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Mets Clinch Wild Card Tie

Todd Zeile and Timo Perez homered to back Glendon Rusch, and the New York Mets clinched no worse than a tie for the NL wild card berth, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Sunday.

New York, trying to make the playoffs for the second straight year, began the day six games ahead of Arizona and Los Angeles in the loss column and needs just one more win or a Diamondbacks and Dodgers defeat to ensure it will be in the postseason.

The Mets, who lost 13 of 20 at the start of September, have won three straight for the first time since Sept. 12-14 and just the second time since winning five in a row from Aug. 9-13. They return home their final six games, against Atlanta and Montreal.

Rusch (11-11) allowed one run and five hits including two infield singles on comebackers in eight innings. He struck out struck out seven and walked none for the 10th time in 29 starts this year, retiring 14 of his final 15 batters.

In his previous start, Atlanta chased him Wednesday with six runs in 1 2-3 innings.

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Game Summary

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  • Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his 40th save in 45 chances.

    Bruce Chen (7-3) lost for the first time in seven starts since Arizona beat him on Aug. 16, giving up three runs and three hits in eight innings.

    Philadelphia finished its home schedule 34-47, drawing 1,612,769 to Veterans Stadium, down 212,568 from 1999.

    Perez's first major league homer, an inside the park home run, put New York ahead in the third. He looped the ball into short center nd Doug Glanville slipped on the wet artificial turf, allowing the ball to go to the wall. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins double-clutched on the relay, then threw high to the plate as Perez slid home.

    Todd Zeile hit a two-run homer in the fourth after Mike Piazza walked.

    Kevin Jordan hit an RBI grounder in the seventh that scored Pat Burrell, who went 3-for-3. Jordan blooped a run-scoring single with two outs in the ninth and took second when center field Jay Payton threw home.

    With runners on second and third, Marlon Anderson struck out.

    Notes

  • Perez became the 20th Mets player to hit an inside-the-park home run. Edgardo Alfonzo was the previous to do it, at Cincinnati on May 6, 1995.
  • Perez began the season at Single-A Pittsfield in the New York-Penn League.
  • Phillies RF Bobby Abreu is the only major leaguer to reach double figures in doubles (41), triples (10), homers (25) and stolen bases (25).

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