NEW YORK -- The laborious mound pace of New York Mets starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka made for a grueling experience in the batter's box Wednesday night for the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the dugout, things weren't much easier for Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels.
"It's nice to kind of get in a good rhythm, but unfortunately, when you have games like this, you just have to go out there and try to be effective from pitch one," Hamels said. "It's a lot of self-motivating and just trying to stay in the game as much as possible, which is a lot easier said than done."
Hamels outlasted Matsuzaka and celebrated his opponent's exit in style Wednesday, when Hamels delivered a two-run single off reliever Robert Carson to cap a three-run fifth inning that gave the Phillies the lead for good in a 6-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
Hamels' run-scoring hit came a night after pitcher Jonathon Niese laced a three-run double to fuel the Mets' 5-0 win. But unlike Tuesday's game, Wednesday's contest dragged thanks to Matsuzaka, who has been defined by his tedious style since he signed with the Red Sox in 2007.
Matsuzaka threw 110 pitches in just 4 1/3 innings -- four fewer than Hamels threw in seven innings -- and often took a minute or more in between pitches. The first five innings took just a few minutes less than Tuesday's entire game, which was played in a tidy 2:19.
"It's hard for a hitter to not only have timing but to feel aggressive (against Matsuzaka)," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "All the pitches that are being thrown -- the long delays and then waiting for a pitch to hit. That seems to be part of his effectiveness."
Matsuzaka managed to stymie the Phillies for three innings, a stretch in which he threw 82 pitches and battled out of bases-loaded jams in the second and third.
The Phillies began to break through in the fourth, when Jimmy Rollins tied the game with an RBI double, before they chased Matsuzaka in the fifth. Matsuzaka loaded the bases with one out via two hits and a walk before he plunked John Mayberry to force home the tie-breaking run.
After Carson struck out pinch-hitter Darin Ruf, Hamels hit a 1-0 pitch to left field to bring home Michael Young and Cody Asche to extend the Phillies' lead to 4-1.
"Opportunities were coming up every inning, might as well at least make contact because, obviously, strikeouts don't help very much," Hamels said. "I was just trying to put the ball in play and luckily enough it found the hole."
On the mound, Hamels battled out of his share of jams in continuing his second-half resurgence. Hamels allowed two runs on nine hits -- tied for the second-most he's allowed in a start this year -- and one walk over seven innings, but struck out eight and stranded at least one runner in every inning.
Hamels (6-13) is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 starts since July 1, including 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in six August starts.
"Just keep pushing and trying to not step outside of your boundaries, not trying to do too much, just go out and be confident that the work that you put in is going to obviously pay off," Hamels said. "You have to keep digging deep in situations, because good things will eventually come."
Carlos Ruiz had two hits, including a solo homer in the sixth, as the Phillies improved to 61-72 by winning for the eighth time in their last 11 games. Young and Chase Utley also collected two hits.
Ike Davis and Andrew Brown each had an RBI for the Mets (59-72), who have lost six of their last seven. Justin Turner had two hits and Eric Young stole two bases.
Matsuzaka, who signed with the Mets last Thursday, was charged with four runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out five and hit two batters.
"I do know the history. He does take some time between pitches, but I will tell you his stuff's good enough," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Tonight the command was off and therefore he was off. But when he commands it, he's going to get outs."
NOTES: Asche left the game in the seventh with cramping in his right hamstring. Sandberg said he probably wouldn't play in Thursday afternoon's series finale. ... In the second inning, Asche had a stolen base taken away for the second time in three days because of batter interference called on RF John Mayberry Jr. The same thing happened in the eighth inning Monday night. ... A pair of Mets pitchers underwent elbow surgeries Wednesday. RHP Jeremy Hefner had Tommy John surgery performed to repair a partial tear of his medial collateral ligament, while RHP Jenrry Mejia had bone chips removed. Hefner likely will miss all of 2014, but Mejia is expected to recover in time to compete for a rotation spot next spring. ... New York RHP Matt Harvey, who learned Monday he has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, received some hope he could avoid surgery when he spoke Tuesday to Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, who told Harvey he was diagnosed with a partially torn flexor pronator in his right arm in 2005 but has pitched with it ever since.