Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/28/12

NEW YORK - Ty Wigginton was born and raised in California, went to college in North Carolina and has spent time with seven big league teams in a 10-year career. But he's most comfortable playing baseball in the northeast, and particularly in the city where he got his start.

Wigginton was 3-for-3, reached base in all five plate appearances and had six RBIs, including a two-out, run-scoring single in the seventh inning that put the Philadelphia Phillies ahead for good and a three-run homer in the ninth that provided the insurance in their 8-4 victory over the New York Mets on Monday in front of 32,122 at Citi Field.

The six RBIs are a career high for Wigginton, who made his major-league debut with the Mets in 2002. Wigginton was a fan favorite in New York for his hard-nosed style of play before he was traded to Pittsburgh in July 2004 so that the Mets could create room for third baseman David Wright.

Wigginton, whom the Phillies acquired from Colorado last November, enjoyed a 13-game hitting streak but entered Monday hitless in his last eight at-bats overall and was just 1-of-9 in three previous games at Citi Field. However, his big day gives him 22 RBIs against the Mets in just 76 career at-bats.

"I enjoyed when I played for the Mets and it's always fun - a lot of good memories coming back to New York," Wigginton said. "There's something special about playing in the northeast in general and the buzz that baseball can create."

Cole Hamels (8-1) squandered a pair of two-run leads and allowed a season-high four earned runs over eight innings but still won his fifth straight start and his eighth decision in a row. Hamels threw just 109 pitches, though, and retired Wright on a grounder to third with the tying run at third to end the eighth before giving way to Jonathan Papelbon, who threw a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation.

"Anytime you look up and see your pitch count in the sixth or seventh inning and you're only around 70, 80 pitches, it's a really good feeling," Hamels said. "I kind of had to grind out that eighth inning. Most of the time, if you're at your pitch count, you don't get that opportunity to grind it out in that eighth inning. So it was kind of nice I was able to get out of it."

Vinny Rottino and Scott Hairston hit game-tying two-run homers for the Mets in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, but the Mets fell for just the second time in their last seven games. Beginning with Monday's game, the Mets' next 25 games are against teams that are currently all above .500.

"It's going to be a grind, we've got very, very good teams that we've got to play," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Mets starter Jonathon Niese (3-3) allowed four runs in five-plus innings. He surrendered just two hits and struck out seven but was haunted by command issues in walking five during a 115-pitch outing.

Both hits Niese allowed came after he lost the strike zone. Wigginton's double scored Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, each of whom walked during a stretch in which Niese threw eight straight balls. In the sixth, Niese threw seven balls in a nine-pitch stretch before John Mayberry crushed his final pitch of the day into the left-field seats for a two-run homer.

NOTES: Phillies ace Roy Halladay, who was pulled with a sore right shoulder after lasting just two innings against St. Louis on Sunday, is scheduled to see a doctor Tuesday. ... Hamels' eight-game winning streak is the longest by a Phillies pitcher since Vance Worley won nine in a row last season. ... The Mets had to put together a makeshift infield when shortstop Justin Turner left the game in the third inning because of a sprained right ankle. Turner was caught in a rundown between first and second and had just been tagged out by Jimmy Rollins when he stepped awkwardly onto first base. X-rays were negative and Turner is listed as day-to-day, though Collins said after the game he expected Turner to head to the disabled list. The Mets later announced that shortstop Omar Quintanilla would be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo for Tuesday's game. ... With Turner out, Wright shifted to short from third base and left fielder Rottino played third. It was Wright's second career appearance at short and Rottino's third time at third. ... Mets center fielder Andres Torres didn't start after his wife gave birth early Monday morning but laced a pinch-hit double in the eighth. ... Wright was 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats. The drought has dropped Wright's average from .405 to .373, which was still tops in the National League pending Monday's games.

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