It felt like "hittin' season" early Wednesday night as Chase Utley hit a two-run home run to dead center field for the second time this season and Domonic Brown launched a massive three-run home run to the 300 level down the right field line at Citizens Bank Park. The five-run outburst against Mets starter Jeremy Hefner was enough for the Phillies to pick up 7-3 victory, bringing the Phillies to within one win of the .500 mark. The game was delayed by a brief 27-minute rain delay and Kyle Kendrick labored through six innings to pick up his first win of the season.
"We're scoring a lot of runs," Kendrick said after the game. "It's nice on the starters. We've just got to keep our team in the game. But heading down to Miami, we're feeling good right now after winning the series."
The Phillies entered this series with the Mets having already blown two separate early 4-0 leads against the Kansas City Royals. Against the Mets, the Phillies found a way to hold on to their early leads to pick up their first series victory of the season.
You really cannot say enough about the effort Kyle Kendrick gave on Wednesday night. A longer rain delay may have removed Kendrick from the mound once the game resumed but after a 27-minute rain delay Charlie Manuel decided to keep him in the game, with the game picking up with Kendrick at bat. Kendrick worked in to a crucial bases loaded jam in the second inning but managed to hold the Mets to just one run after being given an early 5-0 lead. Sure, he labored for most of his six innings pitched, but Kendrick managed to hand the game over to the back-end of the bullpen of Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon.
Laynce Nix came off the bench to pinch hit for Kendrick in the sixth inning and he connected for his first home run of the season.
Ryan Howard had a two-hit night, with both hits being sent in to the empty spots of the defensive shift used against him.
John Mayberry went 0-for-4, striking out twice and leaving three runners on the bases.
The Mets were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Compare that to the Phillies going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position and you can see the difference in the game.
National League East Update
The red-hot Atlanta Braves again picked up a victory against the Miami Marlins. A six-run fifth inning charged by home runs by Evan Gattis and Juan Francisco led the Braves an 8-0 victory in Miami. Braves starter Mike Manor picked up the win after pitching just 5.2 innings and allowing five hits and striking out four. Placido Polanco had two of the Marlins hits to raise his batting average to .333.
Bryce Harper hit his fourth home run of the season to help the Washington Nationals win their second straight game against the Chicago White Sox in inter league action. Shortstop Ian Desmond hit a double and a triple as well and Josh Zimmerman pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out four batters for the win. Former Phillies pitcher Gavin Floyd took the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings pitched and striking out seven.
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The Phillies take to the road to continue division play after a day off on Thursday. John Lannan will make his second start for the Phillies in the series opener against the Miami Marlins. Lannan allowed three runs on five hits in his season debut last week against Kansas City, pitching seven innings in a no-decision. Lannan is 3-5 with a 5.04 ERA in 11 career games against the Marlins. The Marlins will counter with Ricky Nolasco, who allowed five runs in 11 1/3 innings pitched without much run support. Nolasco is 8-5 with a 3.86 ERA against the Phillies in 18 career games (15 starts).
Quotes provided by MLB.com.