Howard's slam, 6 RBIs, lead Phillies over Mets

April 29, 2011 9:54:00 PM PDT
Two big swings by Ryan Howard made it a comfortable night on the mound for rookie fill-in Vance Worley.

Howard hit two homers, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs to back six scoreless innings by Worley and lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-3 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night.

"Just got ready, saw it and put good swings on," Howard said. "Obviously it's a good night, but I don't get too high or too low."

Howard launched a two-run shot into the second deck in right field off starter Mike Pelfrey in the fourth inning to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. After making contact, Howard dropped his bat and stared in admiration for a couple of seconds at the 427-foot drive before trotting around the bases.

"I hit that one pretty square, knew pretty much it was going to go," Howard said. "It was just a matter of where and how far."

The big slugger is batting .412 (14 for 34) with three homers and six RBIs against Pelfrey.

With the Phillies up 4-0 in the sixth, Howard cleared the bases with his 10th career slam. He connected on a 2-2 pitch from Dillon Gee and sent the ball very high and just over the fence in right-center for his 26th career multihomer game.

"It's a blessing to be put in that situation and have that kind of success," Howard said. "It's one of the best things a hitter can do is come up with the bases loaded and be able to get a home run. It makes it easy for everybody."

The two home runs tied Howard with Del Ennis for second place on Philadelphia's career list with 259.

"There's a good chance Del will get passed," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel joked.

Mike Schmidt is the franchise leader with 548.

"That'll be an obstacle, but there's a chance," Manuel said.

Howard said his focus isn't on records.

"Who knows, man?" he said when asked if he could catch Schmidt. "It's special to be a part of that and be on a list with those kinds of guys, but I don't focus on that while the season is going on."

Howard came up in the seventh with the bases loaded again but struck out with a hefty swing against left-hander Tim Byrdak. The six RBIs upped Howard's total this month to 27, setting a franchise record for April.

The Phillies took a 4-0 lead in the fifth, ending Pelfrey's night.

Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco opened the inning with singles. One out later, Pelfrey (1-3) hit Howard on the wrist with a pitch, drawing a glare from the Philadelphia first baseman. Ben Francisco followed with a two-run single to left.

Francisco's hit finished Pelfrey, who lost 10 pounds recently while fighting the flu. He allowed four runs and eight hits, striking out one and walking three.

Mets manager Terry Collins said he considered not starting Pelfrey, but stayed with him after watching the right-hander warm up.

"It was my fault," Collins said. "I had concerns that there might be a problem. He had a real good sinker and another bullpen might have helped."

Pelfrey is winless in his last seven road starts and is 1-3 with a 9.38 ERA in seven career starts at Citizens Bank Park.

"I felt fine," he said. "I'm not going to make any excuses."

Gee could have been an option to start in Pelfrey's place. Collins said he planned to use Gee in the game regardless because he hadn't pitched in five days. Gee hadn't made a relief appearance since 2007 with Class-A Brooklyn.

"I asked him to do something he wasn't comfortable with," Collins said. "He's a real good pitcher and what you saw is not Dillon Gee."

Gee said he felt a bit uncomfortable when he first came in from the bullpen.

"But it's not something I can't get used to," he said.

Worley (1-0), called up to replace injured starter Joe Blanton (elbow), allowed just two hits while striking out five and walking four. It was his second major league win in six appearances, including three starts.

All five of the right-hander's strikeouts were called. He also singled in the third for his first major league hit.

"I felt like he did a tremendous job," Manuel said. "When you bring someone up like Worley and his job he did tonight, it's fantastic.

"He handled himself pretty good. He was focused on what he was doing and he was pretty calm."

Blanton was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday and will begin throwing in two or three days, general manager Ruben Amaro said.

Philadelphia's Raul Ibanez went 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 30 at-bats.

Polanco's two-run single in the seventh gave him 39 hits this month, surpassing Chase Utley's club record for April set in 2008.

The Mets got all their runs in the ninth off David Herndon. Ike Davis hit a solo homer, giving him a hit in 11 straight games. Davis is batting .462 (18 for 39) during the streak.

Two batters later, Jason Pridie hit a two-run homer.

Daniel Murphy and David Wright had the Mets' other hits.

The Phillies snapped a 69-inning errorless streak in the first on third baseman Polanco's throwing miscue. One batter later, shortstop Jimmy Rollins booted Wright's grounder for another error.

NOTES: Phillies starting catcher Carlos Ruiz is day-to-day with a back injury. ... Mets pitchers combined to hit four Phillies batters.