Series: Game 4 of 4

New York won 4-0

Game 1: Friday, September 6
New York 7Final
Philadelphia 2
Game 2: Saturday, September 7
New York 5Final
Philadelphia 4
Game 3: Sunday, September 8
New York 11Final
Philadelphia 3
Game 4: Monday, September 9
New York 6Final
Philadelphia 4

Mets 6

(68-74, 35-36 away)

Phillies 4

(70-73, 35-36 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 9, 2002

    Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 000000600 6 - -
    PHI 000210001 4 - -

    W: J. D'Amico (6-10)

    L: M. Timlin (4-5)

    S: A. Benitez (32)

    Mets' victory seals NL East for Braves

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The New York Mets didn't give the Atlanta Braves a chance to celebrate another division title on the field.

    Mike Piazza
    New York Mets
    118 27 85 61 0 .273

    The Braves clinched their 11th straight division championship when the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 Monday night behind Mike Piazza's grand slam.

    Philadelphia's loss wrapped up the NL East for the Braves, who didn't play Monday. The second-place Phillies are a staggering 21 games behind Atlanta.

    The Braves became the first team this season to secure a postseason berth, and they did it earlier than any team in Atlanta history. The 1975 Cincinnati Reds have the earliest clinching since divisional play began in '69, wrapping up the NL West on Sept. 7.

    The Mets, who begin a three-game series at Turner Field on Tuesday, avoided possibly having to watch the Braves win the division.

    "We didn't want to be around when they celebrate,'' Mets first baseman Mo Vaughn said. "They've been a great team time and time again and they deserve it. They'll be the team until someone knocks them off. We knew they would clinch sooner or later, but we didn't want to see it.''

    Piazza went deep in a six-run seventh inning as the Mets set a season high with their seventh consecutive victory.

    The Mets, swept by the Phillies at Shea Stadium last weekend, completed their second four-game sweep at Veterans Stadium. The other came in 1972. They haven't lost since setting an NL record with 15 consecutive home losses.

    "It's as good a roll as we've been on,'' manager Bobby Valentine said. "Hopefully, we can keep it going.''

    The Phillies have lost seven of eight since reaching a season-high three games over .500.

    Jeff D'Amico (6-10) pitched two scoreless innings in relief for his first victory since July 23. Armando Benitez got three outs for his 32nd save in 36 chances, allowing an RBI single to Mike Lieberthal.

    Trailing 3-0 in the seventh, the Mets loaded the bases with one out against reliever Mike Timlin (4-5) on singles by Ty Wigginton, Raul Gonzalez and pinch-hitter Jeromy Burnitz.

    Valentine then sent injured first baseman Mo Vaughn out to bat for D'Amico, hoping to draw left-hander Dan Plesac into the game and then send a right-handed hitter in to bat for Vaughn, who has a sore left hand.

    When Phillies manager Larry Bowa kept Timlin in the game, Valentine called Vaughn back to the dugout and sent John Valentin to the plate.

    "Mo failed his acting course,'' Valentine said. "He went up there with his sneakers on.''

    Valentin cut it to 3-1 with a sacrifice fly. Timlin then walked Roger Cedeno and Roberto Alomar, forcing in a run. Jose Santiago replaced Timlin, who was ejected by plate umpire Larry Vanover for arguing on his way back to the dugout.

    Piazza hit a 2-0 pitch from Santiago over the left-center fence for his 27th homer and 14th career slam.

    "I hadn't been swinging that great,'' Piazza said. "I went up there and in my mind I said I'm not going to swing at a bad pitch.''

    The Phillies took a 3-0 lead against Mets starter Mike Bacsik on a two-run homer by Pat Burrell and an RBI double by Lieberthal.

    Hector Mercado, making his first start in the majors after 93 relief appearances, allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out four in four innings. Carlos Silva pitched two scoreless innings before giving way to Timlin.

    "Mercado threw great,'' Bowa said. "He came up as a starter and we may give him a chance at being a starter in spring training.''

    Bacsik allowed three runs and six hits in four innings.

    Bobby Abreu hit a single to start the fourth inning and scored on Burrell's 36th homer. Burrell has 17 homers and 49 RBIs, including seven homers and 19 RBIs this season, in just 172 career at-bats against the Mets.

    Jimmy Rollins started the fifth with a double and Abreu walked, chasing Bacsik. D'Amico struck out Burrell before Lieberthal hit a liner down the left-field line to score Rollins.

    D'Amico intentionally walked pinch-hitter Travis Lee and got Marlon Anderson to hit into a double play to end the inning.

    Game notes

    The Mets hadn't swept a four-game series since 1997. ... The Phillies, who lead the majors in runners left on base, stranded 11. ... Mets SS Rey Ordonez was a late scratch from the lineup. ... The Phillies hadn't been swept in a four-game series since 1999. ... New York got OF Brady Clark from Cincinnati to complete last month's trade that sent left-hander Shawn Estes to the Reds.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press