Wright homers in his return, helps Mets win

Jordan Hall, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- There were two new sights at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night: David Wright was back, and Cole Hamels struggled for the first time in a while.
Wright homered in his first at-bat back from the disabled list to help the New York Mets end Hamels' run of quality starts, as they beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4.
"You feel like when you're hurt, you're not really part of the team, not part of that camaraderie, and to get out there and get those competitive juices flowing again, that was fun," said Wright, who missed six weeks with a hamstring injury. "You don't really know how much you miss it until you're out for the six or seven weeks."
Hamels, who entered the game with 10 straight quality starts and had a 2.32 ERA in his last 14 outings, was tagged for five runs in his first four innings and yielded six runs overall as the Mets (69-84) provided starter Daisuke Matsuzaka with a healthy lead.
Hamels wasn't nearly as bad as his final line indicated, as New York sprayed a slew of bloop hits to the shallow outfield that led to the Mets' early advantage.
"We had the dump stroke going," New York manager Terry Collins said. "One of the guys in the dugout said it looked like Bobby Riggs' tennis game -- lob shots over the infield.
"We obviously read all the reports that [Hamels has] been pitching great. We were very fortunate to add on some runs, and that's the biggest difference."
It didn't take the Mets long to get to Hamels. Eric Young Jr. led off the game with a double, stole third base and then scored on Daniel Murphy's single. The ensuing batter, Wright, homered to right field to put New York up 3-0 before the game's first out was recorded.
With his 221st career long ball, Wright passed Mike Piazza for second on the Mets' all-time home run list. He now only trails Darryl Strawberry (252).
"It was pretty surprising to me, especially off of Cole," Wright said. "He's obviously got great stuff and is one of the better pitchers in the game."
Philadelphia had won Hamels' last seven starts before Friday. This time the lefty lasted seven innings, surrendered 10 hits and struck out eight.
New York extended its lead to 4-0 in the third inning when Andrew Brown dumped an RBI single just out of the reach of first baseman Darin Ruf in right field.
New York hurt Hamels with another flare shot in the fourth inning when Young brought home the Mets' fifth run with a two-out, bloop single to center field, handing Matsuzaka a 5-0 cushion.
"That's baseball," Hamels said of the bloop hits. "You try to make the right pitch, but you have to give them credit because they put the bat on the ball. They're making things happen, too. They found the right spot with guys on and ultimately got the runs and obviously outscored us. That's kind of the tough part. Can't really do much about it."
Matsuzaka turned in his third consecutive quality start by going six innings and allowing two earned runs with six strikeouts for his second win.
New York's bullpen threw three scoreless innings and permitted just one hit to seal the win. LaTroy Hawkins hurled his 11th straight scoreless frame to notch his 11th save.
With the loss, the Phillies (71-82) were assured of finishing with a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2002.
"Sometimes it takes a losing season to build and start the process [of rebuilding]," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "With that, a lot of these guys have had a chance to play and gain experience and that's where you start the rebuilding process. I think there are a lot of good things that have been going on the last few weeks."
Meanwhile, the Mets were certainly happy to see Wright back in the lineup.
"This guy loves to play," Collins said. "He wanted to finish the season on the field and he's going to do that. That's why he's the captain, because this guy leads by example."
NOTES: Young's first-inning stolen base marked his 40th of the season. ... The last time Hamels allowed six or more earned runs was May 31. ... Murphy went 3-for-5 Friday with three runs scored. Since Aug. 28, the second baseman is hitting .356 (32-for-90) with 16 runs scored, 10 doubles and 13 RBIs. ... The first three hitters in the Mets' batting order (Young, Murphy, Wright) went 7-for-15 (.467) with five runs scored and four RBIs in the win. ... Ruf knocked in two of the Phillies' runs. Philadelphia scored its other two courtesy of an error and a fielder's choice.

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