Mets take advantage of Philly mistakes

April 9, 2008 7:45:37 PM PDT
The Philadelphia Phillies fell apart without Jimmy Rollins.Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets' injury-riddled pitching staff an encouraging boost, and the Phillies played a painfully sloppy game without their MVP shortstop in New York's 8-2 victory Wednesday night.

The Mets ended a nine-game losing streak to Philadelphia, taking advantage of four errors that led to six unearned runs. Eric Bruntlett, filling in for the injured Rollins, booted two grounders in a six-run third - after Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick walked six batters in the first two innings.

Handed a comfortable lead, Pelfrey (1-0) tossed five effective innings in his first start of the year to help the Mets bounce back after losing their home opener to Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Phillies won the final eight meetings between these rivals in 2007, a big reason they were able to rally past the fading Mets to win the NL East title.

Angel Pagan hit a two-run double for the Mets. Damion Easley, starting at second base for ailing Luis Castillo, put New York ahead 2-1 with an RBI single off Kendrick (1-1) in the third.

Rollins sat out with a sprained left ankle, missing his first game since July 30, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He left Tuesday's game in the eighth inning after tweaking his ankle while scrambling back to second base on a pickoff play.

The 2007 NL MVP tested his ankle during batting practice Wednesday, but was removed from the lineup about an hour before the first pitch. He planned to get X-rays to make sure there were no fractures, but said he didn't expect the soreness in his ankle to linger long.

With Rollins wearing a ski cap and watching from the top step of the dugout, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and catcher Carlos Ruiz also committed costly errors.

Before the game, the Mets announced that pitcher Orlando Hernandez has a strained tendon in his troublesome right foot that will keep him out indefinitely. El Duque, who had surgery on the foot in the offseason, will wear a protective boot for two weeks and then be re-evaluated.

The Mets also are missing No. 2 starter Pedro Martinez, who strained his left hamstring in his first start and is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Those injuries make Pelfrey especially important. New York is counting on the 24-year-old right-hander, who was selected ninth overall in the 2005 amateur draft. He went 3-8 with a 5.57 ERA for the Mets last season, then compiled an 8.14 ERA in 21 innings during spring training.

But he was in control Wednesday night. Pitching for the first time since March 28, Pelfrey allowed two runs and five hits with two walks. He threw 66 of his 100 pitches for strikes.

Kendrick also had a miserable spring (9.68 ERA) after going 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA as a rookie last year. He lasted only 2 1-3 innings against the Mets, giving up four hits and seven runs - one earned.

Jorge Sosa, Pedro Feliciano and Carlos Muniz finished up with scoreless relief for New York in a game played through an on-and-off drizzle.