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Mets hand struggling Hamels 11th loss

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Mets centerfielder Juan Lagares said he was just trying to do whatever he could.

That turned out to be quite a bit Friday night, when the Mets rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Lagares went 3-for-4, doubled in the go-ahead run and made a nice running catch to quash a potential big inning by the Phillies, as the Mets erased a 3-0 deficit to beat struggling Cole Hamels.

"This is a great win for us," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Down 3-0 with Cole Hamels on the mound, we came back."

Eric Young Jr., playing his third game for the Mets since he was acquired in a trade Tuesday from Colorado, went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. That came in support of Jeremy Hefner (2-6), who pitched six innings to earn the victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on 10 hits, while striking out six and walking one.

Scott Rice and Carlos Torres each pitched a hitless inning in relief. Bobby Parnell worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save in 15 opportunities.

Hamels fell to 2-11 with his second straight loss. Hamels, who went 17-6 last year and had won over 60 percent of his games before this season, yielded four runs on seven hits, struck out five and walked three.

"It's been a bad case of not keeping the team in games," Hamels said. "It does get frustrating. I'm striving to win. When I make a non-executed pitch, it seems to break the game open."

"He wasn't real sharp," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I've seen him better. In the first three innings he was OK, kept his pitch count (down). All of a sudden it starts to shoot up."

The Mets, who trailed 3-0 after two innings, snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth. Lucas Duda drew a one-out walk and, after Anthony Recker struck out, Lagares, the No. 7 hitter in the Mets' lineup, lined a double to center. Duda scored all the way from first, barely beating the relay to the plate.

"I just do what I can -- be myself out there and play hard like I always play," said Lanares, who began the game hitting .211.

The Phillies had loaded the bases against Hefner with two outs in the fifth, but Lanares raced back toward the fence to snag a screaming liner off the bat of Carlos Ruiz.

"I just tried to go hard," Lanares said. "I go hard after every ball. I tried to go, give it everything I've got."

The Phillies scored three times in the second on back-to-back doubles by Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown, a run-producing groundout by Ben Revere and a two-out error by Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.

But Hefner managed to avoid further trouble.

"I did enough to keep us in the game, and we got a win," he said.

The Mets needed Hefner to pitch deep into the game, after Collins was forced to use five relievers in Thursday's victory in Atlanta, after starter Jonathon Niese departed with a shoulder injury.

"I knew I had (to go) a minimum of six innings, whether that was 140 pitches or whatever," Hefner said. "My goal was eight or nine. I was happy to get six."

The Mets' David Wright got his club on the board with an RBI single in the fourth, and Young tied it with a two-run single an inning later.

NOTES: Phillies 2B Chase Utley, out since May 20 with a strained oblique, went 0-for-5 in his return. ... To make room for Utley on the roster, the Phillies optioned INF Michael Martinez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was asked before the game for his reaction to comments by RHP Jonathan Papelbon, who said after Wednesday's loss to Washington that the team was not playing fundamentally sound baseball. "I've been talking about fundamentals for two years -- very strongly," Manuel said. The manager added that first baseman Ryan Howard was in the right position on a ninth-inning infield single by the Nats' Denard Span, contrary to what Papelbon said Wednesday. ... Mets LHP Jonathon Niese was placed on the disabled list with a partially torn rotator cuff. RHP Greg Burke was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place on the roster. ... 1B Ike Davis, recently demoted by the Mets, hit two home runs for Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday night at Tucson and is hitting .306 in 10 minor-league games.
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