Jonathan Papelbon failed to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning, and the Mets came back to beat the Phillies 6-5 on Thursday night at Citi Field.
Papelbon surrendered a leadoff double to Ike Davis, who was pinch run for by Ronny Cedeno. Cedeno advanced to third on Josh Thole’s sacrifice bunt. Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out, then Jordany Valdespin — who took Papelbon deep for a pinch-hit three-run homer May 7 in Philadelphia — was hit by a pitch. Valdespin stole second, and then Ruben Tejada walked to load the bases.
Daniel Murphy lined a single off Papelbon to tie the game, and then David Wright blooped a single into right field for the game winner. Wright finished with three hits — including a homer — and four RBIs.
The Mets’ comeback took R.A. Dickey off the hook. Dickey gave up a career-high-tying 11 hits — along with five runs — in seven innings but got a no-decision. The 37-year-old knuckleballer walked one and struck out seven.
Dickey also gave up 11 hits May 14, 2011, in Houston. He has surrendered five or more runs in only three of his starts this season (June 24 vs. Yankees, five; April 18 in Atlanta, eight, his only other loss).
Shane Victorino’s two-out RBI single in the first marked the first time Dickey has allowed an earned run in the opening frame of a game since Sept. 2, 2011, versus the Nationals, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Scott Hairston hit his fifth career homer off Cole Hamels leading off the second. Nine of Hairston’s 12 homers this season have come against lefties. Hairston is 11-for-28 (.393) lifetime versus Hamels.
Jimmy Rollins singled, doubled, tripled and walked in four at-bats against Dickey. The shortstop’s sixth-inning, one-out three-bagger tied the game at 4, and he proceeded to score on Juan Pierre’s safety squeeze to put Philadelphia on top 5-4.
Hairston gunned down Mike Fontenot by a mile in the eighth as he tried to score on a one-out single by pinch hitter Chase Utley. Third-base coach Juan Samuel should have never sent Fontenot, who tried unsuccessfully to barrel through Josh Thole.
Pedro Beato made his 2012 debut, pitching a third of an inning in the eighth.
UP NEXT: Mets versus Cubs, Friday night in Queens: Johan Santana (6-4, 2.76 ERA) opposes Travis Wood(3-3, 3.05).
“I have not talked to Tony, it’s his game (to manage),” Collins said. “I’m gonna stay out of it. If he asks me what I think of R.A., I can certainly offer my opinion.”
La Russa said earlier Thursday that he is considering Dickey as the NL’s starter, but added that there is concern about who is going to catch him. There are also several other deserving candidates, La Russa added.
“I read today what Tony had to say, and there’s some validity to it,” Collins said. “It’s not an easy pitch to catch. It’s gotta be the right combination.”
Collins said he thinks Dickey can pitch in any type of role, whether it be starting or coming out of the bullpen, which he’s done before.
“I’m certainly not gonna talk to Tony La Russa about strategy. He’s one of the best in the game, if not the best in the game,” Collins said.
Still, Collins thinks the best players should play in the All-Star Game.
“You walk that thin line,” Collins said. “The game means something now. I appreciate the fan votes, I think it’s great, but at the same token, this game means something, so the best players should be out there.”
Collins is glad Dickey is on the mound for the Mets against Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels on Thursday. It marks the first time this season that two double-digit winners will face one another.
“We need this game tonight, so we got our guy going and we’re pretty happy about it,” Collins said.
• Andres Torres was scratched from Collins’ original lineup with a bad back.
Collins said he is concerned about his center fielder. It is unknown if Torres will undergo further testing
“Any time it’s a back or a side, yes, I am concerned,” Collins said. “It was bothering him yesterday. He had some treatment on it and thought he could play with it, but when he woke up today it got worse. We’ll just see how he is after the game today and tomorrow.”
• Frank Francisco (DL, left oblique) will throw off a mound on Saturday and then have at least four rehab appearances, Collins said. Jason Bay will report to Port St. Lucie on Friday, Collins said.
