PHILADELPHIA – Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, and David Bell and Kenny Lofton each had four hits to give the Philadelphia Phillies’ fading postseason hopes a boost with a 16-6 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

The Phillies avoided a three-game sweep and maintained their slim chance of catching Houston for the NL wild card. The Phillies began the day 21/2 games behind the Astros, who played in St. Louis and finish the season with four home games against the Cubs.

The Phillies are off Thursday and close the season with a three-game series in Washington.

Jimmy Rollins extended his club-record hitting streak to 33 games with a leadoff single, and Shane Victorino and Pat Burrell each homered during a seven-run eighth inning. Utley drove in two runs in the eighth to give him 101 RBIs, and the Phillies had a season-high 20 hits.

Philadelphia desperately needed the victory after two crushing losses to the Mets. The bullpen squandered a three-run lead in the eighth inning on Monday, and Bell’s critical baserunning blunder in the eighth on Tuesday cost the Phillies two games they could have won.

The Mets threatened again late in this one, also, this time when David Wright’s two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Ryan Madson pulled them to 9-6.

Vicente Padilla (9-12) was solid until tiring in the seventh, allowing five runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. He allowed two solo homers to Marlon Anderson and one to Cliff Floyd.

Staked to an early 2-1 lead, Mets starter Steve Trachsel (1-4) ran into trouble in the third.

Rollins led off with a walk, Lofton singled and Utley hit his 26th homer off the netting attached to the right-field foul pole for a 4-2 lead. Mike Lieberthal added an RBI single to make it 5-2.

Rollins extended his hitting streak with a leadoff infield single. He hit a grounder that seemed to get stuck in the glove of hard-charging shortstop Jose Reyes. He did not attempt a throw and the speedy Rollins got a standing ovation.

He scored on Bobby Abreu’s sacrifice fly, his 100th RBI. Abreu, Burrell (116 RBIs) and Utley give the Phillies three players with 100 RBIs for the first time since 1932.

The Mets scored on Floyd’s 33rd homer and an RBI single by Miguel Cairo in the second. Anderson connected in the fifth and hit his sixth homer in the seventh.

Trachsel lasted only 4 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs and 10 hits.

Bell’s sacrifice fly and Lofton’s RBI single in the fifth gave Philadelphia a 7-3 lead. Bell added an RBI single and Padilla walked with the bases loaded in the sixth.

Notes: RHP Braden Looper, who leads the Mets with 28 saves, will have surgery Monday on a joint in his right shoulder. … Eagles WR Terrell Owens and former WR Freddie Mitchell were at the game. … Rollins’ hitting streak is the longest in the majors since Florida’s Luis Castillo hit in 35 straight in 2002. … Anderson had his second career multihomer game. He did it in July against Colorado. … The Phillies finished 46-35 at home and had a total attendance of 2,665,304. … Abreu had his third straight 100-RBI season and the fourth of his career.

AP-ES-09-28-05 2247EDT


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