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Streaking Mets beat Phillies, win seventh straight

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- New York Mets jerseys dotted the park and
the crowd erupted with each run as they rooted for the road team.
Chants of "M-V-P! "M-V-P!" were heard for Carlos Delgado and a
few diehards yelled "1986!" at Keith Hernandez in the broadcast
booth.

This looked like a game at Shea Stadium and sounded like a game
at Shea.

Home or away, one other crucial part has remained the same: The
Mets are rolling atop the NL East.

David Wright homered, Delgado knocked in three runs and the Mets
beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 on Wednesday night for their
seventh straight win.

"I have to say we're playing as well as we can right now,"
Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

The NL East-leading Mets (41-23) have won nine of 11 and hold a
commanding 8 1/2-game lead over the bumbling Phillies in second place.
Only two teams in Mets history reached 40 wins faster: the 1986
World Series champions and the 1988 team that lost in the league
championship series.

Jose Reyes had four of the Mets' 16 hits. Each starter had a hit
and scored.

"When you play well, that usually will happen," Randolph said.
"Everyone's making a contribution."

The Phillies can't catch the ball, much less the Mets in the
standings. Philadelphia made three errors for the second straight
game and have lost five of six.

"If they want to kick the ball around, that's fine with me,"
Randolph said.

Darren Oliver (3-0) earned the win with one-run ball in three
innings of relief. Mets starter Orlando Hernandez gave up two runs
in three-plus innings, but did not return after a 1 hour, 5 minute
rain delay.

"I feel bad for El Duque, that should have been his win,"
Randolph said. "He was kind of cruising a bit. I didn't want to
take a chance of setting him back."

Hernandez would have easily recorded his fifth win of the season
had he pitched two more innings. The Mets led 7-2 after four
innings. Delgado had run-scoring hits in the first and fourth, and
a sacrifice fly in the eighth that made it 9-3.

"It's nice to go out there and put pressure on the
opposition," Delgado said.

Phillies starter Brett Myers (4-3) failed to get past the third
inning for the second straight start. He wasn't helped by the shaky
defense behind him, though. He allowed six runs -- five earned -- in
2 2/3 innings and one dropped flyball was questionably called a
triple.

With the Mets already ahead 2-0, Myers ran into more trouble
after retiring the first two batters in the second. He allowed two
singles and Paul Lo Duca reached on David Bell's error to load the
bases. Carlos Beltran walked for a 3-0 lead.

Wright hit an 0-2 pitch the opposite way to right for his 13th
homer and a 4-0 lead leading off the third. Endy Chavez tripled to
deep center when Aaron Rowand, who broke his nose running into the
fence a month earlier, seemed to pull up near the wall this time.
Lastings Milledge followed with an RBI single.

Jose Reyes hit a drive to deep right field that put Bobby Abreu
on the run. The ball bounced off his glove and Reyes scooted to
third with a very generous triple. That was it for Myers, who ended
his rough outing by appearing to glare at Abreu as walked to the
dugout.

Abreu was booed as he jogged with his head down toward the
dugout at the end of the inning.

"You want to keep your composure and not show like you're
mad," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

The Phillies' blunders weren't only in the field. Bell flied out
to center field with runners on first and second and one out in the
second inning. Ryan Howard was caught in a rundown trying to
advance to third and tagged out to end the threat.

Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer, his third in two games, and
Abreu added an RBI single for the Phillies.

"They're playing real good ball right now and they took
advantage of our mistakes again," Rollins said.

Manuel was ejected in the fourth inning for apparently arguing a
called third strike on Bell. Manuel was ejected by plate umpire Sam
Holbrook after the second out. Manuel shouted from the dugout over
the strike on Bell, was tossed, then came out to argue some more.

Game notes
Phillies RHP Julio Santana will miss the rest of the season
because of a right elbow injury that will require ligament
reconstruction surgery to repair. Signed to a one-year contract
last winter in the hopes that he would strengthen the bullpen,
Santana was 0-0 with a 7.56 ERA in seven games. ... Phillies lefty
Randy Wolf, also coming back from an elbow injury, will have his
next rehabilitation start pushed back a day or two after getting
hit on the left hand by a line drive Tuesday. Wolf woke up
Wednesday with swelling in his left hand. ... The Phillies recalled
RHP Scott Mathieson from Double-A Reading to start Saturday's game
against Tampa Bay. Mathieson was 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 13 starts.