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Phillies Look Like Their Old Selves

Baseball: Rollins' two-out, eighth-inning single helps Philadelphia overcome Piazza and Mets, 8-7.

July 04, 2002|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Jimmy Rollins gave the fans a reason to come back to Veterans Stadium.

Rollins' run-scoring single with two out in the eighth inning lifted the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-7 victory over the New York Mets before a crowd of 50,396 on Wednesday night.

"The crowd reminded me of the late 1970s, early '80s," said Manager Larry Bowa, a shortstop on the Phillies' 1980 championship team. "To win it the way we did is incredible."

Mike Piazza hit two three-run homers for the Mets, who lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Scott Strickland (6-5) retired the first two batters in the eighth but left after Ricky Ledee doubled to left-center. Mark Guthrie entered and Rollins lined his first pitch into center, scoring Ledee to give the Phillies an 8-7 lead.

Though most of the fans showed up to see fireworks after the game, it was the type of victory that could get more people interested in the Phillies.

Dan Plesac (2-1) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings, and Jose Mesa worked the ninth, striking out Piazza with a runner on first for his 22nd save in 26 chances.

After Piazza's second homer--he also homered in the sixth inning--gave the Mets a 7-6 lead in the seventh, Bobby Abreu walked to start the bottom of the inning against reliever Jaime Cerda. Strickland entered, Abreu stole second and Burrell hit a double to right-center that tied it at 7-7.

The crowd was the largest at the Vet since opening day when 50,942 came to see the Phillies after they finished in second place last season.

"To hear that noise is nice. It's not something you normally hear at the Vet," Rollins said.

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