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Phillies extend Mets' tailspin

Mike Hampton's dugout temper tantrum was the most visible sign of frustration for the Mets. Yet he's not the only one on edge as the team goes through another September swoon.

Scott Rolen's two-run homer in the eighth inning set Hampton off as the Philadelphia Phillies snapped an eight-game skid and sent the Mets deeper into their funk with a 2-0 win Friday night.

"It's frustrating," New York's Todd Zeile said. "You can tell by our team demeanor. Mike pitched a great game and one unfortunate pitch beat him. If you get no support, all it takes is one pitch to beat you."

New York has lost six of seven this month, dredging up memories of late-season folds the past two seasons, and has fallen behind 3{ games Atlanta in the East. The Mets still lead Arizona by 4{ games for the wild card.

Even a return home and a matchup with the worst team in the majors couldn't help the Mets. Bruce Chen and four relievers shut down New York's struggling offense, and Philadelphia broke through against Hampton with two outs in the eighth.

Hampton walked Doug Glanville on a 3-and-2 pitch before running the count full to Rolen, who hit a shot into the leftfield bleachers for his 23rd homer. That gave Philadelphia its second lead in the past seven games.

"We haven't been going that well," Rolen said. "If it helps win a game it's great. We needed a win pretty bad."

A disgusted Hampton left the game after walking Pat Burrell. He threw his glove against the dugout wall, slapped a towel against the bench and punched the water cooler with his right hand.

"That's just me," Hampton said. "I don't try to please anyone. I show emotion sometimes. This was one of those cases."

His teammates sat and watched dumbfounded as Hampton stormed off to the clubhouse, throwing his cap to the ground.

"I like everything Mike Hampton does," manager Bobby Valentine said. "I don't want him to do anything to jeopardize his health. But he's hit enough water coolers to know how to hit them."

Valentine even called a brief team meeting after the game to boost the team's sinking morale.

"I've seen it before," Valentine said. "A lot of the guys here have seen it before. We just have to make things happen."