PHILADELPHIA -- Rodrigo Lopez walked off the mound to a standing ovation from a sellout crowd in the home of the defending World Series champions.
Not bad for a guy who hadn't pitched in the majors in two years.Lopez took a three-hitter into the seventh inning, helping the Philadelphia Phillies snap a six-game home losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night."I'm pretty happy, pretty excited," Lopez said. "Being out for two years, it was a long way to go, a long battle. I didn't know it would take this long."Lopez (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings to earn his first win since beating the Phillies on July 7, 2007, when he played for Colorado. The right-hander was sidelined since having elbow ligament replacement surgery 23 months ago.The NL East-leading Phillies were swept by Toronto and Baltimore in consecutive three-game series at Citizens Bank Park last month. They won for just the fifth time in 19 games.Mets starter Livan Hernandez (5-4) lasted three-plus innings, allowing seven runs and 10 hits. It was his shortest outing since he gave up seven runs in three innings against Cleveland while pitching for Minnesota last June 12."We lost the game because I pitched bad," Hernandez said. "I just have to come back and pitch better next time."Jayson Werth hit a solo homer and Jimmy Rollins had two hits and two RBIs for the Phillies.Rollins, mired in a season-long slump, had his second straight multihit game. The 2007 NL MVP was benched four games during the team's recent road trip and snapped an 0-for-28 slump against Atlanta on Thursday."It seems like we got to the clubhouse excited to be home," Rollins said.Lopez was a two-time 15-game winner with Baltimore, but inconsistency and a major injury derailed his career. He filled in for injured rookie Antonio Bastardo, who replaced Brett Myers when he had hip surgery."He's the same guy I saw in the American League," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He knows how to pitch."Hernandez quickly got in trouble in the first, which has been a problem for him all season. He has allowed 13 runs in the first inning in his 16 starts.Rollins hit a leadoff double, Shane Victorino followed with a single and Chase Utley's RBI single made it 1-0. After Ryan Howard walked, Werth struck out on a 63 mph curveball. But Greg Dobbs looped a two-run single to left for a 3-0 lead.Victorino tripled and scored on Utley's sacrifice fly in the second. The Phillies added three more runs in the third to go ahead 7-0. Werth hit a towering shot over the left-field wall. Rollins lined a two-out, two-run double to center, scurrying to second base because no one covered the bag.Consecutive RBI doubles by Nick Evans and Brian Schneider chased Lopez in the seventh. He got a nice ovation from the fans."It's been a while since I've been in this kind of environment," Lopez said. "The most people I see is like 10,000. It was very exciting, pretty emotional.
Phillies LF Raul Ibanez had his rehab assignment postponed for the third straight day. Ibanez, sidelined by a groin injury, was eligible to come off the disabled list Friday. It's uncertain when he'll return. Ibanez saw the team physician before the game and said he was "progressing" afterward. Ibanez leads the Phillies with a .312 average and 22 homers. His 59 RBIs are second to Howard's 60. ... Mets LHP Oliver Perez allowed three runs in five-plus innings in a Triple-A rehabilitation start. Perez expects to rejoin the Mets to start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. "I've got to take in what took place, see about his velocity and all," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.