Torres fills in nicely, Mets beat Phillies 11-3
Aug. 29, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Harvey himself would have a hard time topping that.
Carlos Torres did his best imitation of the All-Star ace, carrying a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning for the New York Mets in an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Daniel Murphy had four hits, Eric Young Jr. got three and Anthony Recker launched a two-run homer on his 30th birthday as the Mets busted loose for their most runs since routing Washington 11-0 in the first game of a July 26 doubleheader.
"It started with Torres. He threw the ball so well," Murphy said. "He's done such a great job of any role we've asked him to do."
Torres (3-2) pitched in place of Harvey, diagnosed Monday with a partially torn elbow ligament, and gave the Mets everything they could have hoped for in helping them earn a four-game series split.
"I don't really think of it like that. I think of it as, I'm just another pitcher," Torres said. "There is no replacing Harvey whatsoever."
Three days after making a brief relief appearance, Torres struck out six and walked none over 6 2-3 innings. He yielded four hits and left to a warm ovation from the crowd of 22,008 following Darin Ruf's long sacrifice fly.
"It's an audition every time you go out there," Torres said. "I'm just trying to show them that I'm willing to do anything."
It was Torres' fourth start for New York and first since getting hit hard July 28 in Washington. But the other three have been very effective, and he owns a 1.56 ERA in 23 games out of the bullpen.
"I've been very impressed with the way he's gone about his job because of all the dancing around. That's hard," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
New York finished 3-6 on a tumultuous homestand that included news of Harvey's injury and a trade that sent veterans Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh. Harvey hopes to avoid Tommy John surgery that would probably sideline him for all of next season, but the Mets said no decision will be made until the right-hander is re-examined in a few weeks after the swelling subsides.
Phillies starter Ethan Martin (2-3) struck out a career-high nine, including five in a row.
After getting only two outs against Arizona in his previous outing, the right-hander lasted four innings this time. He was hurt by a leadoff walk in the fourth and Recker's long home run.
"He really seemed to hit a wall in the fourth. For a guy like him, it's late in the season," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Once he lost his feel, it was time to get him out of there."
Philadelphia lost for the 15th time in 18 road games and fell to 8-6 under Sandberg.
Young made it 10-1 with a bases-loaded triple in a four-run seventh, giving him a career-high three RBIs on one swing of the bat. Andrew Brown hit a solo homer in the eighth and drove in two runs.
New York scored in six straight innings for the first time in one game since an 18-4 win at Arizona on Aug. 24, 2005, according to STATS.
Murphy, refreshed by a rest on Wednesday night, singled in the first and put the Mets ahead with an RBI double in the third. He added a pop-fly double in the fifth and an RBI single with two outs in the sixth.
Justin Turner drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and Recker hit a long drive just inside the left-field foul pole for his sixth home run.
"I wanted to throw the first pitch down and away. Instead I left it right down the middle of the plate," Martin said. "I've felt pretty decent almost every start. It just seems when I hit the 60-pitch mark, I kind of have a little struggle there. I need to get to 60-70 pitches and get past it."
Two innings later, Recker sprang out of his crouch and hustled for a diving grab of Roger Bernadina's bunt in foul territory.
Buck's backup at catcher most of the season, Recker rarely played. He was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 20, four days after the Mets called up catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, and brought back Tuesday when the team traded Buck.
Murphy's wind-blown double in the fifth dropped in shallow right between stationary second baseman Chase Utley and a charging Ruf, a converted first baseman who also appeared to have trouble with the sun.
Brown followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.
It was Murphy's 10th career four-hit game, and fourth this season. Bernadina hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Gonzalez Germen.
NOTES: All-Star OF Domonic Brown (right heel) had two hits in his first start for the Phillies since Saturday. ... Pittsburgh sent RHP Vic Black to the Mets as the player to be named in the deal for Byrd and Buck. Drafted 49th overall in 2009, Black pitched in three games for the Pirates this season and had 17 saves with a 2.51 ERA for Triple-A Indianapolis. ... Lucas Duda played 1B for the Mets, his first major league start since June 21. Duda was recalled Saturday from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... New York CF Matt den Dekker went 0 for 5 with a stolen base in his big league debut. Combined with d'Arnaud and Triple-A pitcher Jacob deGrom, the Mets have cornered the market on last names beginning with a lowercase "d."