Phillies close gap on Braves with 4-3 comeback victory

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

PHILADELPHIA -- Scott Rolen singled home the winning run off John Smoltz in the ninth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the Atlanta Braves 4-3 Tuesday night, further tightening the NL East race.

Rolen, who homered twice off Greg Maddux in the Phillies' 5-2 win Monday night, helped the Phillies pull within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Braves.

The Phillies have won the first two games of a four-game series. The Braves had won six of seven before terrorist attacks forced postponement of last week's games.

Smoltz (2-3) had been 7-for-7 in save chances until the Phillies scored twice in the ninth. Doug Glanville hit a sacrifice fly and Rolen singled with one out.

Ricky Bottalico (3-4) pitched a scoreless ninth.

After an emotional night Monday, it was mostly back to baseball at Veterans Stadium. Fans waved white rally towels, but many still carried American flags. The crowd twice chanted "USA, USA," saw another video presentation and again sang "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.

METS 7, PIRATES 5

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Mets, wearing caps in tribute to New York's firefighters, police and emergency rescue workers, beat Pittsburgh.

The Mets came back for their 10th victory in 11 road games. At 73-73, the defending NL champions reached the .500 mark for the first time since the opening week of the season.

The Mets wore the special hats Monday night for pregame ceremonies, then got permission from major league baseball to wear them for a game.

Joe McEwing homered and drove in two runs, and Todd Zeile added a solo shot in the three-run eighth as Omar Olivares (6-8) allowed homers to two of the first three batters he faced.

Matt Lawton homered in the ninth off Rich Loiselle.

REDS 6, CUBS 5

CINCINNATI -- Brady Clark's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth rallied Cincinnati over Chicago.

While manager Don Baylor held a pregame meeting asking the Cubs to focus on a run at the playoffs, Reds players admitted they weren't enthused about baseball so soon after the terrorist attacks.

The Reds pulled off a rare home-field rally -- they're only 25-48 at Cinergy Field -- off Kyle Farnsworth (4-5), who gave up Dmitri Young's RBI single and Clark's pinch-hit single with two outs.

The Cubs' sixth loss in seven games further dented their chances in the NL wild card race.

Danny Graves (6-4) got the win.

MARLINS 3, EXPOS 1

MONTREAL -- In front of the smallest Olympic Stadium crowd in 17 years, Preston Wilson homered twice as Florida beat Montreal.

The announced crowd of 2,917 was Montreal's smallest since drawing 2,803 for a weekday afternoon game against St. Louis on Sept. 27, 1984.

Only 3,013 fans turned out Monday night, when baseball resumed after a six-day stoppage.

Cliff Floyd hit his 30th of the season for Florida, backing seven scoreless innings by Brad Penny (8-9).

-- From wire reports

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