Who said the All-Star break came at a bad time?
The Phils looked refreshed instead of rusty and have now won 10 of their last 14 games to hop the Nationals in the NL East standings and take over second place. The victory also puts the Phils above .500 (49-48) for the first time since June 6 and improves their division-best record against the NL East to 25-14.
They did so by batting around in the first and third frames and hammering 12 hits for 11 runs in the first three innings.
Mets starter Jeremy Hefner, who came in with a 1.76 ERA over his last eight starts, was cooled off mightily. To put that in perspective, Hefner had given up just eight earned runs (1.89 ERA) in his previous six starts (38 innings). Against the Phillies on Friday, Hefner allowed eight earned runs in just two innings of work (36.00 ERA).
Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Delmon Young and John Mayberry Jr. all recorded RBI hits in the first inning. Then in the third, Brown and Michael Young smashed homers while Delmon Young, Carlos Ruiz and Mayberry knocked in a run apiece.
Brown and Delmon Young each finished with three hits. Utley tacked on with a homer of his own and posted three RBIs, as did Michael Young.
When the Phillies scored, they would just score more. The offense went 7 for 10 with runners in scoring position and forced the Mets (41-51) to use five relief pitchers.
Kyle Kendrick threw no-hit ball through the first three innings, but then ran into trouble. With the healthy run support, Kendrick notched his ninth win despite surrendering nine hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings.
The Braves (55-41) beat the White Sox to retain their 6 1/2-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East. In a matchup of the NL wild-card leaders, the Reds (54-42) topped the Pirates (56-38). The Phillies — along with the Dodgers — are 5 1/2 games back of the final playoff spot.
CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury has health updates on a bevy of Phillies, including promising news on Roy Halladay (see story).
A win on Saturday will give the Phillies their fifth straight series victory. Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.05) opposes right-hander Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.54) at 1:10 p.m.