New York Mets' David Wright, left, and Daniel Murphy, right, celebrate next to Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, center, after Wright's two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Friday, September 20, 2013 11:23 pm
Hamels victimized in Phillies' 6-4 loss to Mets
By AARON BRACYAssociated Press
David Wright homered, Daniel Murphy had three hits and Daisuke Matsuzaka earned his second straight victory in New York's 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Hamels (8-14) lost for the first time since July 26. The left-hander entered Friday 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in the nine starts since his last defeat. But he left after seven subpar innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
"Cole pitched well," Philadelphia interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He had good stuff, but luck wasn't on his side. He adjusted after the first, but things just didn't go his way."
Hamels was victimized by some poor pitching and some misfortune. The Phillies committed one error and couldn't make plays on some balls that went for hits, and at least two of the Mets' 10 hits were bloops.
"It's baseball," Hamels said. "You try to make the right pitch. You just have to give them credit for getting the bat on the ball. It's tough but you can't do much about it. You just have to make the same pitches next time.
"Sometimes when your stuff is suspect, you get scoreless innings. It's a law-of-average-type-of-thing."
The game started ominously for the left-hander when Eric Young Jr.'s shallow fly ball to right went off the glove of hard-charging John Mayberry Jr. It went for a double and, after stealing third, Young scored on Murphy's single to center. Wright followed with the hardest hit ball off Hamels, a solo shot to right that put New York in front 3-0.
"It was just fun to be back out there," said Wright, who had been sidelined since Aug. 3 with a right hamstring strain. "You get those competitive juices flowing again. It was pretty surprising to me, especially off Cole. To do that was fun and surprising at the same time."
Mets manager Terry Collins wasn't as surprised.
"I told him the game's not that easy," Collins said. "Special people do special things. It was great to have him back in the lineup.
"This guy loves to play. That's why he's in the lineup. He wanted to get back out there and wanted to finish the season on the field. That's why he's the captain."
The homer moved Wright past Mike Piazza into second on the club's career list with 221 homers. Darryl Strawberry is No. 1 with 252.
"You know you're doing something right to be mentioned in any sentence with Mike," Wright said.
Young Jr. singled, doubled and drove in a run for the Mets, who have won four of seven.
Darin Ruf doubled and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia, which has lost four of seven.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 14 opportunities. Hawkins got some help when a retreating Juan Lagares made a leaping, one-handed catch in front of the wall in center to rob Ruf of extra bases leading off the inning.
New York added lone runs in the third and fourth on RBI singles by Andrew Brown and Young, respectively, before the Phillies scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 5-4. Ruf did the bulk of the damage with a two-run double. Hamels also drove in a run with a groundout to first.
But the Mets got an insurance run in the seventh on Josh Satin's RBI groundout.
Matsuzaka (2-3) pitched six innings, allowing four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
"Overall, my command was pretty good except the fourth inning," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "Looking back I could've pitched differently to keep those runs from scoring."
NOTES: Wright's homer was his 18th at Citizens Bank Park, matching his total at Atlanta's Turner Field for his most in road ballparks. . Besides Wright, the Mets activated Wilfredo Tovar before Friday's game. Tovar hit .263 with four homers and 36 RBIs in 133 games with Double-A Binghamton this season. . Young stole his 40th base of the season and MLB-leading 24th since the All-Star break. . The series continues at Saturday night when New York right-hander Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47 ERA) faces Phillies right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06).