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Beltran's homer in 16th gives Mets win in longest game of season

NEW YORK (AP) -- As the innings went by Tuesday night and into
Wednesday morning, there was a sense of urgency for the
Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

"You can't lose that kind of game," Mets manager Willie
Randolph said. "You use all your roster, you have to win the game.
You're out there that long, you don't want to waste it."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel felt the same way.

"We had the game won a couple of times but it got away from
us," he said.

Carlos Beltran settled this battle of attrition by leading off
the 16th inning with his 12th home run, ending a 5-hour, 22-minute
marathon that was the longest game in the major leagues this
season. There were 521 pitches and Beltran hit the last one into
the New York bullpen.

The Mets used 21 players and the Phillies 18. The only position
player who didn't get into the game was Philadelphia reserve
outfielder Chris Coste.

Ryan Madson (4-3) worked seven scoreless innings in relief,
uncharted territory for him, before Beltran's homer ended it and
gave him the loss.

"I never thought I would (go that long)," said Madson, who
threw 105 pitches. "I felt better later. I felt comfortable. I had
no idea how many pitches I threw."

Madson said he was prepared to go as long as necessary. Only
closer Tom Gordon and Real Cormier were left in the Phillies
bullpen and Cormier had received an injection in his shoulder and
was unavailable.

"I knew I was it," Madson said.

Beltran caught up with a high fastball to end it.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone," he said. "It was a
fastball up and in and I was able to hit it good."

Darren Oliver (2-0) worked four shutout innings to earn the
victory that stretched the Mets' lead in the NL East over the
Phillies to four games.

Jose Reyes capped a furious New York comeback with a two-out,
two-run homer in the eighth, tying the score at 8-8. The rally
started when Endy Chavez beat out an infield hit and scored on a
pinch double by Chris Woodward. Reyes, who had been 0-for-4,
followed with his fourth homer of the season.

"I don't know how I got that one," he said, after golfing the
ball over the wall, one of four homers hit by the Mets.

Home runs by David Wright and Cliff Floyd erased an early 2-0
deficit for the Mets. But David Bell drove in five runs with a
three-run homer and a double to put Philadelphia ahead.

Rookie Shane Victorino's RBI single to right broke a 2-2 tie in
the fifth and then Bell, who had just 13 RBI before Tuesday night
and had flied out to end a bases loaded threat in the third,
followed with his fourth homer of the season for a 6-2 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Chavez singled and pinch-hitter
Jose Valentin walked. After two outs, Beltran's infield single
scored Chavez, who had stolen third.

An inning later, consecutive doubles by Floyd and Kaz Matsui
made it 6-4. Then Julio Franco, appearing in his 2,400th major
league game, delivered a pinch double against reliever Aaron Fultz,
scoring Matsui.

In the seventh, Mets reliever Aaron Heilman walked Ryan Howard
and Victorino, and Bell followed with a two-run double to left
center. But the Mets came back again in the eighth on hits by
Chavez and Woodward before Reyes' home run tied the score at 8.

Game notes
Mets RF Xavier Nady was a late scratch from the lineup
because of lower back stiffness. ... Wright's second-inning homer
was the first run the Mets scored for Steve Trachsel in three
starts. ... Floyd's homer was his second in the last three games.
... It was the longest Mets game since 1995. ... Rob Bell of the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays was the last pitcher to have a seven-inning
relief stint, getting the win with seven shutout innings against
Arizona on June 19, 2004.