Mets climb over Phillies in NL East

NEW YORK - Jerry Manuel was curious to see how his New York Mets would respond after a heartbreaking loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

They answered with two big wins.

Carlos Delgado hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning and Oliver Perez stifled the Phillies again, helping the Mets earn a 3-1 victory Thursday that gave them sole possession of first place in the NL East.

The Mets took two of three in the series after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning of the opener, putting them alone in first place for the first time since April 19.

'I'm very proud of the way this team bounced back after that game the other night,' said Manuel, who has managed New York to a 21-12 record since Willie Randolph was fired last month. 'We've been resilient for a long period of time.'

Eric Bruntlett, subbing for a tardy Jimmy Rollins, tied a season high with three hits for the Phillies, who rallied for an 8-6 win Tuesday night but struggled to score after that. Philadelphia has lost four of five and will host Atlanta in the opener of a three-game series tonight.

'Something's not in tune,' manager Charlie Manuel said. 'We have to pick it up."