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Vaughn, Burnitz power Mets back to .500

7/3/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chris Chambliss should have more meetings
with his hitters.

Jeromy Burnitz had two hits and three RBI, and Mo Vaughn added
two hits and two RBI to lead the New York Mets to a 12-6 victory
over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

The 12-run, 15-hit outburst came after Chambliss, the Mets' new
hitting coach, spoke to the hitters before the game.

''It was reminder of what we should be doing in certain
situations,'' said Vaughn, who is batting .419 (13-for-31) with
eight RBI in his last eight games after struggling most of the
season. ''It was nice to bring us together. He explained what he
wanted to see. It was good on his part.''

Chambliss, a former player and coach with the New York Yankees,
was hired on June 13 to replace Dave Engle.

Pedro Astacio (8-3) allowed four runs and nine hits in six
innings to win for just the second time since May 14. He is only
2-1 in his last eight starts despite giving up three earned runs or
fewer in six of those outings.

The Mets, who had lost four of five, moved back to .500 at
41-41. Scott Rolen had a two-run double and two-run homer for the
last-place Phillies, who had won six of eight.

''Inconsistency,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa lamented. ''It's
what I've been seeing all year.''

New York scored three times off starter Terry Adams in the first
and added two more in the second.

Robert Alomar walked to start the game and moved to second on a
single by Timo Perez. Mike Piazza's ground-rule double to
right-center made it 1-0. Perez scored on Vaughn's grounder to
first, and Piazza scored on Edgardo Alfonzo's sacrifice fly to
center for a 3-0 lead.

''It's no secret we have to get better at-bats,'' Piazza said.
''We have to lay off pitches, swing at strikes, take walks, move
runners over. It worked tonight.''

The Phillies cut it to 3-2 on a two-out, two-run double by
Rolen, but the Mets answered with two, two-out runs in the second.

After retiring the first two batters, Adams allowed Astacio to
reach on an infield single. Alomar's double to left-center scored
Astacio, and Perez followed with an RBI single for a 5-2 lead.

The Phillies didn't get closer than two runs the rest of the
way.

Adams (4-6) allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings. He
had given up three runs or less in his last four starts.

''I made some good pitches, but I also made a lot of bad ones,''
Adams said.

Pat Burrell's 20th homer leading off the third cut it to 5-3.
Burrell hit a long foul into the second level of the upper deck at
Veteran Stadium a few pitches before launching a solo shot into the
left-field bullpen.

After Burrell's homer, Rolen flied out, but Travis Lee and Mike
Lieberthal followed with singles. Marlon Anderson then singled to
right, but Burnitz nailed Lee at the plate. Adams lined out to left
to end the inning.

''It was a big play,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said of
Burnitz's throw. ''I don't know if Astacio would've faced another
batter.''

Burnitz's RBI double in the sixth gave the Mets a 6-3 lead.
Alfonzo singled with two outs and scored when right fielder Bobby
Abreu misplayed Burnitz's liner.

The Mets broke it open with six runs off reliever Jose Santiago
in the ninth. Vaughn had an RBI single, Burnitz drove in two with a
single, Rey Ordonez had a run-scoring single and pinch-hitter John
Valentin capped it with a two-run double.

Burnitz, who has also struggled the entire year, is hitting .291
(16-for-55) with five RBI in his last 15 games.

Game notes
Mets' minor leaguer Jorge Toca broke his right leg in a game
against Richmond on Tuesday night. ... Before the game, the Mets
placed right-hander Steve Trachsel on the 15-day disabled list with
a strained muscle in his neck and shoulder. He'll become the first
Mets starter to miss his turn in the rotation this season. ...
Burrell has 12 homers and 37 RBI in 132 career at-bats against the
Mets. ... Lieberthal is 11-for-19 lifetime off Astacio. ... RHP
Tyler Walker made his big league debut for the Mets in the ninth.