NEW YORK -- David Wright's final hit of the night dropped slowly, agonizingly in front of Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Hunter Pence before finally falling to the ground in the bottom of the ninth.
When it did, it landed with a thud, much like Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon did a batter before, when he landed on his backside, in his vain attempt to field Daniel Murphy's game-tying two-out hit.
The Mets pounced on Wright in the outfield, his third hit and fourth RBI of the game, giving them a wild, comeback 6-5 win at Citi Field on Thursday night.
Justin Turner provided the cream pie to the face a few minutes later during Wright's on-camera postgame interview, but the Mets had landed a much heavier blow to the Phillies.
Again, the Mets showed the type of resiliency that's allowed them to remain within 4 1/2 games of the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. Again, the Phillies had to absorb a rough loss that threatened their belief that their talent would eventually dig them out of last place.
"I think all year we've had that never-say-die attitude," said Wright, who earlier hit his 11th homer of the season. "And tonight was no different. ... It just seems like guys have this attitude that we're gonna win the game no matter what the score is or what the situation is."
For the Phillies, the one bright spot came not from what would have been their second straight win after losing six straight, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.'s postgame update that Ryan Howard would "likely" be activated from the disabled list and start Friday's game.
In the clubhouse, Papelbon (2-3) was focused on the defeat, which he said he took "on my shoulders." Cole Hamels had outpitched R.A. Dickey through seven innings, and Antonio Bastardo's perfect eighth gave Papelbon a 5-4 lead to protect in the ninth.
"This one's on me," Papelbon said, lamenting the wasted effort by his teammates.
They were three outs from celebrating what would have been Hamels' 11th win of the season. And they were three outs from savoring Jimmy Rollins' three hits and two RBIs, including a sixth-inning triple that tied the score and the subsequent run he scored on Juan Pierre's bunt to put them up 5-4.
Instead, Papelbon started the ninth by allowing a double to Ike Davis, and Josh Thole bunted pinch runner Ronny Cedeno to third. Papelbon struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the second out, then faced pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin, who had hit a go-ahead homer off the Phillies closer in his only other blown save of the season on May 7.
Papelbon hit Valdespin on a 3-2 pitch to bring up hot-hitting Ruben Tejada.
The count ran full as Valdespin stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. Tejada fouled off several pitches, laid off a close one, then finally drew a walk to load the bases and bring up Murphy.
Throughout the inning, Murphy later said, he had tried to steady his rapidly thumping heartbeat even as the screams at Citi Field grew louder.
He knew he could be up in just this situation and so he prayed for peace, but not a hit, just hoping to calm down and have a good at-bat the way his teammates had.
The heart rate spiked back up, he said, when he fell behind 0-2, but then he smashed a line drive off Papelbon's glove.
Papelbon scrambled after the ball, which rolled by the first-base line. Murphy dashed past him, thinking he wished he could just "kick it" away. Papelbon fell onto his backside, leaving no time left to make a throw to first.
Asked if he would have had time to make the play if he hadn't fallen, Papelbon responded, "Yeah."
"Fortunate he didn't knock it right to (Ty) Wigginton," Murphy said of the Phillies first baseman. "... It's just some good at-bats against one of the best closers in the game."
Wright, who acknowledged he doesn't like to face Papelbon because "he's really overpowered me," said later he had "the worst at-bat out of everybody that inning."
He simply took a defensive strategy and tried to fight off a fastball, blooping the game-winner into right.
"Just kind of found a hole," Wright said. "More lucky than anything ..."
That's how Dickey, in contention for the starting nod for the NL in next week's All-Star game, felt Thursday. He allowed five runs on a career-high-tying 11 hits -- also his season-high in hits allowed -- in seven innings, as he took on Phillies All-Star Hamels. In a pair of marquee matchups against fellow All-Stars in the past two weeks (he also faced the Yankees' CC Sabathia), Dickey gave up 10 runs in 13 innings.
Hamels didn't fare much better, giving up four runs on seven hits in seven innings, but he left with a 5-4 lead.
Scott Hairston also homered for the Mets, and helped keep the Phillies off the board in the eighth. Pedro Beato, fresh up from Class AAA Buffalo to help the struggling bullpen, got pinch hitter John Mayberry on a pop up to strand runners at first and second, a couple of batters after left fielder Hairston cut down a run at the plate by throwing out Mike Fotenot.
Wright gave the Mets their first lead of the game, 4-3, in the bottom of the fifth. He smacked a 1-2 pitch from Hamels out to left for a two-out, two-run homer.
The Phillies had taken a 3-2 lead on a two-out RBI single in the fourth by Pence, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Mets erased a 2-0 deficit on Hairston's homer to left to start the second and a two-out RBI single by Wright in the third.
The Phillies scored their first two runs on a two-out RBI single by Shane Victorino in the first and an RBI double by Rollins in the second.
NOTES: Amaro Jr. indicated before the game he would not just consider this year's team in contemplating trades. "We plan on being contenders in (2013), '14, '15, '16," he said. "We're not blowing this team up. That's not gonna happen." ... Chase Utley was scheduled to have a day off Thursday after playing two straight games, but he was used as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and got a single. ... Mets center fielder Andres Torres was out with a back injury and manager Terry Collins said he would be evaluated in the next couple of days to see whether he needed a DL stint. Nieuwenhuis, who had missed two games with inflammation in his right hand, returned to the lineup in Torres' place. ... Right-hander Chris Schwiden, waived by the Mets last month, was claimed off waivers from the Yankees and will be assigned to Buffalo.
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