PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' 4-2 loss to the Mets on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park lasted more than seven hours between the first pitch and final out. A rain delay of nearly three hours during the eighth inning, outfielder Jayson Werth said, made the game feel almost like a day-night doubleheader.
In a way, it was
like two different games were played Sunday.
Werth's two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth was the offensive spark that Philadelphia had been sorely lacking in the eight innings leading up to the delay. The hit sent the game into extra innings. But in the 12th, Phils reliever Chad Durbin gave up a two-run home run to Fernando Tatis, ending what had been a solid day for Philly's pitching staff.
It was only the second home run Durbin has allowed this season, the other coming on May 18 against the Blue Jays. The bullpen entered the weekend with the best ERA in the National League. But it has struggled in the past two games -- in each contest, manager Charlie Manuel has had to rely on five relievers. J.C. Romero took the loss out of the bullpen Saturday night and Durbin suffered the loss Sunday.
"Giving up a two-run homer, I know how Wagner feels," Durbin said, referring to the Mets' Billy Wagner, who surrendered Werth's shot in the ninth. "But we put a heck of an effort up today. It would have been nice to come away with the win."
The loss pulled New York within 3 1/2 games of Philadelphia in the National League East. The Mets have now beaten the Phils in six of the teams' nine meetings this year.
In the eight innings leading up to the rain delay, the Phils' offense looked similar to the one that lost six games in a row from June 17-24, when the team compiled a .170 batting average (32-for-188). Mets starter Oliver Perez pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits as he struck out six.
Though the Phillies had at least one baserunner in each of their first six innings, they were unable to capitalize each time. Their best chance to take the lead came just after they returned to the field after the delay in the eighth. Pat Burrell walked to load the bases with two out, but Pedro Feliz grounded out to end the threat.
"I am definitely concerned about our hitting," Manuel said. "We got guys that their averages are down, production's down."
But Kyle Kendrick kept the Phils in the game through the pre-delay innings. He earned his third quality start in a row, tossing six innings and allowing one run, when Carlos Beltran launched a home run in the third inning.
Kendrick found himself in several pressure situations Sunday. A Mets runner reached third base in three different innings. Each time, Kendrick worked out of the jam.
"You get in those jams and you don't want to be there," Kendrick said. "But when you [are], you've got to try to minimize the damage."
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.