Kendrick pitches into eighth to lead Phils

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - September 13, 2009 Brad Lidge, who was temporarily demoted from his Phillies closer role this week, gave up two runs in the ninth but finished for his 29th save in 39 opportunities. Ryan Madson had blown the save in Saturday's loss to the Mets.

Making his first Phillies start of the season, Kendrick looked like the rookie who contributed greatly to Philadelphia's 2007 playoff run, rather than the one who struggled in '08. He lasted until surrendering a two-run homer to Anderson Hernandez in the eighth inning.

New York right-hander John Maine made his first start since June 6. Out with a sore shoulder, Maine was one of several key players who missed a large chunk of the season, ruining the Mets chances of competing with the Phillies for the NL East crown.

Maine (5-5) gave up an RBI double to Ryan Howard in the first of his three innings. He threw 57 pitches and gave up two hits before giving way to rookie Tobi Stoner.

Stoner gave up Victorino's first home run since Aug. 12, a two-run shot in the fifth, and put the Phillies up 4-0. Francisco had homered in the fourth.

Home runs have accounted for 332 of Philadelphia's 714 runs scored this season, or 46 percent. The Phillies' 204 homers lead the NL by a wide margin, ahead of the Colorado Rockies, who entered play Sunday with 170.

Andy Tracy had an RBI single in the eighth to give Philadelphia a 5-2 lead.

Kendrick, a sinkerball pitcher, recorded 14 groundball outs. The right-hander retired Jeremy Reed on a grounder to start the eighth, then allowed a single to Angel Pagan and a two-run homer to Hernandez, his second of the season.

Manager Charlie Manuel brought in reliever Tyler Walker, and Kendrick received a standing ovation as he left the mound. Kendrick (1-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings, walking one and striking out three.

The 25-year-old energized the 2007 Phillies, going 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA in 20 starts, and was a large reason the team raced past the Mets for their first NL East title since 1993. Though he went 11-9 in 2008, his ERA rose to 5.49, and he was removed from the rotation in September.

Kendrick didn't make the team out of Spring Training, but compiled a 3.34 ERA in 24 starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

NOTES: Phillies P Clay Condrey (left oblique strain) is scheduled to continue his rehab assignment Monday with Class-A Lakewood. He allowed two runs on two hits in one inning for Double-A Reading on Saturday. ... Rookie Mets catcher Josh Thole had four of the Mets' nine hits, matching his total from his first four games.

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