Bullpen Brutal, Mets Drop Finale, Series To Phillies
NEW YORK (AP) — Even with a sore hamstring, Carlos Ruiz had no trouble trotting around the bases.
Ruiz came off the bench to hit a tying homer in the seventh inning, Jimmy Rollins added a three-run shot and the Philadelphia Phillies busted loose late in a 10-6 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
“We did some good things right,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “The dugout was alive tonight. Everybody was in it. Everybody stayed in there — they must not have gotten hungry.”
Shane Victorino drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth and Philadelphia bailed out winless Cliff Lee to take two of three in the series. Ty Wigginton also homered for the Phillies, who improved to 3-6 against the Mets this season.
Lucas Duda went deep twice, including a two-run shot off Lee in the sixth that gave the Mets a 3-1 lead. Dillon Gee pitched 6 2-3 effective innings, but the New York bullpen was battered after he left — beginning with the pinch-hit homer by Ruiz.
“He’s a great player and he’s proven it day in and day out,” Lee said. “It just shows how complete of a player he is. He’s basically our best player right now and has been the whole time.”
Rollins hit a long drive into the top deck in right off Ramon Ramirez in the ninth for his second homer of the season. Wigginton had an RBI double and Victorino a two-run single to cap a six-run inning that made it 10-3.
“Guys that pitched threw three nights in a row,” Mets manager Terry Collins said about his bullpen. “Guys threw pitches they wish they could get back.”
Wigginton, a former Met, finished the series with two homers and eight RBIs.
Juan Pierre singled off Jon Rauch (3-4) to open the eighth and went to third on Hunter Pence’s single. One out later, Pierre scored with a headfirst slide on Victorino’s liner to center.
Antonio Bastardo (2-1) and Jose Contreras each worked a scoreless inning after Lee was called back for Ruiz with Philadelphia trailing by two.
“I had a feeling he was going to get a knock. That’s why I put him up there,” Manuel said.
Lee entered with only eight walks in 51 innings this season, but issued a pair of free passes in the first. Daniel Murphy drew the first one and scored from first base on David Wright’s double off the center-field fence, running through a late stop sign from third base coach Tim Teufel and barely beating the relay to the plate.
Wigginton, batting cleanup for the fifth time this season, homered leading off the second.
The score stayed tied at 1 until the sixth, when Scott Hairston doubled and Duda sent a drive to right-center. It was the first homer by a left-handed hitter off Lee since Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez connected on July 30 last year.
Looking to win his third straight start, Gee pitched out of a jam in the sixth and retired his first two batters in the seventh. But ex-Met Brian Schneider doubled over the head of Andres Torres, who took a false step in deep center, and Gee was pulled after 110 pitches.
Bobby Parnell came in to face Ruiz, out of the starting lineup for the third straight game because of an ailing right hamstring. Batting for Lee, the catcher drove a 1-1 pitch to left for his eighth home run.
“Just a great piece of hitting. A clutch piece of hitting,” Schneider said. “Hopefully, slowly but surely, we’re starting to play baseball as a team and play the game the right way.”
Ruiz rounded the bases enthusiastically to calls of “Chooooch!” from Philadelphia fans in the crowd of 30,064. Boos soon followed for Parnell after he got out of the inning.
“I’ve been throwing some good curveballs. I just left that one up,” Parnell said.
Ruiz was confident he could have legged out a double, but he was glad to take it slow after the ball cleared the fence.
“Yeah, it was easy,” he said with a smile. “I told myself, make sure to do something right there. … I’m happy Charlie gave me the opportunity in that inning.”
Lee, hurt by poor run support all year, gave up seven hits and struck out seven in his eighth start of 2012. Before this, he had never gone more than three starts into a season without a win.
The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner was on the disabled list from April 19 to May 8 with a left oblique strain, but he has a 3.00 ERA and most of his numbers are excellent.
“I’m sure he’s going to get some wins,” Manuel said. “He’ll get his share.”
NOTES: Rollins and Pierre had three hits apiece at the top of the lineup. … Phillies rookie 2B Freddy Galvis, hitless in his last 10 at-bats, was rested in favor of Mike Fontenot. Galvis walked as a pinch-hitter to start the ninth and popped out to end it. He has played in every game this season. … Duda snapped an 0-for-16 slide with a fourth-inning single. … Mets RHP Miguel Batista, on the disabled list with a lower back strain, went seven innings in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton. … Duda has seven homers this season and two multihomer games. … Both teams are off Thursday. The Phillies head home to play Miami on Friday night. The Mets begin a four-game series Friday with the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)