The New York Mets sent a clear message to the host Philadelphia Phillies: Start thinking wild card.
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, yesterday.
Steve Trachsel pitched six effective innings and the NL East-leading Mets (42-23) extended their lead to 9 1/2 games over Philadelphia by completing a three-game sweep. They finished 9-1 on their road trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Phillies.
``If you would've told me in spring training that we'd have a 9 1/2-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 9 1/2 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.
Trachsel (4-4) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. Aaron Heilman and Duaner Sanchez followed with perfect innings, and Billy Wagner finished for his 14th save in 17 chances.
``We just have to keep going," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Indians 8, Yankees 4 -- Todd Hollandsworth broke out of his slump with an RBI double and a three-run homer, and Cleveland won to avoid a three-game sweep in New York.
Cliff Lee (5-5) won for the third time since April 26, limiting the Yankees to five hits -- three homers -- over 6 2/3 innings. Ronnie Belliard got four hits and scored three times, and Jhonny Peralta ended his own slump with three hits and two RBIs.
Astros 3, Cubs 2 -- Brad Ausmus hit a two-run single in the eighth inning, rallying Houston to victory and a three-game sweep in Chicago.
Dodgers 7, Padres 3 -- Chad Billingsley pitched impressively in his major league debut and drove in two runs with his first hit, helping Los Angeles past host San Diego to avoid a three-game sweep.
Giants 8, Diamondbacks 2 -- Pedro Feliz had a career-high six RBIs, Matt Morris (4-7) pitched a complete game, and San Francisco routed Arizona in Phoenix.
Rockies 8, Nationals 1 -- Jason Jennings (5-6) threw eight strong innings and Brad Hawpe homered and drove in four runs, leading visiting Colorado over Washington to complete a four-game sweep.
Marlins 3, Braves 2 -- Cody Ross hit a two-run homer, Ricky Nolasco (5-3) pitched seven strong innings, and host Florida beat Atlanta to complete a three-game sweep.
Cardinals 6, Pirates 5 -- Chris Duncan tripled and doubled to key a pair of two-run rallies and visiting St. Louis won despite another subpar start by Mark Mulder (6-4), who lasted five innings and allowed nine hits and four runs. Athletics 9, Mariners 6 -- Esteban Loaiza (2-3) earned a win after spending time in jail early Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving, and Oakland beat visiting Seattle for its season-high seventh straight victory.
Tigers 6, Devil Rays 2 -- Zach Miner (2-1) allowed only two unearned runs and three hits in seven innings, pitching host Detroit past Tampa Bay.
White Sox 8, Rangers 2 -- Mark Buehrle (7-4) pitched eight strong innings, Juan Uribe homered and drove in three runs, and visiting Chicago beat Texas.
Angels 3, Royals 2 -- Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer, and Orlando Cabrera's two-out RBI single in the 10th inning lifted Los Angeles over Kansas City in Anaheim, Calif.
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 2 -- Eric Hinske homered and Ted Lilly (6-7) pitched six scoreless innings to lead host Toronto.
In late games Wednesday night, Barry Bonds hit his 717th home run and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11-4, in Phoenix; Brian Giles scored the go-ahead run from first base in the eighth inning and host San Diego defeated Los Angeles, 5-3.