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Phillies hammer Mets, stay in wild-card hunt

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- For the Philadelphia Phillies, there was no
celebrating this blowout victory.

Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, and
David Bell and Kenny Lofton each had four hits to help Philadelphia
maintain its flickering playoff hopes with a 16-6 win over the New
York Mets on Wednesday night.

The Phillies avoided a three-game sweep and still have a slim
chance of catching Houston for the NL wild card. They remained 2½
games behind the Astros, who beat St. Louis 7-6 and finish the
season with four home games against the Cubs.

In the Phillies' clubhouse after the game, a few solemn players
watched Houston's Willy Taveras score the winning run against the
Cardinals on television, and the realization hit hard that
Philadelphia's postseason push might be coming to an end.

"I think we're out on a limb right now, hanging over a cliff
and we're trying to find a way to get back," manager Charlie
Manuel said.

The Phillies are off Thursday and close the season with a
three-game series in Washington.

Jimmy Rollins extended his club-record hitting streak to 33
games with a leadoff single, and Shane Victorino and Pat Burrell
each homered during a seven-run eighth inning. Utley drove in two
runs in the eighth to give him 101 RBI, and the Phillies had a
season-high 20 hits.

"We put it all together," Utley said. "We still have three
more to go. There's definitely still a shot. Obviously, we need a
little help."

Philadelphia desperately needed the victory after two crushing
losses to the Mets. The bullpen squandered a three-run lead in the
eighth inning on Monday, and Bell's critical baserunning blunder in
the eighth on Tuesday cost the Phillies two games they could have
won.

"Without a doubt, that put a big hurt on us," Manuel said.

The Mets threatened late in this one, too, when David Wright's
two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Ryan Madson pulled them
to 9-6. The Phillies never let them get any closer, getting the big
inning they could have used the last two games.

"I always knew we had a lot of fight in us," Manuel said.

Vicente Padilla (9-12) was solid until tiring in the seventh,
allowing five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed two
solo homers to Marlon Anderson and one to Cliff Floyd.

Staked to an early 2-1 lead, Mets starter Steve Trachsel (1-4)
ran into trouble in the third.

Rollins led off with a walk, Lofton singled and Utley hit his
26th homer off the netting attached to the right-field foul pole
for a 4-2 lead. Mike Lieberthal added an RBI single to make it 5-2.

Rollins extended his hitting streak with a leadoff infield
single. He hit a grounder that seemed to get stuck in the glove of
hard-charging shortstop Jose Reyes. He did not attempt a throw and
the speedy Rollins got a standing ovation.

He scored on Bobby Abreu's sacrifice fly, his 100th RBI. Abreu,
Burrell (116 RBI) and Utley give the Phillies three players with
100 RBI for the first time since 1932.

"The Phillies let out a little frustration tonight," Mets
manager Willie Randolph said.

The Mets scored on Floyd's 33rd homer and an RBI single by
Miguel Cairo in the second. Anderson connected in the fifth and hit
his sixth homer in the seventh.

Trachsel lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and 10
hits.

"Every time he got it up, they hit," Randolph said.

Bell's sacrifice fly and Lofton's RBI single in the fifth gave
Philadelphia a 7-3 lead. Bell added an RBI single and Padilla
walked with the bases loaded in the sixth.

"We put it to them late in the game," Utley said. "It was
huge."

But it might have come too late.

Game notes
RHP Braden Looper, who leads the Mets with 28 saves, will
have surgery Monday on a joint in his right shoulder. ... Eagles WR
Terrell Owens and former WR Freddie Mitchell were at the game. ...
Rollins' hitting streak is the longest in the majors since
Florida's Luis Castillo hit in 35 straight in 2002. ... Anderson
had his second career multihomer game. He did it in July against
Colorado. ... The Phillies finished 46-35 at home and had a total
attendance of 2,665,304. ... Abreu had his third straight 100-RBI
season and the fourth of his career.