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Phillies Beat Mets With Nine-Run Inning to Take Division Lead

The Philadelphia Phillies routed the New York Mets 11-5 behind a nine-run fourth inning to take over first place in the National League Eastern Division.

The Phillies scored all nine runs with two outs in the fourth inning to overcome a 5-2 deficit last night at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia. They tagged pitcher Johan Santana, the Mets’ ace, for 10 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

“It’s tough, there’s no doubt about it,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel told reporters. “It’s our rival and we came in playing pretty good baseball.”

After a 9-1 victory in the opener of the three-game series to push their winning streak to eight games, the Mets were outscored by the Phillies 21-5 in losing the final two games.

The Phillies, the defending National League champions, improved to 14-10 and lead the Mets (14-11) by a half-game in the division.

New York took a 5-2 lead as David Wright and Rod Barajas hit home runs against Phillies starting pitcher Jamie Moyer, who at 47 is the oldest player in Major League Baseball.

Santana got two outs in the fourth after a leadoff double by Chase Utley and gave up a run-scoring single to Raul Ibanez. Juan Castro followed with a single, Carlos Ruiz walked and Santana issued another walk to Moyer to force in a run.

“Things kind of unraveled from there,” Manuel said. “Walking the pitcher there was huge. Those things happen. Unfortunately it happened against this team.”

The next batter, Shane Victorino, drilled a grand slam that put the Phillies up 8-5. Utley belted a two-run homer and Jayson Werth added a run-scoring double.

“It was just a rough night,” said Santana, who was 3-1 entering the game. “It was one of those nights where whatever you did didn’t work out. The toughest thing is we took the lead early in the game and I wasn’t able to protect it.”

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