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Eaton returns with effective outing

Phils' Eaton returns with effective outing

PHILADELPHIA -- Once he got through the first inning unscathed, Adam Eaton just knew this start would be different.

In a game the Phillies needed Eaton to deliver, the veteran right-hander didn't disappoint.

Eaton pitched 5 2/3 effective innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, the big blow a two-run homer by the Mets' Carlos Delgado in the second inning. Unlike previous starts this season, Eaton never unraveled and showed flashes of why he was signed to a three-year, $24.5 million contract before the season.

"Success breeds confidence, confidence breeds success," Eaton said after the Philles' 4-2 victory over the Mets in 10 innings. "I felt comfortable out there tonight, with a good idea of what I was going to do."

He was a little unsure going in, and not just because it was a physical test for his right shoulder. Before being placed on the 15-day disabled list, Eaton had 10 rough starts, with a combined 7.96 ERA.

Then he made a Double-A rehabilitation start Friday and gave up two runs in two innings. He also hit one batter and struggled with his command.

How about now?

"It felt a little strange being out there again [at Reading]," Eaton said. "Tonight, I didn't have that same feeling."

It showed.

In the process, Eaton may have secured himself multiple starts as the Phillies continue to push for their first postseason appearance since 1993.

"This can help him, it can definitely help him," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Chris Coste helped Eaton behind the plate. But Coste pointed out that Eaton helped himself by making quality pitches consistently throughout the game.

"We had a great game plan going in," Coste said. "More importantly, he executed it."

Eaton wasn't flawless, as he threw 87 pitches, 50 for strikes. He only walked two and got key outs when necessary.

"I was a little upset coming out, but at the same time, [reliever] Geoff [Geary] came in and did a great job," Eaton said. "I can't complain too much. I felt good out there. Stamina-wise, I felt good."

A performance like that can catapult not only Eaton, but also the entire team.

"Eaton did a good job," said closer Brett Myers. "He had good control and the offense picked it up. I'm sure it's a confidence booster. The thing about this team is we feed off each other and pick each other up."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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