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Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Phillies 2

7/30/2014

NEW YORK -- It's safe to say the Philadelphia Phillies are no longer the team to beat.

Zack Wheeler continued to make the case he is becoming an elite pitcher and Daniel Murphy launched a three-run homer as the Mets beat the Phillies, 11-2, in Wednesday’s rubber game at Citi Field.

Officially two-thirds of the way through the season, the Mets are 52-56.

Wheeler was in position to match a franchise record until Jimmy Rollins launched a pinch-hit homer to lead off the seventh that pulled Philadelphia with 4-2. With the long ball, Wheeler’s streak of limiting opponents to one earned run while completing at least six innings ended at five straight games -- one shy of matching the franchise record.

Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

Zack Wheeler allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings.His final line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

Four Mets pitchers have made six straight starts logging at least six innings and surrendering no more than one earned run in each outing: R.A. Dickey (2012), David Cone (1988), Nolan Ryan (1971) and Jerry Koosman (1969).

Wheeler improved to 6-8 with a 3.60 ERA.

He entered the outing with the most pitches per batter of any qualified NL starter (4.11). Consistent with that statistic, his pitch count swelled early Wednesday, rising to 45 after two innings and 60 after three innings. But Wheeler ultimately worked into the seventh inning before departing with his pitch count at 112.

Until Rollins’ homer, Wheeler limited the Phillies to a two-out RBI double in the fifth by Ryan Howard, which opened the game’s scoring.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick had taken a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, when his outing unraveled.

After Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada singled and Wheeler bunted them ahead, Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases with one out. Kendrick issued a wild pitch that evened the score. Murphy then deposited an opposite-field homer over the left-field wall for a 4-1 lead.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Daniel Murphy's three-run homer staked the Mets to a 4-1 lead.Murphy had gone 94 at-bats since his last homer, on July 1 against Atlanta’s Mike Minor.

Tejada finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and an intentional walk. He snapped an 0-for-13 drought. Lagares finished 3-for-5.

Bruised and battered: Dana Eveland, struck in the left elbow in the series opener and forced to depart, struggled two days later in his return to the mound. Taking over for Wheeler with two outs and none on in the seventh to face the lefty-hitting Chase Utley, Eveland issued a walk.

Utley then swiped second base after getting a huge jump. He advanced to third base on a passed ball. Eveland then plunked the lefty-hitting Howard with a pitch and departed.

Jeurys Familia bailed out Eveland and maintained the Mets’ 4-2 lead by coaxing a groundout from ex-Met Marlon Byrd.

Passing fancy: Travis d'Arnaud was charged with his 10th passed ball. That matches Colorado's Wilin Rosario for the major league lead.

Career year: Lucas Duda produced his 58th, 59th and 60th RBIs, surpassing his 2012 total (57) for a new career high. After an intentional walk to David Wright in the seventh, Duda staked the Mets to a 5-2 lead with an opposite-field RBI single against Mario Hollands. Duda added a two-run homer in the eighth against Phillippe Aumont. Duda has five homers in his past eight games.

Take that deGrom! Familia ended up batting against Justin De Fratus in what became a five-run seventh during which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate. He delivered a run-scoring single for his first career RBI. He is 2-for-2 this season and 2-for-3 overall at the plate as a major leaguer. Familia’s other hit came May 28 against Pittsburgh’s Bryan Morris while notching a five-out save.

Not in your house: Center fielder Ben Revere leaped at the wall to take away a potential homer from Duda to open the bottom of the fourth.

What’s next: Mets players get a day off Thursday, but Sandy Alderson will continue to work the phones until the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. The Mets resume play Friday. Jonathon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) opposes San Francisco Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 4.45) in the opener of a four-game series at Citi Field.