NEW YORK (AP) — It took only two innings for Domonic Brown to play a big part in Philadelphia’s latest victory.
The highly touted rookie grounded a tiebreaking single under the glove of first baseman Daniel Murphy in the ninth inning, and the Phillies scored three runs off star closer Francisco Rodriguez to beat the sinking New York Mets 6-4 on Friday night.
Brown entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and singled to start the tying rally. He stole a base and scored twice, helping the NL East leaders get off to a good start on a nine-game trip.
“Whenever they put me in, I know what to expect now. That’s what was so good about having me up last year,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to be prepared for every situation.”
Jimmy Rollins drove in three runs for Philadelphia and Roy Oswalt had an RBI single to go with six effective innings on the mound. With runners at the corners, Ryan Madson got Murphy to ground into a game-ending double play.
Philadelphia had dropped its last four road games since a May 13 victory at Atlanta.
“The lineup’s starting to come together and we’re getting healthier. So you feel better about yourself and it shows up on the field,” Rollins said.
Justin Turner had a career-high four hits for the streaky Mets, who have dropped five of six after winning 10 of 14. Still missing injured boppers David Wright and Ike Davis, they tried to mount a rally in the ninth but fell short.
Jose Reyes scored on an error by center fielder Michael Martinez, Philadelphia’s third of the game, to make it 6-4. Jason Bay’s single put runners at the corners, but Murphy couldn’t come through.
“He gave me a sinker, I came off of it, double play. It wasn’t a good at-bat,” said Murphy, who sat in front of his locker with his head down for a while after the game.
Antonio Bastardo (3-0) worked a hitless eighth and Madson, filling in for injured closer Brad Lidge, earned his 10th save in 10 chances.
“Get three late like that, that’s huge. It gives me or whoever’s coming in kind of a breather. Some wiggle room, you know?” Madson said. “You’ve got a couple runs to work with, so just get outs. I was trying to get a double play the whole inning, as soon as Reyes got on.”
Mets starter Chris Capuano struck out his first four batters and fanned eight in six strong innings before Turner’s RBI double gave New York a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Jason Isringhausen, however, couldn’t hold it — the first time he has coughed up a lead this season.
Brown opened the eighth with a single and stole second before scoring on Rollins’ double.
“He’s like a sponge. He takes it all in,” Rollins said. “He made it a lot easier for me to do my job and that’s part of playing winning baseball.”
Carlos Ruiz and pinch-hitter Ross Gload singled with one out in the ninth against Rodriguez (1-1), who began the night with a scoreless streak of 19 2-3 innings — the longest active run in the majors.
Brown hit a grounder that stayed down on Murphy, who might have had a shot at an inning-ending double play. But he started to whirl toward second without the ball and it scooted into right field for an RBI single.
“Frankie pitched well enough to get out of that. I’ve got to make that play,” Murphy said.
Rollins followed with a sacrifice fly and Placido Polanco added an RBI infield single to make it 6-3.
Rodriguez, lifted in the middle of the inning, was booed as he walked off the mound.
“The only thing we found out today is the guys at the end are human beings. They have pitched so well,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I was a little disappointed to hear the reaction. Frankie’s only saved 15 in a row and pitched as well as anybody in either league. It was one of those nights.”
Bay was booed after striking out with runners at first and third to end the fifth, dropping him to 2 for 26 with runners in scoring position this season.
New York opened a 10-game homestand, its first game at Citi Field since owner Fred Wilpon’s critical comments about Wright, Reyes and Carlos Beltran were published.
NOTES: Philadelphia CF Shane Victorino, on the DL with a strained right hamstring, is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment Saturday. He is scheduled to play two games with Class-A Lakewood this weekend, take Monday off and then play three games at Double-A Reading. If all goes well, he could be back with the Phillies on Friday night in Pittsburgh. … Lidge (strained rotator cuff) is slated to pitch in an extended spring training game Saturday. … Rollins and 2B Chase Utley collided on Reyes’ fifth-inning popup, and the ball dropped. Utley was charged with an error. … Philadelphia improved to 13-3 against left-handed starters, the best mark in the NL. … Wilson Valdez’s cap from Wednesday’s game against Cincinnati is headed to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The Phillies’ infielder pitched a scoreless 19th inning, becoming the first major league player to start a game in the field and later earn the win as a pitcher since Babe Ruth on Oct. 1, 1921. … Mets CF Angel Pagan returned to the lineup after missing more than a month with an injury to his rib cage. He had two hits and a stolen base.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)