06/09/09 11:28 PM ET
Phils hit Johan, but outslugged by Mets
After Howard, Ibanez, Utley, Rollins homer, rivals rally
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
The Phillies had an excellent opportunity to beat Mets ace Johan Santana, but could not hold on in a 6-5 loss.
"We got to him," Rollins said. "They just got to us a little better."
Santana allowed four home runs in the victory. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back home runs against him in the fourth inning to cut the Mets lead to 3-2. It was the first time in Santana's career he surrendered back-to-back home runs to left-handed hitters.
Rollins hit a two-run home run to left field in the sixth inning to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
Chase Utley hit a solo home run to right field in the eighth to cut the Mets lead to one.
Four home runs against one of the best pitchers in baseball, and three of them by left-handed hitters.
It was just the second time in Santana's career that he allowed four home runs in a game. It was just the second time since 2007 that he allowed five earned runs in a game.
"We've been playing good ball and we're still having a good road trip," said Rollins, who went 3-for-4 in the sixth spot. "And you win games and you lose games. If you're going to sit there and get frustrated because you have their best pitcher on the mound and you lose to him, it'll be a long season. The best pitcher a lot of times is going to beat the other team."
Even when he doesn't pitch his best.
Phillies left-hander J.A. Happ allowed six hits, four runs, four walks and two home runs in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three of those runs in the first three innings, but retired seven out of eight hitters as he entered the sixth.
"One thing I'm always going to do is battle," Happ said. "Today was kind of a situation where I didn't locate as well as I would have liked. I left my changeup up a few times. I think they did a good job of battling, too."
Fernando Tatis hit a leadoff double in the sixth inning and moved to third on a throwing error from Carlos Ruiz. Ryan Church hit a grounder to Howard, who threw home. Church appeared to slide underneath Ruiz's legs and touch home plate before the Ruiz could apply the tag, but home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale ruled Church out.
It was a big break for the Phillies, but they didn't cash in.
Clay Condrey replaced Happ and he allowed a single to Omir Santos to put runners on first and second. Condrey had Santana 0-2, when Santana showed bunt and instead slapped a double into the right-field corner to score Church to tie the game.
"He got a big hit there," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "A huge hit."
Alex Cora singled home Santos to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
"The pitches were down the middle," Condrey said. "Every pitch they hit was down the middle."
Chad Durbin allowed a solo homer to Church in the seventh to give the Mets a 6-4 lead.
"I think what was most discouraging was that I think I had a good opportunity in the sixth," Happ said.
The Phillies and Mets combined for seven home runs, a Citi Field record.
"You guys said the ball carries at Yankee Stadium," Manuel said. "It'll carry anywhere if you hit it. Remember that. We were right there. We took the lead, but we couldn't hold them."
Happ expressed his disappointment that he allowed two of them on a night the Phillies got to Santana like few teams have. Santana allowed just two hits and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings against the Phils on May 6 at Citi Field.
"I knew I was going to have to be real good tonight going against him," Happ said about Santana. "We did a good job battling, too. That's tough. I feel like I could have been better."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.