Bobby Abreu homered leading off the ninth last night, giving the host Philadelphia Phillies a 5-4 victory over the New York Mets and extending their lead in the NL East.
Abreu wasted little time against John Franco (2-5), hitting his second pitch the opposite way to left field. Abreu, named to the all-star team for the first time a day earlier, lost his helmet as he crossed the plate, where he was mobbed by his teammates.
"I said, 'It would be nice if one of our big guys would win it,' " Manager Larry Bowa said. "As soon as I got the words out of my mouth, he hit it."
Abreu went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a single and two runs. The crowd chanted "Bobby! Bobby!" after he got a shaving cream pie in the face during a postgame interview.
"It's something we do," Abreu said, smiling. "It's part of a tradition."
Said Abreu of the fans: "They've been good to me the whole week. These games are for the fans."
Jim Thome hit his major league-leading 28th home run for the Phillies, who gained a split of the four-game series. They hold a two-game lead on the Mets and the suddenly surging Braves, who come to Philadelphia this weekend for a three-game series.
Billy Wagner (2-0) earned the win with an inning of scoreless relief.
* REDS 9, BREWERS 3: Ken Griffey Jr. homered and drove in four runs and Paul Wilson earned his career-best ninth win, leading visiting Cincinnati past Milwaukee.
Adam Dunn also connected for Cincinnati, his 25th of the season. Wilson, who helped blow a nine-run lead in the Reds' last trip to Miller Park in April, made an eight-run lead stand up this time.
On April 28, Wilson was spotted a nine-run lead and left with a seemingly safe 9-4 cushion. But the Brewers rallied for a 10-9 win as the Reds blew a nine-run lead for the first time since 1930.
There was no coming back this time -- from an 8-0 score -- thanks to Griffey's slump-snapping performance, two crucial errors on third baseman Wes Helms that led to a five-run sixth inning and another fine performance by Wilson.
* EXPOS 2, PIRATES 1: Brian Schneider hit a tiebreaking homer, Tony Armas Jr. pitched seven strong innings and host Montreal defeated Pittsburgh before 7,746 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Schneider hit his ninth home run of the year against reliever John Grabow (0-3) in eighth with the score tied at 1.
"I was not trying to hit a home run," Schneider said. "I was trying to stay alive and just get on base."
* DODGERS 7, ASTROS 2: Paul Lo Duca celebrated his late addition to the NL all-star team with a home run, and host Los Angeles won its sixth straight.
Right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-0) allowed two runs, five hits and no walks over five innings in his second spot start for injured Odalis Perez. Jackson also drove in the go-ahead run with a fourth-inning single, his first major league hit and RBI.
* DIAMONDBACKS 8, GIANTS 4: Alex Cintron homered from both sides of the plate and Arizona snapped a nine-game road losing streak.
Chad Tracy also connected for the last-place Diamondbacks, who opened a four-game series in San Francisco with just their second win in seven games under interim manager Al Pedrique.
The Giants lost for the fifth time in six games.
* ROCKIES 5, PADRES 1: Jason Jennings pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Todd Helton homered and Preston Wilson hit a two-run double in Colorado's road win.