NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan Howard was rested. Chase Utley, too. And even the Philadelphia Phillies who did play on Sunday appeared to need a break.
Vance Worley was whacked around early and Jimmy Rollins made a crucial error at shortstop that helped the New York Mets jump out to a huge lead in a 9-5 victory.
Jose Reyes tripled twice for the third time this season and finished with four of New York’s season-high 17 hits as the Mets enjoyed a rare offensive outburst.
“I didn’t really locate very well,” Worley said. “I don’t think I went to my off speed enough. I think they were sitting on fastballs the first couple of pitches.”
Jonathon Niese did not allow an earned run against a makeshift Phillies lineup and a refreshed Josh Thole had three hits and three RBIs. Daniel Murphy matched a career high with three hits, rebounding nicely from his rough finish Friday night.
With center fielder Shane Victorino on the disabled list, Philadelphia sat Howard, Utley and catcher Carlos Ruiz. The rest of the team looked as though it might have preferred a day off, too.
New York tagged an ineffective Worley (2-1) for 12 hits in three innings, sending the rookie to his first loss in four major league starts this season.
“He had a hard time getting going,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He got hurt early. He had trouble getting out of it. I’ve seen him have better stuff.”
The 23-year-old right-hander threw six shutout innings of two-hit ball in an April 29 win against the Mets, who entered Sunday batting .087 (2 for 23) against him in two appearances.
“Now we know him,” Reyes said.
Playing without injured sluggers David Wright and Ike Davis, the Mets have gone a season-high eight games without a home run. But they improved to 3-6 this year against Philadelphia, which had won four straight and eight of 11 overall.
Raul Ibanez hit a leadoff homer in the eighth and the Phillies scored three times off reliever Taylor Buchholz to cut it to 9-4. With a runner on, Rollins tried to stretch a single and was thrown out by right fielder Jason Pridie to end the inning.
“I was going to push it,” Rollins said. “Keep the pressure on the pitcher. A hit, now we got two runs. But speedy got shot down.”
Pedro Beato allowed Ben Francisco’s RBI double in the ninth before finishing up.
The Mets, held to three runs or fewer in nine of their previous 11 games, tied their season high for runs and prevented a three-game sweep. The 27-year-old Reyes, in the final season of his contract, equaled a career high with his sixth straight multihit game — the longest active streak in the majors.
“Everything I hit right now is hard, so that’s good,” he said.
Reyes is the first player to have three games in a season with multiple triples since Carl Crawford had four in 2004. The speedy leadoff man leads the majors with eight three-baggers and ranks among the NL leaders in batting average (.335), runs, hits, doubles, steals and bases.
He said he’s having more fun than he has since 2008 and it’s been “easy” to keep his focus on the field despite all the speculation about his future.
“I know there’s a lot of rumors out there that the team is going to trade me and stuff like that,” Reyes said. “If I put that stuff in my mind, I’m not going to perform the way that I want to on the field. So that’s why I put it on the side.”
Rollins made a first-inning error that led to three unearned runs. By the third, every Mets starter besides Niese had a hit.
Handed an 8-0 lead after two, Niese (4-5) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third and received a nice ovation when he was pulled in the seventh. He gave up five hits and four walks while throwing a career-high 122 pitches.
Thole, who hadn’t started behind the plate since Thursday, matched his career high with three RBIs. He began the day batting .182 (6 for 33) with runners in scoring position.
“It was certainly a bust-out game for us offensively that we needed desperately,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Today I just saw a more relaxed atmosphere.”
NOTES: It was Howard’s first day off this season. … Rollins stole third base in the fifth and second in the seventh. … Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of Roy Halladay’s perfect game against Florida. Halladay is scheduled to start Monday in Washington. … It was Niese’s first victory against the Phillies since April 30, 2010. … Only three umpires worked the game because Wally Bell was absent. No reason was given.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)