Mets finish rare road sweep of the Phillies
Mets manager Terry Collins sent out a lineup against Cliff Lee Wednesday night that looked more like Port St. Lucie in March than Citizens Bank Park in May.
But Collins insisted he wasn't conceding anything after having won the first two games of this series. "We're playing tonight to win," Collins said.
And they did. Big.
The Mets completed their first road sweep of the Phillies since 2006 with a rousing, come-from-behind 10-6 victory.
The Mets' fifth win in a row was also their 11th comeback victory. At 18-13, the Mets are five games over .500 for the first time this season. For the second straight night, they rallied in the seventh inning against the last-place Phillies, who fell to 14-18.
Trailing 4-2, the Mets scored three in the seventh to take the lead and four in the eighth to pull away. Lucas Duda had the go-ahead RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Ike Daviscompleted the barrage with a three-run homer.
The Mets scored one run with three hits in the first five innings. They scored nine runs with nine hits in the final four.
Collins sat lefthanded hitters Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis against Lee, who made his first start since April 18. Lee had been on the DL because of a strained oblique muscle.
Duda and Nieuwenhuis were key cogs in the Mets' 7-4 victory on Tuesday, with Duda getting the go-ahead hit and an insurance-run RBI against lefties. But Collins wanted to rest Duda after he was hampered by the flu last week. After an off-day today, the Mets will play the next 20 days in a row starting Friday in Miami against the Marlins.
So the lineup had Scott Hairston batting cleanup and Vinny Rottino fifth in his first major-league start. Justin Turner started at shortstop for the injured Ruben Tejada and Rob Johnson was the catcher instead of the injured Josh Thole.
"I wanted to get Vinny in there a little bit," Collins said. "He has been swinging the bat very, very well down there. He hits lefties."
Rottino, who was hitting .317 at Triple-A Buffalo and left there on a 14-game hitting streak, went 0-for-2 (both strikeouts) before being lifted for a pinch hitter.
The pinch hitter was Nieuwenhuis. With the Mets down by two, he led off the seventh against Kyle Kendrick by walking. Turner doubled to score Nieuwenhuis to make it 4-3.
Davis followed with a double off the bottom of the rightfield wall. Turner, who had held at second to see if the ball would be caught, made it only to third.
No matter. Kendrick walked Johnson to load the bases and then hit pinch hitter Duda with a pitch to drive in the tying run.
As the Phillies crowd booed Kendrick, Andres Torres hit a fielder's choice grounder to second to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel decided to leave Kendrick in for a second inning. It wasn't any better than the first. David Wright and Hairston hit back-to-back doubles to make it 6-4 before Manuel removed Kendrick to the fans' sarcastic cheers. Kendrick (0-3) faced nine batters and retired just two. One was a double play to end the seventh.
It got worse for the Phillies when Hunter Pence dropped a routine fly ball hit by Turner to right for an error before Davis smacked a three-run homer to right-center against Jose Contreras for a 9-4 Mets lead.
Torres, who tripled and scored in the sixth, hit his first home run as a Met leading off the ninth.
Starter Dillon Gee allowed four runs and 10 hits in 52/3 innings. He struck out four. Tim Byrdak (2-0) retired one batter but got the win.