|N.Y. Mets «||1||0||2||1||0||0||1||0||x||5||10||1|
Soler, auditioning for a spot on the struggling back end of the New York rotation, allowed three runs against Philadelphia before retiring a batter. He walked the first three hitters he faced and seemed overwhelmed. It was an unlikely beginning for what developed into a 5-4 Mets' victory Wednesday night.
The right-hander walked the first three batters he faced. Pat Burrell delivered one run with a single, and two more scored when second baseman Chris Woodward allowed Ryan Howard's grounder to go through his legs. Soler then set down the next three hitters, leaving two runners stranded.
"I had my nerves but I tried to make my pitches," Soler said. "It wasn't like that until I was able to find the zone and I was able to stay in the zone."
"I'm sure, his first major league start, he was probably psyched up," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I don't know if he was nervous, but the adrenaline was going. He wasn't missing by far. We scored three and could have added more. We let it get away."
Soler settled down, pitched his way out of the first inning and added five shutout innings before leaving the game leading 4-3. Burrell tied it at 4-4 with his 33rd career home run against the Mets but New York bunched three singles in the bottom of the seventh, the last one by David Wright, to score the eventual winning run.
Philadelphia starter Jon Lieber was gone by then after experiencing his own control problems, walking four in six innings. He blamed home plate umpire Jerry Meals.
"I thought he was terrible at times," Lieber said. "It gets to the point where you make certain pitches that obviously are strikes. I didn't think he was very good."
Lieber was hurt on two-out home runs by Carlos Beltran in the first inning and Wright in the third.
"We've got a good mix of speed and power," Wright said. "We continue to chip away. We never say die. We never roll over. That's the type of team we have. It's the kind of character we're made of."
After Wright's homer, New York tied the score on a two-out single by Woodward and then took the lead in the fourth when Jose Reyes hit his sixth triple of the season and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Valentin.
Burrell tied it for the Phillies in the seventh against reliever Pedro Feliciano with his 12th home run of the season.
But New York came right back in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead against reliever Rheal Cormier (2-1). Beltran singled and came around on singles by Carlos Delgado and Wright, who had three hits.
Feliciano (1-0) got credit for the win and Billy Wagner worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 13 opportunities and first against his former Phillies teammates.
New York stretched its NL East lead over Philadelphia to five games.
Soler's final line was five hits, four walks, but just one after the first inning, and five strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches, 61 for strikes.
"He pitched a great ball game," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "After he settled in, he did pretty much what the scouting report said he would do. He mixed his pitches well. He seemed pretty polished for a guy first time in the big leagues. We're really proud of him."
Beltran, who won Tuesday night's 16-inning marathon for the Mets with a home run, hit the first pitch he saw from Lieber in the bottom of the first for his 13th homer of the season. That triggered a turnaround for Soler.
"The most important thing I think was that I found my pitching rhythm and I was able to make my pitches with location and that was a determining factor," Soler said.
Two innings later, Wright hit his eighth homer. It marked the sixth straight game in which the Mets hit multiple home runs and the third straight game with a home by Wright.
|David Wright has gone long in three consecutive games for the Mets -- all New York victories. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jimmy Rollins, SS||4||1||1||0||1||1||2||.242|
|Chase Utley, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.314|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||4||1||0||0||1||1||3||.275|
|Pat Burrell, LF||4||1||2||2||0||1||0||.287|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.290|
|Shane Victorino, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.354|
|David Bell, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||.270|
|Sal Fasano, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.242|
|a- Abraham Nunez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.170|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.138|
|Jon Lieber, P||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.000|
|Rheal Cormier, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Franklin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- David Dellucci, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.237|
|Aaron Fultz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-fouled out for Fasano in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Franklin in the 8th|
|HR - Pat Burrell (12, Feliciano)|
|SH - David Bell (2), Jon Lieber (4)|
|RBI - Pat Burrell 2 (34), Ryan Howard (36)|
|2-OUT RBI - Pat Burrell (9)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Shane Victorino 1|
|Rheal Cormier (L,2-1)||0.2||3||1||1||0||0||0||1.23|
|HBP - Castro (by Ryan Franklin)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lieber 113-70, Rheal Cormier 18-12, Ryan Franklin 8-5, Aaron Fultz 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lieber 7-7, Aaron Fultz 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jon Lieber 28, Rheal Cormier 5, Ryan Franklin 2, Aaron Fultz 3|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.245|
|Jose Valentin, RF||4||0||0||1||0||1||1||.235|
|Billy Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||2||2||1||0||1||0||.269|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.274|
|David Wright, 3B||4||1||3||2||0||0||0||.322|
|Cliff Floyd, LF||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.212|
|Ramon Castro, C||2||0||1||0||1||0||3||.269|
|Chris Woodward, 2B||2||0||1||1||1||1||1||.289|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Julio Franco, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.280|
|Aaron Heilman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Endy Chavez, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Alay Soler, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|b- Kaz Matsui, PH-2B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
|a-struck out for Feliciano in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Soler in the 6th|
|3B - Jose Reyes (6, Lieber)|
|HR - Carlos Beltran (13, Lieber), David Wright (8, Lieber)|
|SF - Jose Valentin (1)|
|RBI - Jose Valentin (10), Carlos Beltran (32), David Wright 2 (31), Chris Woodward (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (11), David Wright (13), Chris Woodward (5)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Chris Woodward (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|New York Mets|
|Pedro Feliciano (BS,2; W,1-0)||1||1||1||1||0||2||1||1.23|
|Aaron Heilman (H,9)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.98|
|Billy Wagner (S,10)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.09|
|Pitches-Strikes - Alay Soler 102-61, Pedro Feliciano 18-10, Aaron Heilman 14-9, Billy Wagner 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alay Soler 8-6, Aaron Heilman 2-1, Billy Wagner 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Alay Soler 28, Pedro Feliciano 4, Aaron Heilman 4, Billy Wagner 3|
|Attendance - 32094|
|Game Time - 2:50|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg|