Utley’s 2nd homer of game leads Phillies over Mets

Published 3:33 am Friday, June 12, 2009

(AP) — Chase Utley got another chance to hit only because Jayson Werth made a dazzling play on defense.

The right fielder took a big gamble and saved his team with a diving catch, moments before Utley’s second homer of the game sent the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-4 victory over the New York Mets in 11 innings Wednesday night.

With a speedy runner on first and two outs in the 10th, Werth made a sensational grab of David Wright’s sinking liner in the right-center gap. If the ball gets by, Fernando Martinez probably scores the winning run. But rather than play it safe and glove a single on one hop, Werth went all out.

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“It was just one of those deals where I thought it was worth it,” he said. “When the ball came out of the lights I thought, ohh, it’s much closer than I expected. When I dove for it, I didn’t expect to catch it.”

Somehow he did, and then Utley led off the 11th with his 15th home run — and third in two nights.

All three nestled into the right-field corner at spacious Citi Field. This one came on the second pitch from Bobby Parnell (2-1), handing the hard-throwing rookie his first big league loss.

In fact, it’s the only home run Parnell has allowed in 29 career innings.

“Fastball in. The pitch he was looking for,” Parnell said. “He’s a good hitter. That’s the pitch he wanted and that’s what he wanted to do with it.”

New York built a three-run lead against World Series MVP Cole Hamels, who faced the Mets for the first time since calling them “choke artists” in the offseason — the latest in a series of verbal barbs between the NL East rivals.

Helped by Wright’s error at third base, the Phillies rallied against Pelfrey and the New York bullpen to tie it 4-all in the seventh. The Mets have lost six times this season after leading by at least three runs.

Chan Ho Park (2-1) worked two scoreless innings for the win. Subbing for injured closer Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson got three quick outs for his third save.

The Mets stranded a season-high 16 runners, eight from innings seven through 10. Still, they nearly won it on Wright’s shot toward the gap.

“He took his chances, dove for the ball and made an unbelievable play,” New York’s Carlos Beltran said.