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Howard’s Big Hit Leads Hamels, Phillies Over Mets

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(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan Howard snapped a seventh-inning tie with a pinch-hit double, Cole Hamels earned his first win of the season and the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of a crucial Mets error to beat New York 5-1 on Sunday and finish a three-game sweep.

Freddy Galvis homered, Chase Utley had an RBI single and Hamels (1-3) overcame six walks, which matched his career high. The left-hander held the Mets to two hits and struck out eight over six innings in his fourth consecutive solid outing.

All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz went 1 for 4 with a double in his return to the Phillies from a 25-game amphetamine suspension. Even on the road, the popular Ruiz was greeted warmly with a chorus of “Choooooch,” and one fan held a sign welcoming him back.

Working with his regular batterymate for the first time this season, Hamels helped Philadelphia to its first series sweep since last September — also at Citi Field. The Phillies have won six road games in a row, and 10 of 13, against the rival Mets.

Jonathon Niese (2-2) allowed one earned run in 6 2-3 innings for New York, showing no ill effects from the comebacker that hit him near the right ankle and knocked him out of his previous start Tuesday.

The left-hander was lifted after 117 pitches, and once again Philadelphia immediately jumped all over an awful Mets bullpen that entered the day ranked next-to-last in the majors with a 5.28 ERA.

Hamels was pulled for pinch-hitter Laynce Nix with two outs in the seventh and appeared headed for a no-decision when Nix hit a twisting popup in foul territory. The ball came down near the Phillies dugout, but Mets catcher John Buck was never able to settle under it. He tried to make a basket catch and the ball popped out of his mitt for an error.

Nix and Jimmy Rollins followed with sharp singles, chasing Niese. New York manager Terry Collins called on right-hander Scott Atchison, so Phillies counterpart Charlie Manuel brought Howard off the bench.

Howard, given a rest by Manuel in the midst of a hitting tear, drove a 2-0 pitch off the center-field fence for a two-run double that gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.

Utley followed with his run-scoring single, and John Mayberry Jr. added an RBI double in the eighth off Brandon Lyon.

Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon finished with scoreless relief for the Phillies.

Ruben Tejada hit a leadoff double in the first against Hamels and scored on David Wright’s single.

Galvis reached down and golfed a low curveball over the left-field fence in the fifth for his second home run of the season.

NOTES: Howard, riding a 10-game hitting streak, has 10 RBIs in his last five games after driving in six runs over his first 19 games. He has 23 RBIs in his last 13 games against the Mets, including seven in this series. Despite all that, Howard was rested ahead of the team’s off day Monday to give him an extra breather. Kevin Frandsen started at first base and made a nice play to end the first inning. … Wright bobbled Ruiz’s easy grounder in the first, ending a 77-game errorless streak that was the longest by a Mets third baseman. It also had been the longest active run for any third baseman in the majors. New York finished with three errors, one by Niese. … To create roster room for Ruiz, the Phillies designated backup catcher Humberto Quintero for assignment. … Slumping Phillies CF Ben Revere was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game while resting a sore quadriceps. … Wright was back in the No. 3 spot in the lineup after batting cleanup the previous two games. … Mets RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.54 ERA) faces Miami rookie Jose Fernandez (0-2, 4.50) on Monday night in a matchup of elite young arms. … The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by actor Don Cheadle, who short-hopped Mets backup catcher Anthony Recker.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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