WHAT IT MEANS: Jeremy Hefner’s first major league hit was a homer that ultimately accounted for the deciding run as the Mets beat the Phillies, 6-3, Tuesday at Citi Field.
The game was interrupted in the middle of the eighth inning for a 64-minute rain delay. After play resumed, Frank Francisco eventually notched his 14th save, tying Jonathan Papelbon and Craig Kimbrel for the National League lead. Francisco's streak of retiring batters did end at 13 with Placido Polanco's one-out single.
New York Mets
Hefner -- who earned his first major league win -- took Joe Blanton deep for a solo shot in the fourth inning, which accounted for the Mets’ fourth run. He became the first Mets pitcher to go deep since Johan Santana on July 6, 2010, against Cincinnati’s Matt Maloney.
Hefner also became the second Met to homer this month against the Phillies for his first major league hit. Jordany Valdespin had a tiebreaking pinch-hit homer against closer Jonathan Papelbon in Philly on May 7.
Hefner had one previous professional homer -- last Aug. 19, while playing for Triple-A Tucson in the Padres organization.
Philadelphia closed to within 4-3 in the sixth against Hefner, when Hunter Pence’s double and Mike Baxter’s misplay in left field allowed Juan Pierre to score from first base. But Hefner stranded Pence, who reached third base on the error, by consecutively retiring Ty Wigginton, Shane Victorino and Polanco.
Pinch hitting for Hefner a half-inning later, Scott Hairston delivered a two-run homer that gave the Mets a three-run cushion. Hairston’s sixth homer this season (and third against the Phillies) gave him the team lead, one ahead of David Wright, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.
Hairston has homered in each of his past three games, matching his career-high streak, which he also accomplished with the Padres in 2009. That time, the final homer came against Blanton as well.
Hefner’s final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
In six previous starts since Mike Pelfrey had vacated the rotation spot, Chris Schwinden, Miguel Batista and Hefner had combined to produce a 6.23 ERA. Batista’s rehab start with Double-A Binghamton was rained out Tuesday night at Reading. He will pitch instead Wednesday.
Q RATING: Fill-in shortstop Omar Quintanilla, the call-up to man shortstop with Justin Turner landing on the DL, had a pair of doubles and went 3-for-4 in his Mets debut. He scored twice. Quintanilla's three hits matched his career high, which he also accomplished in 2008 as a Rockie.
SNAP: Wright broke an 0-for-14 skid with a line single in the first inning off shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ glove, which scored Baxter with the Mets’ first run. Wright finished 1-for-4 as his average further slipped to .370.
WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.92 ERA) and Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.82) meet in Wednesday’s 7:10 p.m. rubber game.