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis (inflammation of a nerve in his hand) was inserted into the lineup because Torres couldn’t play. Nieuwenhuis said his hand feels better and he isn’t concerned about the injury. Nieuwenhuis took batting practice on Wednesday and came out of it fine. He took anti-inflammatories to ease the pain.
• Pedro Beato is glad to be back with the Mets. Collins said the Mets will use the right-handed reliever where they see fit. Beato said the 24 innings he threw at Triple-A Buffalo helped him build him arm strength, and he likes where his velocity is at.
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This year alone, Dickey has scaled a mountain, written a book and become baseball’s best starting pitcher.
He enters Thursday night’s start with a 12-1 record and 2.15 ERA.
#0 RP New York Yankees
Five weeks after the Mets lost Schwinden off waivers to Toronto, he was reclaimed by the Mets off waivers. He also made intermediate stops with the Indians and Yankees. That’s four waiver claims in a month.
Schwinden has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
The Mets reclaimed Schwinden off waivers from the Yankees on Thursday. A 40-man roster spot opened with left-hander Justin Hampson being designated for assignment Wednesday.
Schwinden made a combined five Triple-A starts for Las Vegas (Toronto), Columbus (Cleveland) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees).
• The Mets have released left-hander Chuck James from Triple-A Buffalo, the southpaw tweeted.
• Matt Harvey has joined Twitter — @MattHarvey43
The Mets’ 37-year-old knuckleballer is 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA and threw back-to-back one-hitters in June.
Tony La Russa will be the first to admit that Dickey has had a marvelous season and deserves consideration, but there are other factors the manager of the NL squad must weigh.
“I’ve given that a lot of thought, but there is an issue about catching him and what spot to use him,” La Russa said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “His season has gotten everyone’s attention, including our staff’s and we’re talking about the best way to win the game with our personnel and how we use Dickey will be a part of that. But yes, that has been addressed and [pitching coach] Dave [Duncan] and I have talked quite a bit about it and we have a plan that we hope to implement.”
“Dickey could certainly start the game, he’s got the credentials,” LaRussa later said. “But I look at the five guys that were selected, and each of those guys could make a claim, so as a manager, you have to keep your heart pure and do the best you can for the team over one individual.”
La Russa may be hesitant to allow 25-year-old starter Buster Posey to catch Dickey.
Veterans Yadier Molina (29) or Carlos Ruiz (33) could be better options.
Other candidates to start for the NL include Stephen Strasburg, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Clayton Kershaw and Gio Gonzalez.
Dickey and Hamels oppose one another on Thursday night in Queens.
Read game recaps in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record and Post.
Thursday’s news reports:
” Pedro Beato will rejoin the Mets’ bullpen Thursday after going 3-2 with a 1.12 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo. Jeremy Hefner was optioned to Buffalo to make room for Beato on the roster.
” Kirk Nieuwenhuis didn’t go on the DL. Jordany Valdespin was promoted in favor of Justin Hampson, who was DFA’d.
” Buster Olney reports that the Mets are going to use R.A. Dickey more frequently in the second half of the season.
” Mike Baxter (collarbone injury) will continue his recovery from Port St. Lucie, Fla., he told Adam Rubin.
TRIVIA: From what university did Sandy Alderson receive his law degree?
Wednesday Answer: The Mets are one of two National League teams with at least four players (David Wright, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis are the others) with 40 or more RBI…St. Louis has five (Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and David Freese).
