David Wright hit a three-run homer and the Mets won their eighth straight game, getting off to another fast start to beat the fading Phillies 5-4 Thursday.
Steve Trachsel pitched six effective innings and the NL East-leading Mets (42-23) extended their lead to 9½ games over second-place Philadelphia by completing a three-game sweep. New York finished 9-1 on its road trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phillies.
New York set a major league record by winning its eighth consecutive game on the road when scoring in the first inning. The 1939 Yankees did it seven consecutive games. The Mets' streak of eight straight games scoring in the first is a team record, and the eight consecutive wins are their most during any road trip.
"If you would've told me in spring training that we'd have a 9½-game lead at this time of year, it would've been a good dream," general manager Omar Minaya said. "But there's a lot of baseball left. You sleep a little better 9½ games up. You give yourself a cushion."
Pat Burrell hit a pair of homers for the Phillies, who fell to 33-33 with their sixth loss in seven games.
The Mets appear poised to run away with the division title and end Atlanta's unprecedented string of 14 straight division championships. The Braves began the day 12 games behind.
The Phillies came into the series hoping to narrow the gap in the standings. Instead, they lost the first two games and fell behind 4-0 in the first inning of this one. A showdown for first place turned into a showcase for the Mets.
"We just have to keep going," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "There's a lot of games left, but when you get 10-12 games back, it can be hard."
Wright's shot landed in the flower bed just over the left-field wall, giving him homers in three straight games and extending his hitting streak to nine games. Wright is batting .395 (15-for-38) with four homers and 12 RBI during that stretch.
"To be able to take four in a row in Arizona and three straight here shows that we're not settling," Wright said. "We didn't settle for taking two out of three. That says a lot about a team. It shows we're hungry."
Reyes led off the fifth with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice by Chavez and scored on Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
The Phillies closed to 5-4 on Burrell's two-run drive in the fifth. With two outs, Bobby Abreu extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single. Burrell then drove a 3-2 pitch into the seats in left-center for his 18th homer and 35th against the Mets.
But the Phillies didn't get a runner on the rest of the game, with 13 batters in a row going down.
"Our bullpen did a tremendous job," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
A sellout crowd of 45,102 was the largest of the season and second-biggest in the three-year history of Citizens Bank Park. It included thousands of Mets fans who cheered loudly for their team. Philly fans finally drowned out chants of "Let's Go Mets!" with the familiar chant of "E-A-G-L-E-S!"
If the Phillies continue their losing ways, they'll have plenty of empty seats when the Eagles begin training camp next month.
"We're good enough to be in every game, but bad enough not to win," Lidle said.
Lidle left after Ramon Castro singled leading off the seventh. The right-hander allowed five runs and six hits in six innings. Frustrated with his performance, he threw his glove against the dugout wall as he walked off the field.
- There was a 25-minute rain delay in the middle of the third inning.
- Chavez made a diving catch on a sinking liner to right field by Aaron Rowand to end the third inning with two runners on.
- A notoriously slow worker, Trachsel delayed the start of the game when he trotted in from the bullpen with his catcher just before the first pitch.
- Beltran has a hit and RBI in eight straight games.
- Burrell has 13 multihomer games.
- Country singer Tim McGraw, son of former Phillies and Mets reliever Tug McGraw, threw out the first pitch.
- The largest crowd at Citizens Bank Park was 45,449 for a game against the Mets last June 23.