The Mets were poised for a rousing series win against the Phillies on Wednesday night when disaster struck against their bullpen.
Carlos Ruiz hit a two-out, pinch-hit, game-tying two-run home run off Bobby Parnell in the seventh and Shane Victorino hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth off Jon Rauch as the Phillies rallied to win the rubber game, 10-6, before 30,064.
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The Phillies scored three more with Chris Schwinden on the mound. Mets relievers combined to allow eight runs and eight hits in 21/3 innings.
For the season, the Mets' bullpen ERA is 5.45, worst in the major leagues.
"It's not fun," Parnell said.
Said Rauch: "I definitely didn't do my job."
Parnell faced Ruiz, who didn't start any of the games in the series because of a hamstring issue. The Phillies' catcher hammered a 1-and-1 curveball over the new leftfield fence and off of Gil Hodges' No. 14 on the back fence to tie the game at 3.
"It wasn't the results I wanted there," Parnell said. "I was going to attack him and I've been throwing some good curveballs. Unfortunately, I hung that one."
It would not have been a home run with Citi Field's previous dimensions. The Mets have hit eight such home runs, opponents seven.
The Mets had taken a 3-1 lead in the sixth on Lucas Duda's long two-run home run to right-center off Cliff Lee. No moving in the fences needed for that one. Duda added a solo shot in the ninth to take over the team lead with seven.
Lee went six innings. He allowed three runs, seven hits, two walks and struck out seven. Lee has not won a game this season in eight starts. He missed time with an oblique strain.
Gee was charged with two runs and six hits in 62/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five and was one long double to center away from getting through seven with a 3-1 lead.
"It's difficult," he said. "I looked back at the tape and I think I made a decent pitch [to Schneider], fastball down and away, and he put a good swing on it."
The Mets also ended a string of 20 games in 20 days during which they went 10-10. After a day off Thursday, they begin a four-game series Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Carlos Beltran's return to Citi Field. The Mets are planning a video tribute, similar to what they did when Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes made his return in April.
"We're tired," Collins said. "There's some tired guys. Even in a 20-day span, you'd almost think there's going to be a day of rain or something. They're going to need tomorrow off, for sure."