NEW YORK (AP) - Minus Jose Reyes, David Wright and now Francisco Rodriguez, the New York Mets need to play nine crisp innings.
On Friday night, they got exposed in the eighth.
Fill-in shortstop Ruben Tejada's two-out error loaded the bases, then newly promoted reliever Ryota Igarashi gave up a three-run double to the first batter he faced, ending any chance the Mets had in a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
``We usually make those plays,' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ``And usually get out of those.'
Carlos Beltran hit his 14th homer as the Mets (46-46) lost their third straight and dropped back to .500. After New York traded Rodriguez to Milwaukee this week, Beltran was asked whether he might be the next to go.
``I'm a Met. And I'm trying to help this team win ballgames,' he said.
The Mets have gone 1-2 in all three previous series against the NL East-leading Phillies this year.
``This team has a little window to see where we're headed. Tomorrow, we have to pick up the pieces and try to win the series,' losing pitcher R.A. Dickey said.
Dickey (4-8) threw a one-hitter against the Phillies last Aug. 13, allowing only a sixth-inning single to pitcher Cole Hamels in a 1-0 win.
The knuckleballer gave up three runs in the second inning this time and the Mets never could catch up.
``Last year I was much better at making the big pitch,' Dickey said.
John Mayberry Jr. drove in five runs to set another career best, Vance Worley pitched well enough and the Phillies got off to a strong start after the All-Star break.
Mayberry singled and doubled with the bases loaded. It marked the second straight game where he established a personal high in RBIs - on the Phillies' final day of the first half, he hit three doubles and drove in four runs against Atlanta.
``I definitely feel like I have a great opportunity in front of me,' he said.
Raul Ibanez contributed a home run and a diving catch in left field for Philadelphia. The Phillies (58-34) own the best record in the majors - no surprise, their 3.01 ERA is also the best in the big leagues.
Recalled from Triple-A before the game for his fourth stint of the year with Philadelphia, Worley (5-1) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning. The rookie right-hander, one of the few pitchers who wears glasses on the mound, walked off with a 2.15 ERA.
Worley picked up his first career RBI and avenged his worst start as a major leaguer. The Mets tagged him for eight runs and 12 hits in only three innings at Citi Field on May 29, his lone loss this season.
``His changeup is so much better than the first two times we've seen him,' Collins said.
Down 4-0, New York loaded the bases against the 23-year-old Worley in the sixth with two walks and a single. Manuel summoned lefty reliever Juan Perez, who struck out pinch-hitter Scott Hairston on a wild pitch that scored a run and then retired pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino on a grounder.
Mayberry broke it open with a three-run double in the eighth, which came right after Tejada's misplay. That brought up Mayberry and brought in Igarashi, added from Triple-A earlier in the day to fill Rodriguez's roster spot.
Mayberry hit a two-run single in the second. Worley followed with a groundout that made it 3-0.
Ibanez ran into the alley to catch Tejada's leadoff drive in the fifth. In the sixth, Ibanez hit his 13th home run and rounded the bases to a mix of boos from Mets fans and calls of ``Rauuul!' from Phillies rooters who made the two-hour drive.
NOTES: Reyes (left hamstring) did some running and plans to run hard on the bases Sunday. It will then be determined if the star shortstop can come off the DL when he's eligible Monday. Reyes sidestepped questions about how this week's trade of Rodriguez to Milwaukee will affect his status - he can become a free agent after the season. ``I don't know,' he said. ... Wright (stress fracture in his lower back) played his first rehab game at Class A St. Lucie. He doubled and scored his first time up, then walked and struck out. He started at 3B and left in the sixth inning of the rain-delayed Florida State League game at Lakeland. ... Mets CF Angel Pagan raced back for an over-the-shoulder grab that robbed Ryan Howard of extra bases. ... Batting .107, Dickey singled in the third. He hesitated when Justin Turner hit a blooper that bounced in front of RF Domonic Brown and would have easily been forced at second, but Brown bobbled the ball for an error. Dickey's shaky baserunning cost Turner a hit - he was given a fielder's choice. Collins was among several Mets who groused about the ruling. ``Has anyone ever seen that play called like that before?' he said.
The Associated Press News Service
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