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Mets 5, Phillies 4

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Juan Lagares tied a career high with three hits, including an RBI single in a three-run first inning, as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Saturday.

Marlon Byrd added two hits and a first-inning RBI single in the victory.

The Mets (42-51) won for the sixth time in nine games while the Phillies (49-49) lost for just the fifth time in 15 games this month.

Anthony Recker capped the first inning with a run-scoring fielder's choice grounder before David Wright and Daniel Murphy added RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings for the Mets. Murphy scored the Mets' first run and finished 2-for-4 with a stolen base.

Rookie Gonzalez Germen (1-1) earned his first major league win by retiring all four batters he faced -- three via strikeout -- after he relieved Zack Wheeler with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth.

Scott Rice and LaTroy Hawkins combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Bobby Parnell earned his 18th save despite allowing Chase Utley's two-out, two-run homer in the ninth. The runs were unearned because Josh Satin committed an error on Michael Young's two-out grounder.

Domonic Brown followed Utley with a double, but Darin Ruf lined out to Murphy to end the game.

Utley finished 2-for-4 and added a fifth-inning sacrifice fly. Delmon Young went 3-for-5 and Jimmy Rollins was 2-for-5 with a leadoff homer for the Phillies.

Cole Hamels absorbed his NL-high -- and career-high -- 12th loss after allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five in five innings.

Hamels (4-12) entered Saturday with a 1.57 ERA and just one walk in 23 innings over three starts in July, but he walked two batters in the first inning as he squandered a 1-0 lead.

With one out, Murphy doubled and stole second as Wright drew a walk on a full-count pitch. Murphy scored on Byrd's single before Josh Satin's walk loaded the bases. Lagares' single scored Wright and Byrd scored when Recker beat out a potential double-play grounder to third.

Wheeler, who surrendered Rollins' homer on the fourth pitch of the game, maintained the lead by walking a tightrope throughout a laborious 4 2/3-innings performance.

Wheeler didn't have a 1-2-3 inning, but stranded two runners in the second and third and benefited from a nifty inning-ending double play in the fourth that was started by shortstop Omar Quintanilla.

In the fifth, Wheeler loaded the bases with none out via a pair of singles and a walk before he retired Utley on a sacrifice fly and Brown on a fly to shallow left. But he walked Ruf to reload the bases and Mets manager Terry Collins pulled Wheeler one out shy of qualifying for his fourth big league win.

Germen escaped the jam by striking out Delmon Young, who had five hits in his first seven at-bats of the series.

NOTES: First pitch temperature at 1:11 p.m. was 93 degrees -- two degrees cooler than the first pitch temperature 18 hours earlier. ... The series concludes Sunday afternoon when the Mets send All-Star Game starter Matt Harvey to the mound against Cliff Lee, who threw an inning in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. The Harvey-Lee matchup will be one of two games pitting All-Stars against each other. The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw will oppose the Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann in Washington, D.C. ... Mets catcher John Buck, who suffered a leg cramp while batting in the eighth inning of the Phillies' 13-8 win on Friday night, sat out Saturday but is expected to start on Sunday. ... Rollins' leadoff homer was his second of the season and the 45th of his career, which broke a tie with Brady Anderson for fourth all-time. Craig Biggio ranks third with 53 leadoff homers. ... With his walk in the fifth inning, Ruf has reached base via a hit or walk in 20 straight games dating back to last season. He has reached base safely in all 19 of his career starts.
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