NEW YORK -- For six innings, it looked like the Philadelphia Phillies would face another humbling step backward and ace Cliff Lee would continue to turn heads around the league by remaining winless. But Chase Utley continued to prove he's getting healthier and helped give the Phillies a chance to do the same. His one-out homer in the seventh was followed by Carlos Ruiz's second homer in as many games and sparked an offensive outburst that resulted in a 9-2 win in an Independence Day matinee at Citi Field. Philadelphia halted a six-game losing streak and kept Lee (1-5) from tying his career-worst personal skid by matching that number. Most importantly, the Phillies showed signs of life a day after manager Charlie Manuel said the Mets had taken it from his team in an 11-1 rout. Utley's two-run homer and Ruiz's solo shot gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead off Mets starter Chris Young, who had cruised through the first six innings, and seemingly put the Mets in a position to follow Tuesday's rout with a second straight win. The Phillies blew the game open in the eighth with three more runs off three Mets relievers, then added three more runs in the ninth, including two on Ty Wigginton's home run. Scott Hairston homered for the Mets, who fell 4 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Washington Nationals, who beat the San Francisco Giants for their fourth straight win. The Phillies remained 12 games back. Lee had uncharacteristically allowed four or more runs in each of his past four starts, losing two of the games. He earned his first win since Sept. 26 of last season, when he beat the Atlanta Braves. The lefty looked sharp against the Mets, limiting them to two runs on seven hits in eight innings. He struck out nine, seven looking, while walking one. The Mets appeared to scratch just enough runs to keep Lee winless and frustrated as they took a 2-0 lead into the seventh. Hairston's homer gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. The Mets, who scored six runs with two outs Tuesday and had the second-most two-out RBI in the majors (178) entering Wednesday, showed more clutch hitting in the fifth. Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy and David Wright each singled with two outs, with Wright driving in Tejada for a 2-0 lead. Young (2-2) kept the Phillies hitless until Juan Pierre smacked a one-out single to left in the fourth. He held them scoreless until the Phillies' three-run seventh. But Utley, who Manuel considered resting on the day game after a night game in his first week back from the disabled list, got Philadelphia on the board. The Phillies then broke out in the eighth with some two-out hits of their own. After a one-out double by Jimmy Rollins drove in one run, Ruiz smacked a two-out single off Jeremy Hefner for a 5-2 lead. Hunter Pence, robbed of a pair of hits Tuesday on sparkling defensive plays, was then credited with a RBI single when the ball bounced over Tejada's glove at short, for a 6-2 lead. NOTES: Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was out of the lineup for the second straight day after injuring his right hand in batting practice Tuesday. The Mets were awaiting results of an MRI before Wednesday's game. ... Infielder Jordany Valdespin was promoted from Class AAA Buffalo to give the Mets bench depth while they awaited word on Nieuwenhuis. Left-hander Justin Hampson was designated for assignment to make room for Valdespin. ... Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had not pitched since June 26 while Philadelphia was on a six-game losing streak, pitched a perfect ninth.
By The Sports Xchange July 4, 2012 4:20 PM