Jim Mcisaac, Getty Images
N.Y. Mets pitcher Oliver Perez makes a delivery to the plate in Thursday's game against the Phillies.

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

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. I don't know if it's hungry enough. I haven't put my finger on it, but we have to get after it more. We don't now have that extra kick, the kick we used to have."

Manuel scratched Rollins after the NL MVP showed up late to the ballpark. He batted for J.C. Romero (4-3) and bounced into a fielder's choice to end the game.

"That's one of our rules: Hustle and be on time," the manager said. "That's all I want to say about Jimmy. We've got other things here."

Rollins, yanked from the Phillies' 5-0 win over Cincinnati on June 5 for failing to run hard on a popup that was dropped, said he got caught in traffic.

"We're not going to agree on this one," said Rollins, who met with Manuel before the game. "I agreed with him on the last one but we're not going to agree on this one. Charlie's the manager. He doesn't want to set precedents for certain players. I understand that. It's already done. Me and Charlie spoke about it. It's done."

New York got another dominant outing from Perez, who had a season-high 12 strikeouts and allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 0.35 ERA in 26 innings against Philadelphia this year and has a 1.35 ERA over his last four starts overall.

"Just trying to make pitches and the more important (thing), I always say, trying to (keep) my team in the game," Perez said.

BREWERS 4, CARDINALS 3: At St. Louis, Ryan Braun had four hits for a second straight game, including a two-run homer in the ninth, and Milwaukee beat the Cardinals for the Brewers' eighth straight victory. The Brewers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to sweep a series in St. Louis for the first time since September 1999. Braun, who had four hits in Wednesday's 3-0 victory, has reached safely in his last nine plate appearances. His home run off Ryan Franklin (3-4) gave the Brewers a 4-3 lead and was his 26th of the season. It allowed the Brewers to set a franchise record with a home run in their 20th consecutive game. Eric Gagne (3-2) picked up the win with one scoreless inning of relief. Solomon Torres recorded his 19th save by striking out the side in the ninth.

J.J. Hardy, who had three hits, started the ninth-inning rally with a one-out single. The Brewers' Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters — Hardy, Braun and Prince Fielder — had nine of their 10 hits.

PIRATES 9, PADRES 1: At Pittsburgh, Yoslan Herrera pitched six shutout innings for his first major league win, and Pittsburgh got back-to-back homers from Jason Bay and Xavier Nady. Nate McLouth homered and had three RBIs for the Pirates, who have won four straight. They stopped a six-game skid against the Padres, who have lost nine of 10 overall. San Diego owns the worst record in the major leagues at 38-65. Herrera (1-1), making his third big league start since being called up from Double-A on July 12, allowed six singles and one walk while striking out four.

Bay and Nady opened the fourth with home runs against Clay Hensley (1-1) to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead.

Hensley, making his first start of the season, allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings.

CUBS 6, MARLINS 3: At Chicago, Carlos Zambrano pitched seven solid innings and Chicago snapped a 10-game losing streak to Florida. After a 2-4 road trip, the Cubs got home runs from Henry Blanco and Ronny Cedeno and a two-run double from Aramis Ramirez to improve to 38-12 at Wrigley Field. Hanley Ramirez homered for the Marlins, who have lost three of four overall and lost to the Cubs for the first time since April 25, 2006. Zambrano (11-4) held the Marlins to two runs and five hits, striking out six. Carlos Marmol earned his fourth save.

Trailing 2-1, the Cubs got to Florida starter Scott Olsen (6-5) in the fifth. Mark DeRosa drew a leadoff walk and Blanco singled. One out later, Zambrano ripped an RBI double down the left-field line to tie the game. After an intentional walk and a forceout, Olsen walked Derrek Lee to make it 3-2. Aramis Ramirez followed with a double to put the Cubs up 5-2. Blanco hit a solo homer in the sixth.

Olsen allowed six runs and seven hits.

GIANTS 1, NATIONALS 0: At San Francisco, Matt Cain pitched a four-hitter and Dave Roberts singled home a run in the eighth for the Giants, who earned their first three-game home sweep of the season. Cain (6-8) retired the first 11 batters and didn't issue a walk for the first time this year. He struck out four to boost his season total to 130.

Cain's other shutout came May 21, 2006, at Oakland. This was the Giants' seventh shutout this year and the 13th time Washington has been blanked, a major league high.

With his fourth career complete game, Cain became the first San Francisco pitcher to throw a shutout since Noah Lowry on Aug. 21, 2006, against Arizona.

Tim Redding (7-5) allowed seven hits in eight-plus innings, struck out five and didn't walk a batter for the second time in three starts.

American League

BLUE JAYS 5, ORIOLES 1 (1ST GAME); BLUE JAYS 7, ORIOLES 1 (2ND GAME): At Baltimore, Roy Halladay scattered seven hits over seven innings Thursday in Toronto's second-game victory over Baltimore that followed the Blue Jays' win in the completion of a suspended game. Halladay (12-7) allowed one run, struck out six and walked one. The right-hander took over the major league lead in innings pitched (159 1/3) and lowered his ERA to 2.82. Halladay improved to 18-4 lifetime against the Orioles, who fell a season-worst five games under .500 (48-53). Adam Lind and Marco Scutaro both had three hits for the Blue Jays, who won three of four from Baltimore.

Seven Blue Jays had hits, five players scored and the bullpen was perfect after Halladay departed. Even Gregg Zaun snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a two-run single.

The suspended game was halted by rain in the sixth inning Wednesday night after A.J. Burnett (11-9) allowed one run in five innings. Three relievers allowed two hits over the final four innings.

ROYALS 4, RAYS 2: At Kansas City, Mo., Gil Meche pitched seven scoreless innings after a shaky start and John Buck drove in two runs, helping Kansas City hold off Tampa Bay to extend the AL East leaders' road losing streak to seven games. Meche (8-9) had a miserable first inning, needing 26 minutes and 31 pitches to get out of it. But he did it without giving up a run. The right-hander gave up five hits and walked one, beating an AL East team for the first time in seven starts this season. Joakim Soria allowed a run in the ninth before earning his 27th save in 29 chances.

Rays starter Matt Garza (8-6) dropped to 0-4 in five career starts against the Royals.