Ibanez Kills Mets in 10th

Charlie Manuel sounded like a proud father after the Philadelphia Phillies' latest dramatic win.

"My team always comes back," the manager said. "That's what's good about them."

Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning and Philadelphia beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Thursday night, handing its NL East rivals another difficult loss.

The Phillies rallied to win for the second straight game and 20th time this season, tying the New York Yankees for most in the majors. The defending World Series champions also wrapped up a 7-3 road trip, improving to a major league-best 23-9 on the road.

"It's a tough ballclub, a bunch of mentally strong guys in here, all 25," said Ibanez, who signed a free-agent deal with Philadelphia in the offseason. "I've been on teams before where a lot of the guys were tough and mentally tough. This team everybody is mentally tough and never gives anything away."

Shane Victorino sparked the big 10th inning with a one-out single off Bobby Parnell (2-2). After Chase Utley walked, Ken Takahashi came in and struck out Ryan Howard as the crowd at a misty Citi Field roared. But Ibanez followed with a drive over the wall in right-center for his 21st homer.

"I was aware of his hitting abilities," Takahashi said through an interpreter. "He's a great hitter and I gave it my best but that was the result."

Scott Eyre (1-1) recorded the last out of the ninth to earn the win, throwing just two pitches. Ryan Madson worked the 10th for his fourth save in five opportunities and second in two days.

Parnell also got the loss Wednesday night, giving up Utley's winning homer in the 11th inning of Philadelphia's 5-4 victory.

"They've got a little power and the longer you play with that fire the more risk there is," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.

Jaime Moyer pitched six effective innings and Pedro Feliz had three hits for Philadelphia, which took two of three against second-place New York to increase its division lead to four games. Jimmy Rollins, Utley and Matt Stairs each drove in a run.

"It's nice to be able to go on the road and feel comfortable in the environment that we're in and play well," Moyer said.

The Phillies host the Boston Red Sox on Friday night in the opener of a nine-game homestand, all against AL East teams.

Carlos Beltran drove in Luis Castillo three times and Tim Redding pitched a season-high seven innings for New York, which dropped to 18-11 at its new home and will make the short drive to the Bronx to open the Subway Series on Friday night against the New York Yankees.

"They proved today that it's not going to be easy playing in this division," Beltran said.

Redding was in line for his first victory with New York before the Phillies rallied in the seventh. Feliz singled with one out and Chris Coste followed with a double to left to put runners on second and third. Stairs, hitting for Moyer, then grounded out to second, tying it at 3. Rollins then flied out to center to end the inning.

Castillo doubled in the first, singled in the third and doubled in the fifth. Alex Cora moved him up each time, twice with sacrifices, and Beltran took care of the rest. He had a run-scoring groundout, an RBI double and a sacrifice fly.

The Mets' offensive execution was impressive early but it didn't last. They went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position for the game and left five on base one night after they stranded a season-high 16 runners, including eight from innings seven through 10.

"We weren't able to add runs," Jerry Manuel said. "Even though we were getting hits we weren't scoring."

Rollins, who returned to his customary leadoff spot Wednesday night after two games batting sixth, drove in Philly's first run with a sacrifice fly in the third. He also singled and scored on Utley's one-out double into the right-field corner in the sixth, cutting New York's lead to 3-2.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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