Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Jeff Francoeur’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning resulted in the game’s only run, as Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez combined on a five-hitter in New York’s 1-0 blanking of Philadelphia in the middle matchup of a three-game series.
Francoeur, who also hit another game-winning opposite-field home run on Tuesday in Atlanta, hit his decisive long ball off Cole Hamels (7-8), who pitched well but was the hard-luck loser after allowing the lone run on six hits while striking out a season-high 11 and not walking a batter for the Phillies, who lost a 12-game home win streak.
“Any time you’re going to go up against the caliber of player Santana is, it’s going to be a close game and you have to keep it within reason,” said Hamels about the pitching duel that lived up to expectations. “You just have to battle and that’s what I was able to do. We matched each other inning for inning and unfortunately, one pitch decided it all.”
Santana (9-6) allowed five hits, walked three and fanned six before Rodriguez recorded the final five outs to earn his 24th save for the Mets, who won for just the second time in their last six games.
Francoeur swatted a 1-0 offering from Hamels just over the wall in right field, just over the glove of a leaping Ben Francisco to break the scoreless deadlock and extend Hamels’ winless streak to five starts.
“I think I’ve had 50-55 at-bats against Hamels,” Francoeur said. “He was throwing 95 (mph) and that was the best stuff I’ve seen him have tonight. I think he made one mistake and he happened to make it to me. He happened to make it at the right place at the right time.”
Jayson Werth led off the bottom of the seventh with a double but was thrown out trying to advance to third on a ground ball to shortstop.
New York loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against Chad Durbin but failed to capitalize when Francoeur struck out.
Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez singled to start the home eighth before Rollins was thrown out at third base by Santana on an attempted Polanco sacrifice bunt.
Rodriguez was then summoned to squash the rally. He retired Mike Sweeney before walking Werth to fill the bases. Pinch-hitter Ross Gload then grounded out to end the inning.
The right-hander retired the side in order, with a pair of strikeouts, in the ninth to finish the Mets fourth shutout win over the Phillies this season.
Angel Pagan doubled to lead off the fourth but didn’t move from second base after Carlos Beltran and David Wright struck out and Mike Hessman flied out to end the inning.
Henry Blanco and Santana singled in the fifth but the rally ended when Jose Reyes grounded into a force play at second base to end the frame.
Polanco broke up Santana’s no-hit bid with a two-out single in the sixth but the Phillies stranded two in the inning after Sweeney grounded out.
New York brought up highly-touted outfield prospect Fernando Martinez and infielder Ruben Tejada from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. To make room for the two players, New York sent infielder Jesus Feliciano to Buffalo and released veteran infielder Alex Cora…The Mets won for just a fourth time in their last 16 road games and have been held to four runs or less in 14 of those games….New York leads the season series, 5-3…The Phils were blanked for a ninth time this season…The last time the Mets shutout out the Phils 1-0 in Philadelphia was May 23, 2002 at Veterans Stadium…Hamels recorded the 15th career double-digit strikeout game of his career…He has allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his last 14 starts…The Phillies have scored only six runs in his last four losses…Hamels is 2-6 in 11 career starts against New York…Ibanez pushed his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games, while Polanco extended his to seven…The teams played in front of the 93rd straight sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park.