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Howard, Rollins lead Phillies past slumping Mets

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 11, 2014 at 1:26 am •  Published: May 11, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — The old guard took care of this one for the Phillies — with both their bats and their brains.

Ryan Howard had four hits, including a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, and Jimmy Rollins homered and scored four times to lead Philadelphia past the slumping New York Mets 5-4 on Saturday night.

Chase Utley drove in two runs for the Phillies, who have won the first two games of the series against their NL East foes after dropping four straight to Toronto.

Rollins, Utley and Howard, the All-Star core of Phillies teams that won five straight division titles and a World Series championship from 2007-11, combined to go 9 for 12 with four RBIs.

"Yeah, it felt good. It felt like old times out there," Howard said. "If we can get everybody going all at the same time, it'll be a force to be reckoned with."

David Wright hit his first home run since opening day, ending the longest drought of his career, and had three RBIs. But the Mets wasted another great chance to score in the late innings, losing their season-worst fifth straight and eighth in nine games.

Following some confusion in the eighth, Philadelphia reliever Mike Adams (2-1) escaped a major jam by retiring pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu on a bases-loaded comebacker to keep it tied.

"Obviously, I had to make him swing the bat," Adams said. "I threw a two-seamer that ran down and made him hit my pitch."

With runners on second and third earlier in the inning, the Phillies held a meeting at the mound and threw an intentional ball to Eric Campbell in his second major league plate appearance.

That's when Utley and catcher Carlos Ruiz noticed the 40-year-old Abreu, cut by Philadelphia near the end of spring training, getting ready in the dugout.

Utley and Ruiz persuaded Adams to go after Campbell before Abreu had a chance to bat.

"We decided to change our minds," Utley said. "We saw him coming up there. We try to see everything, but we don't always."

Adams said the chat pumped him up, and Utley is "always on top of it."

The intentional walk was called off and Campbell eventually took strike three.

"That was pretty neat to watch," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Rollins drew a two-out walk from Kyle Farnsworth (0-3) in the ninth and went to third on Utley's single. Howard followed with a line-drive single to center.

Jonathan Papelbon worked a hitless ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances. With a runner on second, he retired Wright on a foul popup to end it.

A frustrated Wright held his bat above his head most of the way back to the dugout, then lingered on an otherwise empty bench for a few minutes with the lumber still in his hand.

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