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Lee's RBI single in 12th leads Phillies to win

7/13/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa doesn't know how
many more of these Phillies wins he can take.

Travis Lee hit an RBI single in the 12th inning as the Phillies
overcame another bullpen meltdown to beat the New York Mets 7-6
Saturday.

After holding on for a 9-8 victory Friday, the Phillies survived
a blown save by closer Jose Mesa in the ninth and two threats by
the Mets in extra innings before winning it.

"Every game is tough,'' Bowa said. "It doesn't matter how many
runs we score, it's always a one or two-run game. It's tough to
play like that and tough to manage like that. It could have been
worse. We could have lost those two games.''

It looked like the Phillies might lose when the Mets put a
runner on third with one out in the 11th. But Hector Mercado (1-2)
struck out Roger Cedeno and retired Timo Perez on a groundout to
preserve the tie.

Philadelphia then won it in the 12th. Pat Burrell led off with
his third walk of the game and went to third on Scott Rolen's
single against Scott Strickland (6-6).

Lee followed with a run-scoring single to center to make it 7-6.

"He reached back for a slider, jammed Lee, and he just blooped
it into center field,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "I
thought good pitches, bad results.''

The Phillies loaded the bases with one out, but Strickland
recovered to strike out pinch-hitter Tomas Perez and retire Doug
Glanville on a flyout. Philadelphia is hitting .169 with the bases
loaded this season.

Carlos Silva pitched the 12th for his first career save, getting
help with a nifty 4-4-3 double play by second baseman Marlon
Anderson.

"It feels good to do something that contributes to a win,''
said Anderson, who also had four hits and two RBI.

Silva retired John Valentin on a shallow fly with runners at
first and second to end it, a rare bright spot for a Phillies
bullpen that has a major league-worst 5.09 ERA.

"It's mentally draining,'' Phillies catcher Todd Pratt said.
"That's all I can say. Sometimes the mental fatigue gets to you.''

Mike Piazza drove in three runs and Edgardo Alfonzo hit a solo
homer for the Mets, who matched a season worst by dropping two
games below .500. New York began the day 13{ games behind Atlanta
in the NL East, matching its largest deficit since finishing 18
games out in 1998.

"The positive thing you can say is we battled back,'' Piazza
said. "We just didn't finish it.''

Mets reliever Mark Corey, who missed two weeks after collapsing
from a seizure, pitched one perfect inning in his first game back.

The Mets trailed 6-1 in the sixth inning before closing to 6-4
against Phillies starter Vicente Padilla.

But Mesa couldn't protect that lead in the ninth, blowing his
sixth save in 29 chances. Jeromy Burnitz singled with one out for
his third hit of the game. One out later, Rey Ordonez beat out a
slow roller to second base for an infield hit.

Bowa argued the call with first-base umpire Mark Wegner, but
replays showed Ordonez beat the throw with a headfirst slide.

Roger Cedeno lined the next pitch into center field to make it
6-5 and put runners on first and third. Ordonez scored on a wild
pitch to tie it.

"It just fell apart,'' Pratt said.

Padilla, whose stiff arm was a big reason the All-Star Game
ended in a tie, looked fine against the Mets. He allowed four runs
and nine hits in 7 1-3 innings and also had an RBI.

"I felt good today,'' Padilla said through an interpreter. "In
the All-Star Game my arm felt tight. A couple of days off helped me
feel better.''

Mets starter Shawn Estes, whose 55 walks are seventh-most in the
NL, was again hurt by his poor control. Three of the four batters
Estes walked eventually scored.

After walking Burrell and Lee in the fourth inning, Estes
allowed a two-run double to Pratt. Anderson followed with an RBI
single, prompting boos from the frustrated crowd of 51,470.

Alfonzo's sixth homer of the year brought the Mets within two,
but the Phillies knocked Estes out with three runs in the sixth,
including an RBI double by Anderson.

Estes allowed six runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He has
just one win in his past nine starts.

Game notes
Burrell grounded out against Armando Benitez in the 10th
inning and is 4-for-6 with three homers and two walks in his career
against the Mets closer. ... The Phillies have won 12 of 16 road
games after starting the season 5-22 away from home. ... Rolen has
hit safely in 11 straight games.