NEW YORK — In the landscape of the Phillies season, yesterday afternoon was very much a valley. Fresh off four straight losses at the hands of the Blue Jays, Ryne Sandberg and Co. arrived at Citi Field with a 15-18 record and a last place standing in the National League East. So when a security guard walked into the visitor's dugout and informed reporters that the Phillies had temporarily closed their clubhouse to outsiders, it seemed like a pretty good bet that Sandberg had a message he wanted to deliver.
Whether the evidence of that message showed in the Phillies 3-2 victory over the Mets impossible to tell. They were hardly flawless. They were, however, victorious, thanks to a go-ahead double by Marlon Byrd with one out in the top of the 11th inning that scored Chase Utley.
The Phillies held a 2-1 lead until two out in the eighth inning, when Antonio Bastardo walked Daniel Murphy and then gave up a line drive to David Wright that caromed off the wall in left field. Murphy scored from first without a throw, and Wright rolled into second with a game-tying double.
Utley scored all three of the Phillies runs. Domonic Brown drove in two of them.
Jonathan Papelbon closed out the bottom of the 11th for his 10th save in 11 attempts this season. Papelbon has now logged 12 consecutive scoreless innings, allowing only nine base runners in the process. Seven of his last eight saves have come in one-run ballgames.
One note to file away: Sandberg replaced Ben Revere with Tony Gwynn in center field after Gwynn pinch-hit in the top of the eighth. Revere has had some shaky defensive outings over the course of the season's first six weeks.
Roberto Hernandez allowed nine base runners, three via walk, in five innings, but allowed only one of them to score. Twice, he had a runner on third base with less than two out and escaped. In the first inning, Curtis Granderson's RBI double gave the Mets an early 1-0 lead and put runners on second and third with one out. After hitting Chris Young with a pitch to load the bases, Hernandez struck out Josh Satin and got Wilmer Flores to fly out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Jimmy Rollins fielded a potential double play ball off the bat of Eric Young and threw wide of Chase Utley's glove at second, the ball shooting into left field and the runners advancing to second and third.
But Hernandez came up big, striking out Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores to keep the runners in place, then getting Travis d'Arnaud to ground out weakly to third base to escape the jam.
Otherwise, it was a quiet night for the Phillies' offense, which was outscored 31-11 in its four-game home-and-home series against the Blue Jays. Prior to those four straight losses, the Phillies had won eight of their previous 12, including series wins against the Nationals and Dodgers.
Brown had his first multiple RBI game since April 14. In the 19 games between then and last night he hit .174/.216/.217 with 13 strikeouts in 69 at bats.
GILES PROMOTED: The Phillies promoted hard-throwing relief prospect Kenny Giles to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he made his debut last night, allowing one run with a strikeout and a walk in one inning of work. Giles struck out 29 while walking five and allowing two earned runs in 15 innings at Double-A Reading.
"They'll make him throw more strikes," Sandberg said. "They'll take balls and make the pitcher be in the strike zone. They're older hitters, a lot of guys that have major-league experience. That will be a good experience for him."