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NL ROUNDUP

Phillies throw away chance to gain ground

Bad defense and a shaky bullpen cost the Phillies a crucial game last night, when the New York Mets rallied for four runs in the eighth inning and a 6-5 victory over host Philadelphia.

Pat Burrell came to the plate with two runners on in the ninth but bounced back to the mound on a check-swing for the final out, dropping the Phillies 1 1/2 games behind idle Houston in the wild-card race.

Philadelphia came completely undone in the eighth inning.

Ugueth Urbina (4-3) wasted Brett Myers's stellar effort during the meltdown, putting the first two batters on before Miguel Cairo's RBI double made it 5-3.

Carlos Beltran followed with a slow roller to second that a charging Chase Utley briefly had in his mitt before it popped out. Utley tried to recover but wildly threw past first for an error, and two runs scored to tie it. Ryan Madson came in and struck out David Wright, then hit Mike Piazza with a pitch. The lefthanded hitting Mike Jacobs sent a sacrifice fly to deep center to put the Mets ahead, 6-5.

Giants 3, Padres 2 -- Randy Winn hit a tying, two-out triple off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning, and J.T. Snow hit a go-ahead single two batters later as visiting San Francisco stunned San Diego and pulled within three games of the West-leading Padres.

The Padres' magic number for clinching the division title remains four with six games to play.

Nationals 4, Marlins 0 -- Cristian Guzman had three hits and three RBIs, Hector Carrasco pitched six strong innings, and visiting Washington put Florida on the brink of playoff elimination.

Florida has dropped four straight and 10 of 12. Another loss, or a Houston victory, will knock the Marlins out of wild-card contention.

Rockies 6, Braves 5 -- Todd Greene hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and visiting Colorado edged Atlanta, whose magic number for winning the East dropped to one when second-place Philadelphia lost.

Brewers 12, Reds 9 -- Carlos Lee drove in two runs to match his career high with 113 RBIs, as host Milwaukee outlasted Cincinnati.

Dodgers 9, Pirates 4 -- Rookie Jason Repko drove in four runs with a pair of triples as host Los Angeles handed Kip Wells his major league-worst 18th loss.

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