NEW YORK– Going for the rubber-match win against the Phillies, the Mets offense slumped yet again. The game began under wet conditions because of the Mets late flight to Houston.

Mike Pelfrey was on the mound, trying to duplicate his prior performance against the Rockies, and he pitched solid ball.

His problem was holding the Phillies running game. The Phillies stole three bases against Pelfrey and they all led to runs. He retired the first four batters he faced, before allowing a single in the second.

Pitching for the Phillies was Kyle Kendrick, whom the Mets hit three home runs against on April 30. They got off to a great start against him, getting three singles in the first inning, but they never scored.

Jose Reyes led off with a hit, but was caught stealing second. David Wright and Carlos Beltran got two consecutive hits, but Ike Davis left them stranded by flying out to center field.

The Mets would then receive a Chris Carter leadoff single in the second, but Kendrick retired the next three batters.

In the third, that’s when the Phillies started using their running game. With one out, pitcher Kyle Kendrick hit a ball on the ground to right field. Angel Pagan threw him out at first base for the embarressing nine-to-three putout.

Still, the Phillies managed a two-out rally. Jimmy Rollins singled and subsequently stole second and third base. Shane Victorino doubled him in to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

The Mets got the run right back in the third on a Reyes leadoff home run, his eighth of the season.

To that point, the Mets were 5-for-10 against Kendrick to start the game, but they would record one more hit for the rest of the game–a bunt hit by Luis Castillo in the fifth.

Pelfrey was working with new life, but once again got bit by the Phillies running game in the fifth.

Just like in the third, it was a two-out rally. Victorino singled and stole second, and scored on a Placido Polanco single, making it 2-1 Phillies.

The Phillies added another run off Pelfrey in the sixth. Jayson Werth lead off with a triple and scored on a Carlos Ruiz single, extending the lead to 3-1.

Pelfrey pitched decent enough, but not good enough with the Mets’ bats really struggling. In seven innings, he allowed three runs on seven hits, and hit two batters. It was his second consecutive quality start after a long rough patch.

Kendrick went 6.2 innings for the Phillies, allowing one run on six hits, he walked one and struck out four. The Mets went 1-for-14 with a walk and sacrifice bunt against him after the Reyes home run.

The Phillies bullpen pitched shutout ball for 2.1 innings, closing out a 3-1 win.

With the loss, the Mets fall a season-high 10 games behind in the NL East. They close out a 3-3 home stand, having scored two runs in the Phillies series.

They will begin a four-game series in Houston tonight, with Jon Niese facing Wandy Rodriguez.

NL East standings (top 3 teams)
Atlanta 68-49
Philadelphia 66-51 (2)
NY Mets 58-59 (10)

NL Wild Card (Leader and Mets)
Philadelphia 66-51 (—)
San Francisco 67-52 (—)
NY Mets 58-59 (8)

Next series probable pitchers:
August 16
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 7-5, 3.50 ERA) vs. Houston: Wandy Rodriguez (2010: 9-11, 4.18 ERA)
August 17
New York: Johan Santana (2010: 10-6, 2.89 ERA) vs. Houston: Nelson Figueroa (2010: 1-0, 3.18 ERA)
August 18
New York: R.A. Dickey (2010: 8-5, 2.43 ERA) vs. Houston: Brett Myers (2010: 8-7, 3.13 ERA)
August 19
New York: Pat Misch (2010: 0-1, 1.50 ERA) vs. Houston: Bud Norris (2010: 5-7, 5.42 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
August 16-19 @ Houston Astros
August 20-22 @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Houston Astros:
August 16-19 vs. New York Mets
August 20-22 @ Florida Marlins

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