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Struggling Mets Lose Game, Two More Players


New York Mets manager Terry Collins, left, talks to starting pitcher Jonathon Niese after he left the game during the fifth inning of a baseball game with the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 9-4(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

One more loss. Two more players hurt. It’s been that kind of season for the New York Mets.


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Jonathon Niese got rocked by the Philadelphia Phillies in a 9-4 loss Tuesday night and is likely headed to the disabled list because of a rib injury. Outfielder Scott Hairston likely will join him with a rib injury, too.

The Mets, who’ve lost five in a row and 17 of 22, already are missing All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis and they haven’t had Johan Santana all season.

Niese (11-11) gave up eight runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings in his worst start of the season.

“I felt good in the bullpen and at the start of the game,” Niese said. “I tried to do my best, but I can’t pitch with it. I just have to get it better.”

Vance Worley threw seven impressive innings, and John Mayberry Jr. and Shane Victorino hit homers to lead the Phillies.

One night after Cliff Lee and David Herndon combined on a five-hitter in Philadelphia’s 10-0 win, Worley (9-1) blanked the Mets until the seventh. The rookie right-hander allowed one run and five hits and had a career-high nine strikeouts to win his seventh straight decision.

Playing without Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, the Phillies got 13 hits. The red-hot Mayberry and Victorino each had two hits and three RBIs to help Philadelphia earn its major league-best 83rd win.

An RBI groundout by Justin Turner in the seventh snapped the Mets’ 17 1-3 innings scoreless streak, their longest drought of the season. Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer off Michael Stutes in the eighth.

Worley pitched out of trouble in the first two innings and retired 15 straight at one point. The Phillies have won his last 12 starts. That’s the most for a rookie pitcher since Texas won 12 consecutive starts by Bobby Witt in 1986.

New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese at work during the first inning of a baseball game with the and Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 9-4(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

“We had Worley on the ropes in the first two innings,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’s a good pitcher. Let a good pitcher off the hook early, they’ll beat you.”

Victorino drove one out to left to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the third. A few batters later, Mayberry ripped a three-run shot to the seats in left to make it 4-0.

Mayberry hit a two-run homer on Monday filling in for left fielder Ibanez, who has a sore groin. He started this one at first base for Howard, who has bursitis in his left heel. Mayberry is batting .326 (29 for 89) with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 31 games since his last recall from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on July 5.

Worley had an RBI single in the fifth and Victorino lined a two-run triple to center to put the Phillies up 9-0. Mets center fielder Angel Pagan didn’t get a good read on the ball, and then jogged after it. Victorino extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and is batting .314 with a career-high 14 triples and 14 homers in his best all-around season.

The Mets wasted opportunities early, leaving five runners on. They had runners at first and third with no outs in the first after consecutive singles by Pagan and Ruben Tejada. David Wright hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Placido Polanco, who threw Pagan out trying to score. Duda struck out looking. After Jason Bay walked, Nick Evans took a called third strike to end the inning.

Josh Thole singled leading off the second and Turner hit a double to put runners on second and third. But Worley struck out Niese, Pagan and Tejada — each looking — to leave the runners stranded.

Notes: Mets SS Reyes will leave the team on Wednesday to start a rehab assignment at Double-A Binghamton on Thursday. Manager Terry Collins said Reyes could stay there three days. … The Mets are 1-7-1 in their last nine series in Philadelphia. … Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.24) will start the series finale for the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon. Kendrick is 4-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 13 career games against the Mets. Mike Pelfrey (6-10, 4.61) will take the mound for the Mets. He’s 6-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 17 games vs. Philadelphia.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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