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Utley, Phils win rain-shortened game vs. Mets

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Aaron Rowand left bloodied, broken and
battered after a gutsy catch-and-crash that saved a win for
Philadelphia.

Rowand broke his nose on the spectacular run-saving catch, Chase
Utley homered and the Phillies beat the New York Mets 2-0 in a
rain-shortened game Thursday night.

Rowand was admitted to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
where he will undergo further evaluation after his violent
collision with the center-field wall. Phillies manager Charlie
Manuel said a disabled list stint could be likely for his starting
center fielder.

"He's hurt pretty bad," Manuel said. "He's going to be out
for a while. How long? I don't know yet."

With games already rained out in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, the
Phillies started this one 12 minutes late and played in a steady
drizzle until it started pouring which forced it to be stopped
after the Mets batted in the top of the fifth inning. It was called
after a delay of 1 hour, 37 minutes.

Gavin Floyd (4-2) allowed two hits and walked four in five
innings to help the Phillies take two of three from the Mets and
move within three games of the NL East leaders.

Floyd was bailed out in the first inning by one of the best
catches in the two-plus year history of Citizens Bank Park.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Xavier Nady hit a drive to
deep center field that put Rowand on the run with his back to the
infield. Rowand made the overhead catch in his outstretched glove
as he smacked face first into the railing on top of the short
bullpen fence next to the 398-foot sign and collapsed to the
ground. His left knee dented the "M" in a wall advertisement and
blood spurted from his nose.

Rowand gamely held up his glove to show the ball, then rested on
his hands and knees as trainers and Manuel ran out.

Rowand, acquired in the trade that sent Jim Thome to the Chicago
White Sox, held a towel on his face as he was helped off the field
to a standing ovation. Rowand also had lacerations under his eye.

With the runners going on contact and the ball sailing toward
the top of the fence, the catch saved at least three runs. Shane
Victorino replaced Rowand in the second inning and will likely
start Friday night at Cincinnati.

"It won the game for us. That's three runs," Manuel said. "It
definitely changed everything around in the game."

Mets manager Willie Randolph called the catch one of the best
he's ever seen.

"You see great catches all the time, but to see a guy sacrifice
his body like that made it even greater," he said.

Rowand told the Phillies earlier this season he thought the rail
needed padding to make the wall safer. The Phillies said the
padding arrived Tuesday and was scheduled to be installed next week
when they are on the road.

"It was an amazing catch, but it was bittersweet," Floyd said.

Utley made it 1-0 in the first with his eighth homer into the
first few rows of seats in right off Steve Trachsel (2-3). David
Bell, who made a great diving stop at third base in the fourth to
save a run, had an RBI single in the fourth.

It was a hustling -- if not painful -- night for Phillies center
fielders. Victorino tripled off the right-field wall in the second
inning, then sprinted out of the box on a hit to center in the
fourth and stretched it into a double. He scored on Bell's single.

Trachsel allowed six hits and struck out three. He tried
stalling as the rain fell harder, stepping off the mound, fussing
with the resin bag and walking around the mound, but it wasn't
enough to not make this one official.

Game notes
It was a rough series for Rowand, who was hit so hard in
the left hand by Pedro Martinez in the series opener that it
sounded like the crack of the bat. ... The Phillies won a night
after having their nine-game winning streak snapped. The streak was
tied for seventh longest in team history ... Mets manager Willie
Randolph moved struggling LF Cliff Floyd to second in the batting
order. He went 0-for-3 and his average dropped to .186. ... The
Phillies optioned RHP Geoff Geary to Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.