Phillies jump out early, hang on to beat Mets

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Phillies picked up Friday where they left off before the All-Star break. But they know the work has just begun in their long-shot quest to return to the playoffs.

The Phillies batted around twice in the first three innings to take an 11-run lead and then hung on for a 13-8 win over the New York Mets in front of a crowd of 35,021 at steamy Citi Field, where the game-time temperature at 7:13 p.m. was 95 degrees.

The Phillies' seventh win in their last nine games -- and their 10th win in 14 July games -- lifted them over .500 (49-48) for just the second time this season. But thanks to wins by the Braves and Reds, Philadelphia remained 6 1/2 games behind in the NL East and 5 1/2 games behind in the wild-card race.

Philadelphia won five straight NL East titles before finishing 81-81 last year -- its first nonwinning season since 2002.

"Keep going, keep going," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've got to have a better record. We want to win, we want to get into the postseason and win a World Series. Just got to keep going. We don't look back because that's behind us. Tonight's win is behind us."

The top eight batters in the Phillies lineup all had at least one hit and five players had at least two hits. All-Star Domonic Brown, who went 0-for-1 in the National League's 3-0 loss at Citi Field in the Midsummer Classic Tuesday, and Delmon Young had three hits each. The first five players in the lineup scored two runs apiece.

Brown, Michael Young and Chase Utley each homered for the Phillies (49-48). Brown's 24th homer of the season began a seven-run third inning while Young's three-run shot ended it. Utley capped the Phillies' scoring with a two-run homer in the fifth.

"We always looked good on paper and I thought it was just a matter of time before things start coming together," Brown said. "But you never know in this game. Keeps you humble, keeps you fighting every day. So we want to continue to do that."

Kyle Kendrick batted in the Phillies' four-run first inning -- and ended it with a strikeout -- before he threw his first pitch. Despite fading late, Kendrick improved to 9-6 after allowing six runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out a season-high seven over 5 2/3 innings.

Kendrick (9-6) retired nine in a row, including six by strikeout, after hitting Eric Young Jr. to start the game but allowed five straight hits by the Mets to open the fourth and was chased after allowing four of the six batters he faced to reach in the sixth.

Manuel said he thought Kendrick might have tired in the oppressive heat, but Kendrick said the conditions had nothing to do with his performance in the middle innings.

"I like pitching in this weather," Kendrick said. "When I needed to make a pitch, I just kind of left something up. But the offense picked me up. I'll take a win -- we'll take a win."

Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer in the fourth and David Wright hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Mets (41-51). Daniel Murphy, Omar Quintanilla and Juan Lagares all had an RBI apiece. Wright, Lagares, Ike Davis and John Buck each had two hits.

"I'll tell you what, down 11-0, make it a game? Pretty impressive by our guys," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

The Mets could have gotten even closer, but they had runners on first and second with nobody out in the fourth after Byrd's homer and didn't score again. Later, the Mets left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded two runners in the eighth.

Jeremy Hefner's struggles against the Phillies continued as he took the loss after allowing eight runs on 10 hits while walking none and striking out three in two-plus innings.

Hefner, who had a 2.14 ERA in his previous 10 starts, lasted less than three innings in a start for just the second time in 32 career starts. The first time was also against the Phillies last Sept. 20, when he allowed seven runs without recording an out. He has a 13.75 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against Philadelphia and a 3.54 ERA against everyone else.

NOTES: The Mets allowed the visiting team to bat around in the first inning for the second time this year. The Reds scored three runs in the first inning of a 3-0 win on May 21. ... Mets utilityman Justin Turner, who has been on the disabled list since June 17 with a left intercostal strain, is expected to rehab with Single-A Brooklyn through the weekend and rejoin the Mets when they open a four-game series against the Braves on Monday. ... Phillies RHP Mike Adams, who last pitched June 18, will undergo surgery to repair tears in his labrum and rotator cuff. Adams, whom the Phillies signed to a two-year deal last December, initially hoped to rehab the injuries without surgery. He went 1-4 with a 3.96 ERA in 28 appearances this season. ... Phillies LHP Jeremy Horst, who was placed on the disabled list June 17 with a left elbow strain, will miss the rest of the season after his elbow remained sore during a rehab appearance with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Horst will undergo platelet injections and won't begin a throwing program for at least six weeks.
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