NEW YORK (AP) — Sure, John Mayberry Jr. has heard the talk: The Philadelphia Phillies are looking for a right-handed bat.
“Yeah, I’m aware of that,” he said.
He’s got a candidate — himself.
Mayberry drove in five runs to set another career best, Vance Worley pitched well enough and the Phillies got off to a strong start after the All-Star break by beating the New York Mets 7-2 on Friday night.
Mayberry singled and doubled with the bases loaded. It marked the second straight game where he established a personal high in RBIs — on the Phillies’ final day of the first half, he hit three doubles and drove in four runs against Atlanta.
“I definitely feel like I have a great opportunity in front of me,” he said.
Now in his third stay with the Phillies this season, Mayberry is beginning to blossom. Of his last 12 hits, 10 have been for extra bases. And he’s made good use of some batting tips suggested by manager Charlie Manuel.
“I like big, tall, lanky guys,” Manuel said.
Raul Ibanez contributed a home run and a diving catch in left field for the NL East leaders. The Phillies (58-34) own the best record in the majors — no surprise, they also have the best ERA (3.01) in the big leagues.
“We’ve got to stay after it,” Manuel said. “If we keep playing the way we have the last five years, we’ll be fine.”
Promoted from Triple-A before the game for his fourth stint of the year with Philadelphia, Worley (5-1) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning. The rookie right-hander, one of the few pitchers who wears glasses on the mound, walked off with a 2.15 ERA.
Worley picked up his first career RBI and avenged his worst start as a major leaguer. The Mets tagged him for eight runs and 12 hits in only three innings at Citi Field on May 29, his lone loss this season.
Phillies closer Ryan Madson came off the disabled list and pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out two. Philadelphia put All-Star third baseman Placido Polanco on the disabled list because of inflammation in his lower back.
Carlos Beltran hit his 14th homer as the Mets lost their third straight and dropped back to .500. They have gone 1-2 in all three previous series against Philadelphia this year.
“This team has a little window to see where we’re headed. Tomorrow, we have to pick up the pieces and try to win the series,” losing pitcher R.A. Dickey said.
Down 4-0, New York loaded the bases against the 23-year-old Worley in the sixth with two walks and a single. Manuel summoned lefty reliever Juan Perez, who struck out pinch-hitter Scott Hairston on a wild pitch that scored a run and then retired pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino on a grounder.
“I definitely wanted to finish that inning,” Worley said.
Mayberry broke it open with a three-run double in the eighth, which came right after shortstop Ruben Tejada’s two-out error. Mayberry was the first batter faced by Ryota Igarashi, recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day to fill the roster spot left when closer Francisco Rodriguez was traded to Milwaukee.
Mayberry hit a two-run single in the second off Dickey (4-8). Worley followed Mayberry’s go-ahead hit with a groundout that made it 3-0.
Ibanez ran into the alley to catch Tejada’s leadoff drive in the fifth. In the sixth, Ibanez hit his 13th home run and rounded the bases to a mix of boos from Mets fans and calls of “Rauuul!” from Phillies rooters who made the two-hour drive.
NOTES: Antonio Bastardo pitched a perfect ninth for the Phils. He has not allowed a hit in his last 13 appearances, spanning 12 innings. … Mets CF Angel Pagan raced back for an over-the-shoulder grab that robbed Ryan Howard of extra bases. … Batting .107, Dickey singled in the third. He hesitated when Justin Turner hit a blooper that bounced in front of RF Domonic Brown and would have easily been forced at second, but Brown bobbled the ball for an error. Dickey’s shaky baserunning cost Turner a hit — he was given a fielder’s choice. … Mets SS Jose Reyes (left hamstring) did some running Friday and plans to run hard on the bases Sunday. It will then be determined if he can come off the DL when he’s eligible Monday. Reyes sidestepped questions about how this week’s trade of Rodriguez to Milwaukee will affect his status — he can become a free agent after the season. “I don’t know,” he said. … Mets star 3B David Wright (stress fracture in his lower back) played his first rehab game at Class A St. Lucie. He doubled and scored his first time up, then walked and struck out. He started at 3B and left in the sixth inning of the rain-delayed Florida State League game at Lakeland.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)