Kingsport Times News Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sports

April 10th, 2007 12:39 am by MIKE FITZPATRICK



NEW YORK - Jimmy Rollins opened his mouth, making him a target for New York Mets fans.


As anyone would expect, they jumped at the chance to let him have it.


After boasting about his team in spring training, Philadelphia's All-Star shortstop made a key error as the Mets rallied for seven runs in the eighth inning to win their home opener 11-5 Monday.


"We talked. Now we've got to back it up," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.


Carlos Delgado had three hits and two RBIs for the Mets, who overcame Ryan Howard's three- run homer and roughed up Philadelphia's shaky bullpen in the first of 18 meetings between the division rivals.


The struggling Phillies dropped to 1-6. Early slumps have helped keep Philadelphia out of the playoffs since 1993, but Rollins voiced his confidence during spring training. He said Philadelphia was the team to beat in the NL East even though the Mets won the division by 12 games last season.


"No regrets. I said what I said," Rollins reiterated.


But Mets fans took particular delight in his failures Monday. He grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the fourth and booted Jose Reyes' grounder in the eighth as the tying run scored - helping New York break open the game.


After his error, the shortstop was serenaded with chants of "Jimmy Rollins! Jimmy Rollins!" from the crowd of 56,227 - the largest opening-day attendance in Mets history. Rollins also was booed loudly during pregame introductions.


"I like it. I do. They say something, you wave at them. Give 'em thumbs up," he said. "They were cracking on me pretty good. I've been booed, but not like this. It was kind of fun." Howard, the NL MVP last year, hit his first home run of the season off Ambiorix Burgos in the sixth.


But Delgado's two-out RBI single against left-hander Matt Smith cut it to 5-4 in the seventh, and New York broke loose in the eighth to improve to 5-2. Geoff Geary (0-1) threw a run-scoring wild pitch, Carlos Beltran added a sacrifice fly and David Wright followed with a two-run double off Jon Lieber, making his first relief appearance since 1998.


Pedro Feliciano (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth.


Wright extended his career- best hitting streak to 19 games, dating to last season.


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