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Byrd homers on birthday, Howard knocks in 3 to lead Williams and Phillies past Mets 7-2

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Marlon Byrd enjoyed his birthday so much that he wants to celebrate it again.

Byrd homered against his former team on the day he turned 37, Ryan Howard drove in three runs and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the New York Mets 7-2 Saturday night.

"I'm going to stay 36 for a while. Can I do that?" Byrd said after setting a career high with his 25th homer of the season. "Move to another country and come back with a different name."

While many of Philadelphia's veterans would probably love to reverse the aging process, the Phillies certainly looked young again Saturday — at least for one night.

Jerome Williams pitched into the seventh inning to win his third straight decision since joining the last-place Phillies, who won for the seventh time in nine games. They batted around in the sixth, scoring five runs off Bartolo Colon on seven hits — all singles.

"I didn't do anything different," Colon said through a translator. "I made the adjustments and made some good pitches, but they still put it in play."

Ben Revere, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley singled to start the outburst, loading the bases for Howard. The big slugger lined yet another single to right field, driving in two for a 3-0 lead.

One out later, Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz added RBI singles to chase Colon.

Cody Asche greeted Buddy Carlyle with another run-scoring single before Philadelphia was finally retired in a half-inning that took just short of 20 minutes.

It has not been an easy couple of weeks for Colon (12-11), who left the Mets twice recently, the first time to be by his ailing mother's side and the second to attend her funeral in the Dominican Republic.

Still the subject of trade speculation, Colon gave up Byrd's leadoff homer into the Phillies' bullpen in the fifth. He appeared to tire in the sixth, and lost for the first time in four starts against the Phillies this season.

"I just think we had some better looks at him," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I would imagine the guys made some adjustments from the other games that he pitched against us."

Philadelphia banged out 12 hits to back another solid performance from Williams (3-0), who gave up two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Facing the Mets for the first time since 2007 with Washington, the 32-year-old journeyman from Hawaii was virtually untouchable for the first six innings.

Williams, who is 5-5 overall this year, has enjoyed a resurgence since he was picked up off waivers from Texas this month. Pitching for his third team this season, the right-hander has a 2.03 ERA in four starts with the Phillies.

In fact, he hasn't felt this good as a starter since his rookie year in 2003.

"Those first two years in San Francisco I felt like I was in a really good groove, and then after that I kind of lost myself," Williams said. "Now I'm back to where I need to be as myself."

Mets second baseman Dilson Herrera singled in a two-run seventh for his first major league hit. Wilmer Flores had an RBI single, but Antonio Bastardo left the bases loaded by striking out Curtis Granderson.

HIT PARADE

The Phillies' seven hits in the sixth inning were their most in one inning since Sept. 20, 2012, when they had nine in the first inning — also at Citi Field.

MILESTONE

It was Terry Collins' 1,500th game as a major league manager. Collins has guided the Astros, Angels and Mets to a combined 732-768 record.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: All-Star 2B Daniel Murphy (strained right calf) was wearing a walking boot on his right foot in the clubhouse before the game. Murphy was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday night, retroactive to Aug. 25.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday. He is coming off a dominant performance against first-place Washington in which he struck out 12 over seven innings and snapped his six-game losing streak. The 37-year-old Burnett recently hinted that he might retire after the season.

Mets: RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77) tries to win consecutive starts for the first time since May 4 against a Philadelphia team that has traditionally given him fits. Gee has a 6.53 ERA against the Phillies, giving up 15 home runs over 70 1-3 innings. But he fared much better the last time he faced them, tossing seven innings in a 2-1 Mets victory at Citizens Bank Park.

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