‘Wright’ In The Nick Of Time, Mets Walk-Off
By HOWIE RUMBERG
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ David Wright singled off Jonathan Papelbon with
two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the New York
Mets to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on
Thursday night that preserved R.A. Dickey’s 11-game winning streak.
Mets catcher Josh Thole prevented a run in the eighth when he
held on to the ball despite being barreled over at home plate.
Daniel Murphy lined a shot off Papelbon’s leg for the tying run
with two outs in the ninth, setting the stage for Wright.
Cole Hamels outlasted Dickey in a matchup of All-Stars that
fizzled from the start. Hounded by recent trade rumors, Hamels
pitched seven gritty innings and had two hits. But the Phillies’
suspect bullpen couldn’t finish off the win after beating the Mets
on Wednesday night.
Ike Davis began the ninth with a double off Papelbon (2-3).
Thole sacrificed pinch-runner Ronny Cedeno to third before Kirk
Nieuwenhuis struck out. Papelbon then hit Jordany Valdespin with a
3-2 pitch and walked Ruben Tejada on a full-count to load the
Dickey pumped his fist in the dugout and Justin Turner smashed a
pie in Wright’s face during a postgame interview as fans chanted
“MVP!” for Wright.
Bobby Parnell (2-1) pitched the ninth for the Mets, winners of
six of eight.
Wright hit a two-run homer in the fifth that gave the Mets a
brief 4-3 lead and had an RBI single in the third.
Papelbon blew just his second save in 20 chances this season.
Philadelphia tried to add on a run in the eighth when Mike
Fontenot attempted to score on pinch-hitter Chase Utley’s single to
left. But Thole caught the throw from left fielder Scott Hairston,
braced himself and held onto the ball when he was slammed into by
Dickey matched a career high by allowing 11 hits, and perhaps
gave National League manager Tony La Russa reason to end the debate
over whether the knuckleballer should start the All-Star game. In
his shaky final start before the break, Dickey gave up five runs _
but still avoided a loss. He hasn’t lost since April 13 at Atlanta.
Juan Pierre pushed a bunt up the first-base line to score
Rollins with the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning after Wright
put New York ahead 4-3 in the fifth with a two-out, two-run homer.
Dickey is coming off one of the best months in baseball history.
In winning the NL pitcher of the month award for June, he went 5-0
with an 0.93 ERA and had consecutive one-hitters. Dickey became the
first starter in the 100 years of tracking ERA to allow five runs
in one game and still end a month with an ERA under 1.00, according
to stats provided to the Mets by the Elias Sports Bureau.
His July got off to a rocky start.
Jimmy Rollins, who was a homer shy of the cycle, walked leading
off and, after two outs, Dickey hit his potential All-Star
batterymate Carlos Ruiz with a pitch. Shane Victorino, a
switch-hitter batting from the right side against the righty, lined
an RBI single to center field for the first run against Dickey in
the first inning this year.
The last time these two All-Star pitchers faced each other _ in
2010 _ Hamels had the Phillies’ only hit off Dickey. This time,
Hamels popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt in the second inning but
beat it out for a single because Dickey was slow to react and his
throw to first was late. Rollins then hit an RBI double.
Hairston hit his fifth home run in his 27th at-bat against
Hamels, a leadoff shot in the second to pull the Mets to 2-1.
Wright’s RBI single an inning later tied it.
But the Phillies kept on connecting against Dickey and Hunter
Pence had a run-scoring single in the fourth.
Hamels’ second hit led to two runs in the sixth. He scored on
Rollins’ triple. Pierre’s bunt gave the Phillies a 5-4 lead.
NOTES: Phillies 1B Ryan Howard was set to play the first of
back-to-back games in the field Thursday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley
and could be activated off the disabled list this weekend. … The
Mets recalled RHP Pedro Beato before the game. … New York
reacquired right-hander Chris Schwinden, claiming him off waivers
from the Yankees and optioning him to Triple-A Buffalo.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)