By RICK FREEMAN, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ After David Wright grounded out with a runner on third to end the eighth, he removed his protective gear while looking away from the bat boy, then, bareheaded, walked across the diamond to his position.
About halfway across the infield grass, he altered course just a little to the right, toward shortstop. He had been playing there since teammate Justin Turner sprained his right ankle in the third inning of the Mets’ 8-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
“David showed he’s human, he can fall into a little funk just like everyone else,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’s been so good for so long that you come to expect that he’s always going to get a hit and we know that’s not going to be the case.”
The Mets, who had won three in a row and six of their last eight, altered course just a little, too. Turner could be headed to the disabled list, thinning an already stretched infield just as the rest of the Mets were starting to help Wright carry the load this season. Ronny Cedeno sat Monday because of a strained left calf.
Former Mets third baseman Ty Wigginton drove in a career-high six runs for Philadelphia with a homer and a pair of two-out hits and Cole Hamels won his eighth straight decision.
“It was one of those days when they got better pitching and their bats were a little hotter,” Wright said.
A day after the Phillies lost Roy Halladay to shoulder soreness after two innings, Hamels (8-1) pitched well enough to match St. Louis’ Lance Lynn for the major league lead in wins.
Hamels struck out six and allowed seven hits in eight innings to help the Phillies win for the fifth time in six games following a season-long four-game losing streak. Scott Hairston and Vinny Rottino each hit tying two-run homers for the Mets.
Hamels finally retired Wright on a changeup, a pitch he hadn’t intended to throw during the at-bat.
“If I would have thrown that any time earlier, I think he would have crushed it,” Hamels said. “There’s a reason he’s hitting .380 or whatever.”
Down 5-4, the Mets threatened in the eighth when pinch-hitter Andres Torres doubled. With one out and Torres on third, Daniel
Murphy grounded out and then also grounded out to end the inning.
Wright has gone hitless in his last 14 at-bats, dropping his average to .373.
Turner got hurt after he was caught in a rundown.
Rob Johnson was held up at third when Philadelphia right fielderPence fired home, and Turner tried to take second. Catcher Brian
Schneider threw to second baseman Freddy Galvis to start the rundown, and shortstop Jimmy Rollins chased Turner back to first.
Turner lunged for the bag and tumbled into foul territory behind the base, where he writhed in pain as Mets staff came out to assist him. After about a minute, he was assisted off the field.
“From where I stood, I actually thought he blew out his Achilles tendon,” Collins said.
Wright moved to shortstop from third base, playing the position for the second time in his major league career. He played there in the eighth and ninth innings last Aug. 7, when Jose Reyes and Murphy were hurt in a game. In the fifth inning Monday, Wright went to his left to scoop a grounder and threw sharply to first, prompting cheers.
Hairston went deep against Hamels with two outs in the sixth, following Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ leadoff single and tied it at 4.
Rottino’s homer tied the score at 2 in the fifth.
Bobby Parnell (1-1) gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins in the seventh and Wigginton, who played for the Mets from 2002-2004, singled two outs later for a 5-4 lead.
Wigginton added a three-run homer in the ninth off Manny Acosta and went 3-for-3 with two walks. Wigginton also hit a two-run double in the third.
John Mayberry put the Phillies up 4-2 with homer after Wigginton walked to lead off the sixth. It was the second and last hit Jonathon Niese gave up. Niese walked five and allowed four earned runs in five-plus innings while throwing 115 pitches on a sticky day.
Niese’s struggles came on the heels of two impressive starts for the Mets. R.A. Dickey struck out 10 and pitched into the eighth on Sunday, a day after Johan Santana shut out San Diego. Mets pitchers combined for 28 scoreless innings before the Phillies scored in the third inning.
Although the Phillies, like the Padres, came into New York in last place, this was clearly a different team. They worked walks from Mets pitchers and didn’t chase poor pitches.
“One thing we’re looking at right now is Thursday,” Collins said. “We’ve played 20 straight without a day off, no rain,
nothing, and we’re getting tired. So it will be good to get to that off day. But we’ve got to grind it out.”
NOTES: The Mets made no transactions after the game, but said RHP Chris Schwinden and INF Omar Quintanilla were traveling to New York from Triple-A Buffalo. … Wright and Murphy made fielding errors in the first inning, but Niese escaped with no damage. … I’ll Have Another trainer Doug O’Neill, owner Paul Reddam and jockey Mario Gutierrez plan to be at the Mets-Yankees game June 8– less than 24 hours before their Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner takes his shot at the Triple Crown. … Mets C Josh Thole (concussion) caught five innings in an extended spring training game, and Jason Bay (broken rib) and Ruben Tejada (quad strain) also DHed in the game.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)