Saturday, May 28, 2011
Domonic Brown's single in the ninth inning plated the go-ahead run and started the decisive rally, as the Phillies edged the Mets, 6-4, in the opener of a three-game series.
With two men on and one away in a tie game, Brown smacked a grounder toward first base. The Mets' Daniel Murphy failed to get in front of the ball, trying to field it from the side to perhaps start a double play. But the ball stayed down, scooting into the outfield as Carlos Ruiz scored.
That opened the floodgates: Jimmy Rollins followed with a sacrifice fly, and Placido Polanco tacked on an RBI infield single later in the inning. The cushion helped Philadelphia withstand a New York rally in the bottom half and hold on for a third consecutive win.
"That's a big win against a rival team like the Mets," Brown said.
The Phillies scored all the runs against Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez (1-1), who carried a 19 2/3-inning scoreless streak into Friday's game. It was the longest active streak in the majors.
"It wasn't my day. I have to put it behind me and be ready for tomorrow," Rodriguez said.
Justin Turner finished with a career-high four hits and drove in one for New York, which lost for the fifth time in six games.
While Murphy's blunder was a turning point in the latest loss, and had shades of Bill Buckner, it was not the only defensive failure in the ninth by the Mets -- or in the game by both teams, for that matter.
Brown was left on first after Rollins' sacrifice fly, which ended a three-RBI performance for the shortstop, and Chase Utley followed with a single to put runners on the corners.
Polanco then grounded a ball up the middle, and Ruben Tejada opted to try for the force out at second base. But Utley hustled to beat the throw, allowing Brown to score to make it a 6-3 contest.
Tim Byrdak came in to get the final out and Ryan Madson took the mound for the Phillies in the bottom half, but faced immediate pressure after Jose Reyes led off with an infield single.
Reyes advanced to second on defensive indifference after Turner lined out, then scored when Carlos Beltran lined a single to center. Reyes initially stopped at third, but was able to cross the plate because center fielder Michael Martinez ran past the ball.
Jason Bay's single through the left side put runners at the corners, but Madson got Murphy to ground into a game-ending double play. Madson recorded his 10th save, while Antonio Bastardo (3-0) picked up the win for throwing a scoreless eighth.
Philadelphia built a 2-0 lead against New York starter Chris Capuano, getting on the board in the third inning.
Ruiz led off with a walk, moved to second on Roy Oswalt's bunt, then raced around to score when Rollins dumped a single into center field with two outs.
In the fifth, John Mayberry Jr. singled to center, but advanced to third after Angel Pagan ran by the ball and Bay committed a throwing error. Oswalt followed by lining a single into left field.
But the Phillies had their own fielding issues. With two away in the bottom half of the fifth, Reyes hit a pop-up that dropped in after Rollins and Utley bumped into each other, both thinking they had rights to the catch.
Singles by Turner and Beltran brought Reyes in to make it a 2-1 contest.
The Mets tied the game in the next inning after Pagan singled, stole second and scored on Ronny Paulino's base hit.
Both starters were finished after six innings. Oswalt allowed nine hits and struck out two, while Capuano gave up four hits, walked one and fanned eight.
New York edged in front in the seventh against reliever Michael Stutes thanks to Reyes, who doubled leading off and moved to third on Stutes' errant pickoff throw. Turner's fourth hit of the game plated Reyes.
But the Phillies evened the game once more in the eighth. Brown led off as a pinch-hitter and singled against Jason Isringhausen, then stole second. Rollins's grounder up the first base line went for a double and made it a 3-3 game.