Mets ace Johan Santana was a pitch away from improbably walking pitcher Jamie Moyer with the bases loaded. The ballpark suddenly sounded like all those big October games the Phillies have won the last three years.
"When he got it at 3-1, I was like, 'Please don't swing here, Jamie,"' Victorino said.
Moyer eventually drew the walk, and Victorino slammed 'em all home.
Victorino hit a grand slam off Santana and Chase Utley had a two-run shot during Philadelphia's nine-run fourth inning, helping the Phillies pound the New York Mets 11-5 on Sunday night.
"Sometimes, you love being in that situation," Victorino said.
Santana (3-2) allowed a career-worst 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner allowed four homers -- and one crucial bases-loaded walk.
Holding a 5-3 lead in the fourth, Santana missed on a full-count pitch to Moyer with two out, forcing in a run. Victorino followed with his second career grand slam and Utley went deep two batters later. Nine straight batters reached in the inning.
David Wright hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Rod Barajas added a two-run shot in the fourth but Moyer (3-2) survived the shaky start to last six innings. He also worked the count and had one of the best at-bats of the season for the Phillies.
Raul Ibanez hit a two-out RBI single, Juan Castro singled and Carlos Ruiz walked before Moyer came to the plate in the fourth. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel decided to leave his starter in instead of calling for a pinch hitter.
Santana, who had walked only nine batters in his first five starts, fell behind 2-0 to his counterpart. When the count hit 3-1, the 51st straight sellout crowd stood and erupted in wild cheers like it was any of the last three Octobers in Philadelphia.
Moyer fouled off a pitch, and the seventh-largest crowd in Citizens Bank Park history was going wild.
Pitching from the windup, Santana threw a fastball inside that sent Moyer to first and cut the lead to 5-4.
Four balls to the pitcher made all the difference.
"I was just trying to find a way to get on base," Moyer said. "He did me a favor and got behind 2-0."
Victorino made Santana pay with his fifth homer of the season -- shades of Game 2 of the 2008 NL division series when Victorino hit a grand slam after pitcher Brett Myers worked a walk against Milwaukee's CC Sabathia.
"I guess you can say it was deja vu," Victorino said. "I didn't think about it going up there."
Polanco singled to right before Utley connected for his seventh homer and an 11-5 lead. That chased Santana in easily his shortest outing of the season. His ERA skyrocketed from 2.08 to 4.50.
Manuel never considered lifting Moyer.
"I can't take him out that early in a game like that," he said. "That doesn't send a very good message."
Santana's worst previous outing was a nine-run effort over three innings against the Yankees on June 14, 2009.
"Just a rough night," Santana said. "I tried to command my fastball, but it was all over the place. It was one of those days where whatever I did, didn't work out."
It's only May, but the Phillies did move into a tie for first with the Mets in the NL East. The three-game series was more slugfest than early-season epic showdown: The Mets won 9-1 in the opener Friday; Roy Halladay tossed a shutout in Philadelphia's 10-0 win Saturday.
"It's nice when we can do it any time," Moyer said. "It's early in the season and you try and set a tone."
Both teams had their bats going early. Wright hit his fifth homer and Barajas -- who has crushed the Phillies since leaving the team -- made it 5-2 with his sixth of the season.
Polanco snapped an 0-for-12 funk (a 7-for-52 slide overall) with a solo shot and Howard went the other way on a 1-2 pitch in the first to make it 3-2. Howard fell a triple shy of the cycle.
Moyer has alternated wins and losses in all five starts and has pitched exactly six innings in each of them. Not great, but not bad for a 47-year-old left-hander whose fastball hits 80 mph.
Philadelphia's rotation will get a boost Monday when Joe Blanton returns from the disabled list to start against St. Louis. Blanton strained an oblique during spring training.
- The Phillies sent LHP Antonio Bastardo to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after the game.
- Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins still feels tightness in his strained right calf and says it could be the end of the month before he returns to the lineup.
- Mets manager Jerry Manuel gave rookie first baseman Ike Davis the night off. "It gives him a chance to exhale," he said.
- Phillies RF Jayson Werth complained of soreness in his legs.