RICHMOND 9, BINGHAMTON 4: The Flying Squirrels pounced on B-Mets starter Greg Peavey en route to collecting 11 hits, 10 for extra bases. Gary Brown led off the first by doubling. He scored when Mark Minicozzi also doubled. Tommy Joseph made it 2-0 with an RBI double. Richmond added a run in the second on Brown’s RBI triple. Binghamton answered in the third against Richmond starter Craig Westcott. Peavey bounced a single up the middle, moved to third on a ground-rule double by Reese Havens and scored on a wild pitch. The B-Mets cut the deficit to one run in the fifth. Eric Campbell bounced a groundball off Westcott’s foot, which ricocheted into left field, allowing Juan Lagares to score from second. But a half-inning later, Joseph smacked a three-run homer. Peavey’s night came to a close two batters later. He allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings, extending his winless streak to seven games. After Richmond tacked on two more runs against Adrian Rosario in the sixth, the B-Mets made one last push in the seventh. Lagares reached on a one-out infield single, ending Westcott’s start. Campbell greeted reliever Ari Ronick with a two-run homer to cap a three-RBI night. Ehrie Adrianza wrapped up the Richmond scoring with a solo homer off Erik Turgeon in the eighth. The B-Mets (37-46) continue the series Thursday with former Giants farmhand Zack Wheeler facing his former organization. Box
JUPITER 4, ST. LUCIE 3: T.J. Rivera went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, but the Mets fell short. Chase Huchingson allowed three runs on eight hits and one walk in five innings. Jack Leathersich allowed one run and four hits in 2 1/3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts, but was charged with the loss. Jeff Walters contributed 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Cory Vaughn hit a bases-loaded, two-run single in the third to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Rivera’s double scored Juan Torres in the fourth to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. St. Lucie was limited to four hits and failed to produce a hit after the fourth inning. Zach Lutz batted third and played third base, finishing 0-for-1 with two walks in his first game with St. Lucie after coming off Triple-A Buffalo’s disabled list. Lutz returned after having a broken hamate bone surgically removed from his hand. The Hammerheads pushed across the go-ahead run in the eighth on a single by Aaron Dudley that plated J.T. Realmuto. Box
CHARLESTON 3, SAVANNAH 2: The Gnats scored both of their runs on solo homers. Aderlin Rodriguez gave Savannah a 1-0 lead with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the second. Down 3-1, Cam Maron went deep in the fifth. It was the 14th homer of the year for Rodriguez and the third for Maron. The RiverDogs had taken the lead with two third-inning runs. A pair of groundball singles and an error by second baseman Brandon Brown loaded the bases with one out. Ali Castillo then put Charleston in front with a two-run single through the hole on the left side. Charleston added another run in the fifth. With two outs and Francisco Arcia at third and Cito Culver at first, Culver took off for second. Catcher Albert Cordero’s throw would have easily beaten Culver, who pulled up short of second. By the time Brown, who fielded the throw, looked toward the plate, Arcia had raced home with Charleston’s third run. Brown’s throw to first then hit Culver, allowing him to reach second. Down 3-2, the Gnats rallied in the eighth. Rodriguez singled with two outs. Brian Harrison then doubled, but Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate. Gnats starter Jacob deGrom (3-3, 2.64 ERA) was charged with three runs (two earned) on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter. He had 46 strikeouts and seven walks in 58 innings this season. Box
ELIZABETHTON 8, KINGSPORT 1: Persio Reyes (0-3) allowed six runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks in three innings. Box
BROOKLYN 9, WILLIAMSPORT 5: Powered by homers from Stefan Sabol and Brandon Nimmo, the Cyclones won their sixth straight. Dawrin Frias (2-0) collected the win, despite facing only one batter in relief. Cole Frenzel extended his hitting streak to six games with a two-run triple in a four-run first. Sabol then became the 26th player in Cyclones history to have a hitting streak of 10 or more games as he ripped an RBI double. Julian Hilario cruised through first four innings, allowing one unearned run. But after striking out Roman Quinn to start the fifth, Hilario yielded a double to Brian Pointer, then a single to Cameron Perkins to put runners on the corners. After striking out Chris Serritella, a two-out RBI single by Mitch Walding cut Brooklyn’s lead to 4-2. Yan Carlos Olmo then hit a slow dribbler that third baseman Dimas Ponce threw away, allowing Perkins to score. Larry Greene Jr. doubled to two plate two runs and give the Crosscutters a 5-4 lead. In 4 2/3 innings, Hilario surrendered eight hits and five runs (three earned). Frias entered to face Logan Moore, who grounded out to first base. The next half-inning, Sabol and Nimmo homered. It was Nimmo’s second homer this season, this time a three-run shot. Frias combined with fellow relievers Matt Koch and Ernesto Yanez to toss 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing up one hit and one walk. Box
Compiled from team reports
“Seven pitches later we’re behind 3-2,” Collins said, referring to homers by Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz. “I’m not sure we could have done much else except try to fight back. … It’s really easy after a guy gives up three runs to say, ‘Well, you should have taken him out,’ or ‘the third time through the lineup …’
“There was nothing that dictated that they were taking good swings at him. He was cruising pretty good. And I wasn’t sure who to put in there at that particular time. We could have went to [Tim] Byrdak, I guess. You don’t see [Juan] Pierre. You end up seeing [Ty] Wigginton anyway. We just thought he was still in good shape.”
