NEW YORK -- Chase Utley knew his hitting streak would end sooner or later. He just would have preferred later.
Utley's hitless night overshadowed home runs by David Dellucci and Ryan Howard that carried the Phillies to their fourth straight win and ninth in the last 11 games. Utley struck out twice and was robbed on his best chance for a hit when Mets second baseman Jose Valentin ranged to his right in the seventh inning, backhanded his grounder up the middle and threw him out.
For a moment, the All-Star second baseman thought he had his hit.
"I wasn't sure," Utley said. "He's a pretty slick fielder."
Valentin, who pinch hit for Mets starter Orlando Hernandez in the sixth and stayed in to play second, said he got a good start on it.
"As soon as I caught it, I knew I had to make a good throw," Valentin said. "He's fast. Sometimes something like that has to end. It's good to get on a run like that. But you need luck to keep it going."
"I felt comfortable," Utley said. "It takes a little luck, too."
Mets manager Willie Randolph shrugged off the streak.
"There's nothing scientific about it, that's for sure," he said. "He had a nice little run. Let him start another one when he leaves here."
Utley had one more chance but he struck out leading off in the ninth inning. When he got to the dugout, his teammates congratulated him.
"I got pats on the back," Utley said. "I really didn't want it to go extra innings. It was a good run."
Howard followed Utley with his NL-leading 37th homer to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead.
Dellucci led off the seventh against reliever Darren Oliver (4-1) with his ninth homer for Philadelphia, which improved to 13-8 since the All-Star break.
"I tried to get it in," Oliver said. "It got too much of the plate. Dellucci can hit a little bit."
Utley's streak is the longest in the majors this season and the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only Jimmy Rollins' 38-game run. Rollins hit in the final 36 games last season and the first two this year.
Luis Castillo of Florida (2002), Ty Cobb of Detroit (1917) and Fred Clarke of Louisville (1895) also had 35-game streaks. Utley also tied Castillo for the major league record for a second baseman.
The major league record is 56 games in a row by the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio in 1941.
"Fifty-six games is unbelievable," Utley said.
In the second inning, singles by Shane Victorino and Abraham Nunez gave Philadelphia runners at first and third with one out against Hernandez. Pitcher Randy Wolf hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 1-0.
The Mets came back in the third.
With one out, Jose Reyes beat out an infield single, the first of his three hits, and Paul Lo Duca walked. Carlos Beltran followed with an RBI double off the left-field wall that just missed being a three-run homer. Carlos Delgado added a sacrifice fly to put New York in front.
Philadelphia tied it in the fourth when Victorino opened with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored when second base umpire Bob Davidson called a balk on Hernandez. Nunez then singled, moved up on an infield out and reached third as a second balk was called on Hernandez. But Rollins struck out, ending the inning.
Hernandez tripled and scored in the fourth but Howard doubled in Dellucci in the fifth to tie it at 3.
Hernandez worked six innings, allowing three runs and seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Wolf, making just his second start after reconstructive elbow surgery, lasted just four innings, throwing pitches that ranged from 63 to 90 mph with various stops in between. He allowed three runs and seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
|Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard watches his 37th home run of the season sail over the fence. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.266|
|David Dellucci, LF||4||2||2||1||1||1||3||.333|
|Chase Utley, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||3||.327|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||5||1||3||2||0||2||0||.291|
|Aaron Rowand, CF||5||0||0||0||0||3||4||.257|
|Shane Victorino, RF||5||2||2||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Mike Lieberthal, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.248|
|Abraham Nunez, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.166|
|Randy Wolf, P||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.000|
|Aaron Fultz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Danny Sandoval, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.250|
|Ryan Madson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.188|
|b- Pat Burrell, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.259|
|Arthur Rhodes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tom Gordon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Fultz in the 6th|
|b-was walked intentionally for Madson in the 8th|
|2B - Ryan Howard (15, Hernandez), Shane Victorino (11, Hernandez)|
|HR - David Dellucci (9, Oliver), Ryan Howard (37, Feliciano)|
|SF - Randy Wolf (1)|
|SH - Mike Lieberthal 2 (3)|
|RBI - David Dellucci (26), Ryan Howard 2 (96), Randy Wolf (1)|
|SB - Jimmy Rollins 2 (25, 2nd base off Hernandez/Lo Duca, 3rd base off Hernandez/Lo Duca), David Dellucci (1, 2nd base off Hernandez/Lo Duca), Abraham Nunez (1, 2nd base off Hernandez/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Outfield Assists - Shane Victorino 1|
|DP - Victorino-Howard, Nunez-Utley-Howard|
|Ryan Madson (W,10-7)||2||3||0||0||0||4||0||5.90|
|Arthur Rhodes (H,20)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||5.50|
|Tom Gordon (S,27)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.51|
|IBB - Wright by Randy Wolf|
|Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 95-57, Aaron Fultz 17-10, Ryan Madson 28-20, Arthur Rhodes 9-5, Tom Gordon 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 3-4, Ryan Madson 1-1, Arthur Rhodes 2-0, Tom Gordon 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 21, Aaron Fultz 4, Ryan Madson 9, Arthur Rhodes 3, Tom Gordon 3|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||1||3||1||0||1||1||.295|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||4||1||2||0||1||0||1||.317|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||1||1||1||2||4||.285|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.262|
|David Wright, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||1||3||.308|
|Cliff Floyd, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.245|
|Chris Woodward, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.229|
|Darren Oliver, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.182|
|a- Julio Franco, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.295|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Lastings Milledge, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.223|
|Orlando Hernandez, P||2||1||1||0||0||1||0||.194|
|b- Jose Valentin, PH-2B||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.289|
|a-struck out for Oliver in the 7th|
|b-singled for Hernandez in the 6th|
|2B - Carlos Beltran (26, Wolf), Carlos Delgado (20, Madson)|
|3B - Orlando Hernandez (1, Wolf)|
|SF - Carlos Delgado (8)|
|RBI - Jose Reyes (47), Carlos Beltran (97), Carlos Delgado (73)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (24)|
|SB - Jose Reyes (45, 2nd base off Wolf/Lieberthal)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - David Wright (13, )|
|New York Mets|
|Darren Oliver (L,4-1)||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||2.17|
|IBB - Burrell by Pedro Feliciano|
|HBP - Rollins (by Pedro Feliciano)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Orlando Hernandez 115-73, Darren Oliver 16-10, Pedro Feliciano 35-21|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Orlando Hernandez 5-6, Darren Oliver 1-1, Pedro Feliciano 4-1|
|Batters Faced - Orlando Hernandez 28, Darren Oliver 4, Pedro Feliciano 10|
|Attendance - 43209|
|Game Time - 3:17|
|Temperature - 85|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Mark Wegner|