NEW YORK (AP) _ Kyle Kendrick pitched the best game of his career, throwing a three-hitter and getting home-run help from Ryan Howard to lead the Philadelphia Phillies over the New York Mets 4-0 Friday night.
The Phillies ended their three-game skid and dropped the Mets under .500 for the first time this season.
Kendrick (2-1) scattered three singles and didn’t permit a runner beyond second base.
Philadelphia broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning when Michael Young hit an RBI single and Howard followed with a long three-run homer.
Kendrick was in complete control and beat the Mets for the second time this year, looking every bit the ace like All-Star teammates Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.
Kendrick struck out five and walked one during the second shutout of his seven-season career. Making his 128th start in the majors, he threw his third complete game and first since he blanked St. Louis on seven hits in May 2012.
The only Mets runner to get past first was Ruben Tejada, who singled with one out in the first and was stranded at second.
Kendrick clearly aimed to finish what he started. When the top of the eighth ended, the 28-year-old right-hander was already on the rubber before any of the Phillies took their positions for the bottom half.
Kendrick struck out with a wild swing to end the top of the ninth, went back to the dugout to retrieve his glove and then jogged to the mound.
Howard picked on Dillon Gee (1-4) and the Mets once again. Earlier this month, Howard’s homer sent Gee toward a quick exit _ the slugger has four home runs in 12 career at-bats against the righty.
This time, Howard launched his 36th career homer against the Mets, most among active players. The drive to right-center field was Howard’s third of the season and his latest hit during a two-week surge.
Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley opened the sixth with solid singles. Young added a sharp RBI single, drawing cheers from the many Phillies fans at Citi Field.
The game was delayed for nine minutes in the bottom of the first when home plate umpire Brian O’Nora left with flulike symptoms. It resumed with three umpires after first base ump Adrian Johnson changed into his plate gear.
NOTES: Howard has five homers and 19 RBIs in his last 11 games vs. the Mets. . Slumping Phillies CF Ben Revere didn’t start for the second game in a row while resting sore quadriceps. … All-Star C Carlos Ruiz can be activated Sunday when his 25-game amphetamine suspension ends. Asked if Ruiz would go right into the lineup, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, “More than likely, yeah.” … Young played at Citi Field for the first time. He’s played big league games in 36 parks in his 14-season career. … Mets RHP prospect Zack Wheeler had his second straight rough start for Triple-A Las Vegas. Mets manager Terry Collins said Wheeler could be “trying to overthrow, due to the league.” The Mets’ top affiliate shifted in the offseason from Buffalo to Las Vegas in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)