Wright returns, homers in first at-bat
David Wright surprised even himself in his return to the Mets lineup.
Wright homered, Daniel Murphy had three hits and Daisuke Matsuzaka earned his second straight victory in New York’s 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
”It was just fun to be back out there,” said Wright, who had been sidelined since Aug. 3. ”You get those competitive juices flowing again.”
Eric Young Jr. singled, doubled and drove in a run for the Mets, who have won four of seven.
Darin Ruf doubled and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia, which has lost four of seven.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 14 opportunities. Hawkins got some help when a retreating Juan Lagares made a leaping, one-handed catch in front of the wall in center to rob Ruf of extra bases leading off the inning.
The Mets jumped on Cole Hamels for three runs in the first. After Young led off with a bloop double that bounded off the glove of diving right fielder John Mayberry Jr. and Murphy singled, Wright homered in his first at-bat since being placed on the disabled list Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring.
”It was pretty surprising to me, especially off Cole,” Wright said. ”To do that was fun and surprising at the same time.”
Mets manager Terry Collins wasn’t as surprised.
”I told him the game’s not that easy,” Collins said. ”Special people do special things. It was great to have him back in the lineup.
”This guy loves to play. That’s why he’s in the lineup. He wanted to get back out there and wanted to finish the season on the field. That’s why he’s the captain.”
The homer moved Wright past Mike Piazza into second on the club’s career list with 221 homers. Darryl Strawberry is No. 1 with 252.
”You know you’re doing something right to be mentioned in any sentence with Mike,” Wright said.
New York added lone runs in the third and fourth on RBI singles by Andrew Brown and Young, respectively, before the Phillies scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 5-4. Ruf did the bulk of the damage with a two-run double. Hamels also drove in a run with a groundout to first.
But the Mets got an insurance run in the seventh on Josh Satin’s RBI groundout.
Matsuzaka (2-3) pitched six innings, allowing four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
”Overall, my command was pretty good except the fourth inning,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. ”Looking back I could’ve pitched differently to keep those runs from scoring.”
Hamels (8-14) lost for the first time since July 26. The left-hander entered Friday 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in the nine starts since his last defeat. But he left after seven subpar innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
”Cole pitched well,” Philadelphia interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. ”He had good stuff, but luck wasn’t on his side. He adjusted after the first, but things just didn’t go his way.”
As has been the case for much of the season, particularly during the first half, Hamels was victimized by some bad luck. The Phillies committed one error and couldn’t make some other plays that went for hits. And at least two of the Mets’ 10 hits were bloops.
”It’s baseball,” Hamels said. ”You try to make the right pitch. You just have to give them credit for getting the bat on the ball. It’s tough but you can’t do much about it. You just have to make the same pitches next time.”
NOTES: Wright’s homer was his 18th at Citizens Bank Park, matching his total at Atlanta’s Turner Field for his most in road ballparks. . Besides Wright, the Mets activated Wilfredo Tovar before Friday’s game. Tovar hit .263 with four homers and 36 RBIs in 133 games with Double-A Binghamton this season. . Young stole his 40th base of the season and MLB-leading 24th since the All-Star break. . The series continues Saturday night when New York right-hander Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47 ERA) faces Phillies right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06).