As for Young’s season-long trend of giving up more damage once he reaches the third time through the opposing lineup, Collins suggested Young — a fly-ball specialist who pitches up in the zone — has tended to miss down a few times at that point in the game, and has been punished for it.
Young was not sure what to make of the numbers suggesting he struggles the third time through the lineup — or whether those are statistically significant.
“I don’t know. Time will tell,” Young said. “I felt good. I made good pitches after that. I got the next three guys out. It’s one of those things where I would like to execute a little better. My last two home starts I’ve given up runs in the seventh inning that have cost us. I’d like to be better at that point in the game. And I think I will be as the season progresses. It’s my sixth start after missing a year from surgery. There’s certainly room for improvement. I’ve done some things well, but I’m not satisfied. And that’s one of the things I want to improve on.
“Ruiz is one of the league leaders in average, and Utley, he’s Utley, a perennial All-Star,” Young added. “You don’t execute to those guys and they can punish you, and it turned around quickly. … One of my strengths is attacking up in the zone. The pitch to Utley was probably middle height-wise. The ball Ruiz hit was more up than down. I had gotten him to fly out on similar pitches, and he jumped on it. Really, the pitch I wish I had back was to Pierre that led off the inning with a hit. That was one that was down that I should have gone up.”
Utley now has six homers at Citi Field, tied for most by a visiting player with Raul Ibanez.
DAY-TO-DAY: Kirk Nieuwenhuis avoided the DL after testing his injured right hand swinging before Wednesday’s game. Jordany Valdespin temporarily was promoted as a hedge against Nieuwenhuis being unavailable, but went unused. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but we don’t have to disable him,” Collins said. “… I’m sure in a couple of days we’ll end up coming up with another pitcher.”
JUST LOOKING: David Wright expressed his disapproval to plate ump Tim Timmons after striking out in the eighth. Wright was one of seven Mets called out on strikes. “It’s baseball,” Wright said. “You have disagreements quite frequently. Obviously you have differences of opinions here and there, especially when it’s kind of a frustrating game — having the lead and losing it — and knowing when Cliff Lee is on the mound that you’ve got to be pretty close to perfect offensively and defensively. And we let it slip away a little bit. So it’s just some overall frustration.”
SURGE: Ruben Tejada went 2-for-4 and is hitting .395 in 10 games since returning from the DL.
#27 RP Buffalo (AAA)
After allowing a pair of inherited runners to score in the eighth, then a two-run homer to Ty Wigginton during a three-run ninth that capped Philadelphia’s 9-2 win Wednesday, Jeremy Hefner was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
Pedro Beato will join the Mets on Thursday.
Beato is 3-2 with a 1.12 ERA in 16 relief appearances with Buffalo this season. He has allowed 15 hits and walked nine (three intentionally) while striking out 18 in 24 innings.
