PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Chase Utley hit an RBI single off Billy Wagner in the ninth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies completed a huge sweep of the first-place New York Mets by rallying for an 11-10 victory Thursday in one of the wildest games of the season.
By winning four straight against the Mets, Philadelphia moved within two games of the NL East leaders and suddenly set up an exciting September pennant race.
Mets nemesis Pat Burrell homered twice. Ryan Howard and Aaron Rowand also connected for the Phillies, who wasted leads of 5-0 and 8-5 before falling behind 10-8 in the eighth. That's when the Mets called on the struggling Wagner, who hadn't pitched since last Friday after experiencing a tired arm.
Looking for his first six-out save in eight years, Wagner (2-2) gave up Burrell's solo shot in the eighth and pinch-hitter Tadahito Iguchi's tying single in the ninth.
Jayson Werth sparked the rally by stealing second and third on consecutive pitches with one out. Iguchi also had a key stolen base before Utley's hit ended a game that lasted exactly 4 hours.
It was Philadelphia's first four-game sweep over any team since doing it against the Mets in September 2003 at old Veterans Stadium. The Phillies have sliced five games off New York's lead with five straight wins while the Mets have lost five in a row.
Tom Gordon (2-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Astros 2, Cardinals 1
HOUSTON (AP) - Matt Albers pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, Lance Berkman homered for the second consecutive game and Houston beat St. Louis.
Albers (4-6) shut down the Cardinals for the second time this season. He earned his first major league victory in St. Louis on May 5, giving up three hits in 7 1-3 innings for a 13-0 win.
Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 14th save.
Joel Pineiro (3-2) lost for the first time in five starts.
Reds 5, Pirates 4
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Alex Gonzalez scored from first on Ken Griffey Jr.'s pop-fly single that fell among three Pirates fielders in the ninth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds overcame Adam Dunn's baserunning mistake that cost them two runs.
Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips nailed Josh Phelps at the plate for the final out after hustling to retrieve Nate McLouth's single into short right. Phelps apparently thought he would score easily from second and did not slide.
With Griffey getting three hits and scoring twice, the Reds came back from deficits of 2-0 and 4-3 to win their eighth in 10 games and split the four-game series. The Pirates lost their fourth in 13 games.
Jared Burton (4-1) won despite allowing Jose Bautista's two-run homer that put the Pirates up 4-3 in the seventh. David Weathers earned his 29th save in 34 opportunities, but only because of an exceptional play by Phillips.
The Reds had two runs erased in the fourth when Dunn missed third base on Edwin Encarnacion's apparent two-run single.
Matt Capps (4-6) took the loss.
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