5-5) was masterful at the start, retiring the side in order in five of the first six innings.

    "I wanted to stay aggressive,'' he said.

    Duckworth, who surrendered five hits and walked seven in 3 2/3 innings in his previous start at Florida on June 26, had set down 11 in a row before Roberto Alomar singled in the seventh.

    "It's all part of the maturation process for Brandon,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "He's young and he's going to ride that roller coaster for a while. He struggled in his last start but he made the adjustments this time around. When Brandon is on, he's tough to beat.''

    Tony Tarasco and pinch-hitter Jay Payton hit solo homers in the Mets eighth, chasing Duckworth and making it 6-3. The Mets made things interesting as Timo Perez and Edgardo Alfonzo followed with singles off Carlos Silva.

    Plesac relieved and struck out Mo Vaughn. Mesa took over and fanned Mike Piazza looking on a nifty curveball.

    Mesa closed out the game for his 21st save in 25 chances.

    Duckworth allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out nine and didn't walk a batter.

    Shawn Estes (3-6) retired the side in the first inning on 10 pitches, but things quickly unraveled for the Mets starter from that point.

    "It was all downhill from there,'' he said. "When you don't have your best stuff, you don't have a lot of fun. I didn't have a lot of fun tonight.''

    Lee hit a two-run homer to right-center field in the second inning. It was his seventh home run of the season and drove in Scott Rolen, who had walked.

    "In the back of my mind, I knew he had that big looping curve ball, so I wanted to jump on the fastball instead,'' said, who is 8-for-17 (.471) for his career off Estes.

    New York cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third on Estes' ground-rule double that caromed off a fan and scored Rey Ordonez.

    On the play, left fielder Pat Burrell fielded the ball and threw to second base, where Estes slid awkwardly into the bag. Both players were unaware that third base umpire Chuck Meriwether ruled the ball was out of play.

    Philadelphia added three more runs in the third after a walk to Bobby Abreu. Burrell and Rolen followed with singles to load the bases and Lee hit a two-run single to center. Two outs later, Duckworth had a RBI single.

    In the fourth, Jason Michaels led off with a double, Abreu singled and Burrell walked. Estes' night was finished as Grant Roberts relieved.

    Rolen followed with a sacrifice fly to center field as Perez made a great leaping catch against the fence.

    Estes finished with three-plus innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits with four walks in his shortest start of the season.

    Mets manager Bobby Valentine felt Estes lost his curveball.

    "Warming up, he threw about a dozen in a row that were gold,'' he said. "But during the game, it wasn't the same.''

    The Mets finished the first-half of their season at 40-41. Last year, they were 35-46 at the midpoint.

    "The next 81 have to be a lot better. I think they will be,'' Valentine said.

    Game notes

    Rollins returned to the leadoff position for the Phillies. He batted second in his previous six starts. He went 1 for 4 with a walk. ... Alomar made his fifth error of the season. ... Michaels has 21 hits, and 12 are for extra-bases. ... Estes' previous shortest start of the season was five innings, which he threw seven times. ... Rolen has 10 RBIs in his last nine games. ... Todd Pratt tied a career-high with his second stolen base of the year. He previously accomplished the feat in 1999 with the Mets. ... Payton hit his first career pinch-hit homer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press