PHILADELPHIA (AP) — New York Mets starter Mike Pelfrey wasn’t feeling well before he faced the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Ryan Howard probably made him feel worse.
Pelfrey gave up the first of Howard’s two homers and the Mets fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 10-3 Friday night.
Howard launched a two-run shot into the second deck in right field off Pelfrey in the fourth inning to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. After making contact, Howard dropped his bat and stared in admiration for a couple of seconds at the 427-foot drive before trotting around the bases.
The big slugger is batting .412 (14 for 34) with three homers and six RBIs against the Mets’ right-hander.
“It was a belt-high fastball down the middle and he made me pay for my mistake,” Pelfrey said. “I tried to come in but it came back over the plate. It’s supposed to stay straight.”
Pelfrey (1-3) lasted 4 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out three. He is winless in his last seven road starts and is 1-3 with a 9.38 ERA in seven career starts at Citizens Bank Park.
Mets manager Terry Collins decided to pitch Pelfrey, who lost 10 pounds recently while fighting the flu, only after warmups.
“It was my fault,” Collins said. “I had concerns that there might be a problem. He had a real good sinker and another bullpen might have helped.”
“I felt fine,” Pelfrey said. “I’m not going to make any excuses.”
Collins’ backup plan was to use Dillon Gee in Pelfrey’s place. Instead the manager brought in Gee to relieve Pelfrey, and that plan didn’t work well, either.
Collins said he intended to use Gee in the game regardless of the situation because he hadn’t pitched in five days, even though Gee is a usual starter.
With the Phillies up 4-0 in the sixth, Howard cleared the bases against Gee with his 10th career grand slam. He connected on a 2-2 pitch and sent the ball high and just over the fence in right-center for his 26th career multihomer game.
“I asked him to do something he wasn’t comfortable with,” Collins said of Gee. “He’s a real good pitcher and what you saw is not Dillon Gee.”
“I felt a little uncomfortable when I first came in,” Gee said, “but it’s not something I can’t get used to.”
The Phillies took a 4-0 lead in the fifth, ending Pelfrey’s night.
Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco opened the inning with singles. One out later, Pelfrey (1-3) hit Howard on the wrist with a pitch, drawing a glare from the Philadelphia first baseman. Ben Francisco followed with a two-run single to left.
Francisco’s hit finished Pelfrey.
“I left balls out over the plate and they hit them,” Pelfrey said. “That’s what good hitters do. Bottom line is I got outpitched. Worley did a better job than me.”
The Mets got all their runs in the ninth off David Herndon. Ike Davis hit a solo homer, giving him a hit in 11 straight games. Davis is batting .462 (18 for 39) during the streak.
Jason Pridie added a two-run homer.
The two home runs tied Howard with Del Ennis for second place on Philadelphia’s career list with 259, trailing Mike Schmidt’s 548.
“There’s a good chance Del will get passed,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel joked.
The six RBIs upped Howard’s total this month to 27, setting a franchise record for April.
Vance Worley (1-0), called up to replace injured starter Joe Blanton (elbow), allowed just two hits while striking out five and walking four in six scoreless innings.
“I felt like he did a tremendous job,” Manuel said. “When you bring someone up like Worley and his job he did tonight, it’s fantastic.
Blanton was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday and will begin throwing in two or three days, general manager Ruben Amaro said.
NOTES: The Mets activated catcher Ronny Paulino from the 15-day disabled list and optioned catcher Mike Nickeas to Triple-A Buffalo. … Philadelphia sent left-handed reliever Mike Zagurski to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and recalled catcher Dane Sardinha. Phillies starting catcher Carlos Ruiz is day-to-day with a back injury. … According to Amaro, Phillies closer Brad Lidge (rotator cuff strain) has been cleared to begin throwing, left-handed reliever J.C. Romero (right calf sprain) likely will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday, right-handed reliever Jose Contreras (elbow) likely will begin throwing May 5 and Utley (knee) is progressing but there is no timetable for his return. … Mets pitchers hit four Phillies batters.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)