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FLOYD REDEEMS HIMSELF TO HELP EASE METS' PAIN

For a guy playing on one good leg, Cliff Floyd is swinging a pretty strong bat -- home runs in three straight games, four in the last five games, six in the last 11.

As the lone significant threat in the New York Mets' lineup that has nine names on the disabled list, Floyd can't afford to let his aching right ankle get in his way. So instead of celebrating his 10th home run and a big catch in a 6-3 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday, he was angry with himself for letting his aching Achilles' cause a first-inning embarrassment.

"That was a dumb thing I did in the first inning, not running," Floyd said.

The mistake became magnified when Tomas Perez mishandled the grounder but still had time to recover and throw out Floyd. The lapse interrupted a rally and might have cost New York a run when rookie Jason Phillips followed with a double, the first of his three hits.

Floyd was annoyed at what he did and so were the fans who booed him back to the bench.

"I don't think they know how much he's hurting," manager Art Howe said.

"I was mad at myself," Floyd said. "It looked like I was jogging. I broke a bat and hit a slow grounder. I thought, 'Don't do something stupid and try to beat it.' He misses the ball and it looks like I'm dogging it. I hate that."

Floyd made up for the lapse in his next at-bat with a home run and then ran hard to catch Mike Lieberthal's drive, leaving two Phillies stranded in the fifth. An inning later, the Mets had the lead thanks to a two-out, two-run double by Timo Perez, whose sore calf might have him on the Mets' DL if it weren't already so crowded.

Dodgers win seventh straight

LOS ANGELES -- Darren Dreifort certainly appeared to be on his game, striking out a career-high 12.

Yet he credited catcher David Ross for helping him in the Dodgers' 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies, the seventh straight win for Los Angeles.

"I really didn't feel like that was my best stuff or I was feeling that great, but for whatever reason it worked. It kept them off-balance," Dreifort (4-3) said. "David Ross did a heck of a job calling the ballgame, and we got ahead of a lot of hitters."

Brian Jordan went 3 for 3 with a tiebreaking single as the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep. They are on their longest winning streak since taking nine straight from June 26 to July 4, 2001.

"We've been coming up with some clutch hits in the late innings," Dreifort said.

Wagner moves up save list

HOUSTON -- Billy Wagner reached another milestone. Not that he noticed.

Wagner closed out Houston's 5-2 victory over St. Louis for his 193rd career save, passing Mitch Williams for fifth-best among left-handers

"I had no idea," Wagner said. "It was a great game for us and that is all I was thinking about. I haven't got enough time to think about things like that when I'm out there."

John Franco is the career leader among lefties with 422. Sparkly Lyle is fourth with 222.

"There aren't too many guys who throw 100 miles an hour and keep it in the strike zone," Houston manager Jimy Williams said. "I think a lot of people buy tickets here and on the road to see him pitch, since they register those speed numbers on most score boards. He hits 100 all the time and still has a good slider."

Jeriome Robertson (2-3) won for the first time in more than a month, Jeff Kent had a pair of RBI doubles and Adam Everett hit his first major league home run for Houston.

Around the horn

Javy Lopez homered twice and tripled, driving in three runs, as the Braves avoided a three-game series sweep by beating the Reds, 9-4. . . . Tom Goodwin hit a go-ahead solo homer in the ninth inning and the Cubs ended a season-high three-game losing streak by beating the Pirates, 3-2. . . . Livan Hernandez (4-2) pitched a seven-hitter and Endy Chavez hit a three-run double as the Expos beat the Marlins, 8-2.

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