Then things quickly unraveled in what became a 9-2 loss Wednesday afternoon as Sandy Alderson’smandate to acquire bullpen help before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline again was evident.
#55 SP New York Mets
Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak and made Cliff Lee a winner for the first time in 14 starts this season. The Mets (44-38) dropped 4½ games behind the victorious Washington Nationals.
Juan Pierre singled, Chase Utley delivered a two-run homer into the right-field corner and Carlos Ruiz also went deep as the Phillies grabbed a 3-2 lead before Young recorded an out in the seventh.
Opponents are now hitting .176 against Young in their first plate appearance of a game against him, .281 in the second PA and .368 the third time through the order. (Chris Capuano struggled last year the third time through the order as well. And Capuano now is having resounding success with the Dodgers. So perhaps it simply means more time is needed post-surgery to get back to full capability. Young underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder on May 16, 2011.)
Young had retired the first 10 Phillies he faced until Pierre singled in the fourth.
The Phillies added three more runs in the eighth against a trio of Mets relievers.
Tim Byrdak surrendered a double to Jimmy Rollins that scored a runner inherited from Miguel Batista. Jeremy Hefner eventually entered with two runners on base and surrendered two-out RBI singles to Carlos Ruiz and Hunter Pence, the latter of which Ruben Tejada struggled to field at shortstop. It was the first time in Hefner’s major league career he had worked with inherited runners. He had pitched exclusively as a starter in the minors since 2009 as well.
Hefner allowed another three runs in the ninth, capped by a two-run homer from Ty Wigginton.
The Mets’ bullpen ERA rose to 5.11, worst in the majors.
#12 LF New York Mets
HAIR-RAISING: Hairston is now batting .306 (30-for-98) with eight homers against left-handed pitching this season. The long ball total is tied with Ryan Braun for the most in the National League against southpaws this season. Scouts from two different American League clubs said they would love to acquire Hairston because of the combination of production and his modest $1.1 million salary, although the Mets clearly will not be sellers, barring an epic slide before the trade deadline.
Hairston’s solo homer in the fourth against Lee opened the scoring. The Mets pushed the lead to 2-0 an inning later when Tejada, Daniel Murphy and David Wright consecutively produced two-out singles.
WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15 ERA) makes his final first-half start when he opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08) in the 7:10 p.m. series finale Thursday.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis avoided landing on the disabled list before Wednesday’s game despite a right hand injury, but Jordany Valdespin officially was promoted anyway.
Valdespin took the roster spot of left-hander Justin Hampson, who was designated for assignment. The Mets apparently will go with six relievers, and only one lefty, in the bullpen for the remainder of the first half.
Nieuwenhuis had been scratched from Tuesday’s lineup after pain shot up his right hand when he took a swing behind the cage after completing a round of batting practice. The issue is located on the back of the hand, on the pinkie side. He reported improvement Wednesday morning.
“Just swinging — not even contact,” Nieuwenhuis said. “… There was some pain in there and I couldn’t even take my normal swings.”
Nieuwenhuis underwent an MRI on Tuesday night, but indicated he had not yet received the result. He believed the issue was nerve-related. He had surgery to remove a broken hamate bone at the base of that hand after the 2009 season, but did not know if there was a link. He doubted he had another broken bone.
Mike Baxter’s recovery from a displaced collarbone is moving forward. Baxter told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday morning that he was heading to the Mets’ Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex later in the day.
Baxter said he has full range of motion in the shoulder and has started hitting off a tee, “so it’s coming along pretty well.”
He has yet to run, and does not expect to immediately see live pitching when he arrives in Florida.
Doctors originally had predicted a six-week recovery time from the June 1 injury,which Baxter suffered making a no-hitter-saving catch for Johan Santana.
Meanwhile, Jason Bay reiterated Wednesday morning that he expects to head to the Mets’ Florida complex no later than Friday.
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