PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Jose Reyes saw the ball shoot toward left field and thought for sure he had a double as he put his head down and sprinted around first base. By the time Reyes passed second base, he slowed down to a trot.
Welcome to Philadelphia’s homer-friendly park.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen with the ball,” Reyes said. “Then I saw home run.”
Turned out few Mets had to run very hard, and a brief losing streak was going, going, gone in record fashion.
Mike Piazza and Doug Mientkiewicz also homered, and Wright and Diaz each went 2-for-4 with four RBIs for the Mets, who stopped a two-game skid. The seven homers were only five shy of New York’s season total coming in.
“We got some balls up in the air and drove it pretty good,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
Reyes got the rout going early when he hit the fourth pitch of the game to left off returning Phillies starter Vicente Padilla (0-1). It was the first leadoff homer of Reyes’ career and just the beginning of the home runs for the Mets.
“That’s my first time and I was so happy about it,” said Reyes, who had a wide grin when he stepped on home plate.
Padilla, a former All-Star who hadn’t pitched this season because of right triceps tendinitis, looked like he was throwing batting practice against the Mets.
Diaz hit a two-run shot in the second before the Mets bats really came alive in the third.
Padilla retired the first two batters before giving up a 471-foot shot to Piazza that just missed landing in Ashburn Alley, the outfield entertainment area. Cliff Floyd followed with a broken-bat single, and Mientkiewicz hit a two-run shot.
Wright singled and Diaz followed with a two-run homer for the first multihomer game of his career and an 8-2 lead.
“They say the ball flies, but you’ve got to hit it though,” Diaz said.
Padilla was gone after three innings, allowing eight runs and eight hits. He was 9-1 with a 2.24 ERA against the Mets.
“He just didn’t hit the spots and they had a good night hitting it,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I didn’t see any signs of him getting upset. He kept his cool. He stayed right in there.”
Gavin Floyd, bumped to the bullpen after two starts to make room for Padilla, wasn’t any better. He gave up a solo homer to Reyes for team-record tying homer No. 6 and Wright’s first career grand slam into the first row in left in the sixth.
“When he hit a home run, you’re going to feel happy for sure,” Reyes said.
So were the Mets fans as the “Let’s Go Mets!” chant was out in full force from the several thousand fans who made the short drive down I-95.
Victor Zambrano (1-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, masterfully pitching out of two bases-loaded jams.
Zambrano also made the Phillies pay with his bat in the fifth after Floyd intentionally walked Diaz to put two runners on with two outs. Zambrano, a 2-for-21 hitter lifetime, lined a two-RBI triple into the right-center gap.
“I hit it pretty nice, but I think it’s more important to get the win,” Zambrano said.
When the game was still close, Zambrano showed he could pitch out of jam. He gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases in the first, but got slumping Jim Thome to hit into a double play and only one run scored.
In the third, Zambrano had the bases loaded again and this time he got Bobby Abreu to hit a slow roller back to the mound to get out of the inning.
Thome went 1-for-3 and his homerless drought reached 14 games, the longest at the start of a season in his career. Thome even heard some boos when he struck out in the third inning.
Padilla was activated before the game. To make room on the roster, the Phillies sent RHP Pedro Liriano to Triple-A Scranton. Liriano was 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA in three games. … LHP Felix Heredia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left thumb. The Mets recalled RHP Heath Bell from Triple-A Norfolk. … It was the first multihomer game for Reyes since Aug. 23, 2003. … The Mets had hit six homers in a game two times in franchise history, the last on June 15, 1999, against St. Louis. … Piazza’s homer was the second longest in the park’s history.