• Summary: Carlos Beltran seems to have found his groove again, banging two home runs for the second straight day to lead the Mets to their third straight win over the Phillies.
• Spread the love: On top of Beltran's two homers, Paul Lo Duca and David Wright each connected in the first inning to give New York an early 3-0 lead.
• Figure this: Beltran has 20 career multihomer games, including three this season. He also tied his career-high with four hits.
• Quotable: "I was nervous until I got out there for the first pitch." -- J.A. Happ, who was sent back to Triple-A Ottawa after the game.
-- ESPN.com news services
Mets 8, Phillies 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Carlos Beltran was rounding first when he looked up and saw Aaron Rowand climb the center-field fence trying to make a spectacular catch.The way things are going for both teams, it's no surprise the ball hit off Rowand's glove and landed in the bullpen.Beltran homered twice for the second straight game, leading the New York Mets to an 8-3 victory over the free-falling Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.Beltran, who finished 4-for-5, gave the Mets a 5-3 lead with a two-run drive off starter J.A. Happ in the fifth inning. His solo shot off Ryan Madson in the seventh made it 6-3.Rowand nearly robbed Beltran, though. With his back to the plate, Rowand ran up the fence and reached over only to come up short."He almost made an incredible play," said Beltran, who homered from both sides of the plate for the fifth time in his career. "If he caught it, it would've been a sad moment for me."Paul Lo Duca and David Wright also connected, and Jorge Sosa pitched five effective innings before he left after straining his left hamstring running to first base in the sixth.Manager Willie Randolph said it won't be known for a few days how long Sosa will be out. The Mets will call up rookie Mike Pelfrey to start Sunday because Oliver Perez has a stiff back. Perez is hoping to pitch Tuesday at Colorado.Sosa (7-3) allowed three runs and four hits. He was injured beating out a relay throw to avoid a double play after bunting."He was erratic, but he pitched well enough to keep us in the game," Randolph said.The Mets' bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, and Pedro Feliciano recorded the final six outs for his first career save.Beltran had a pair of solo homers off Cole Hamels, helping New York complete a sweep of a day-night doubleheader Friday. The last time he hit two homers on consecutive days was last July 29-30 at Atlanta."I feel good at the plate," he said. "I'm seeing the ball good."The injury-riddled Phillies, using a rookie starter in three of their four games this weekend, fell six games behind the NL East-leading Mets.Ryan Howard hit his 19th homer for Philadelphia, which is trying to contend with a patchwork pitching staff.Happ (0-1) became the sixth pitcher to make his major league debut with the Phillies this season, allowing five runs and seven hits in four-plus innings.It doesn't appear the Phillies are close to getting any help. Starters Freddy Garcia (shoulder) and Jon Lieber (foot) both could be out the rest of the season. Closer Tom Gordon (shoulder) and starter-turned-closer Brett Myers (shoulder) remain sidelined."We got in a spot where we had to throw some young pitchers at them," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We'll stay together. We've got to get Brett and Gordon back healthy. That would really help."After Howard's drive tied it in the fourth, Happ walked Lo Duca leading off the fifth and Beltran pulled a 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall.Happ had a shaky first. Jose Reyes singled leading off. He injured his right shoulder on a swing during the at-bat, but stayed in after getting checked out by a trainer and manager Willie Randolph. Lo Duca then hit the first pitch he saw into the left-field seats to make it 2-0.After Beltran struck out, Wright hit his 14th homer. Carlos Delgado followed with a double and Damion Easley blooped a single to center. But Happ escaped further trouble by striking out Shawn Green and Carlos Gomez."I was nervous until I got out there for the first pitch," said Happ, who was sent back to Triple-A Ottawa after the game.The Phillies cut it to 3-2 in the second when Greg Dobbs grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Carlos Ruiz followed with an RBI single to center.
Country music star Tim McGraw, son of the late former Phillies and Mets reliever Tug McGraw, threw out the first pitch. ... Struggling LF Pat Burrell, the highest-paid player on the Phillies at $13 million this season, was benched for the ninth time in 13 games. ... Beltran has 20 career multihomer games, including three this season. He tied his career-high with four hits. ... Howard's homer into the second deck in right-center field was 450 feet. His 505-foot shot against the Reds on Wednesday night was the longest homer in the four-year history of Citizens Bank Park.