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Rookie Valdespin’s HR In 9th Pushes Mets Past Phils

Drew Hallowell, Getty Images

Rookie Jordany Valdespin clubbed a two-out, pinch hit, three-run homer in the top of the ninth off of Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon (0-1) to give the Mets a 5-2 series opening win in Philadelphia on Monday night.

Oh, and it was Valdespin’s first major league hit, coming just hours after he was called up from the minors to fill the roster spot of Ruben Tajada, who was placed on the DL earlier in the day with a strained quad.

Frank Francisco closed the door in the bottom half to collect his eight save.

The win for New York (16-13) snapped Roy Halladay’s eight game winning streak against the Mets.

Drew Hallowell, Getty Images

Halladay was stellar until the sixth inning, when New York started a two-out, two run rally, capped by David Wright two-RBI double that knotted the game 2-2. Halladay (3-2) did not factor in the decision.

Mets starter Jonathon Niese (2-1) gave up two runs in the first two innings, but settled in with a finished line of four hits, four walks and two runs over five innings.

Tim Byrdak (1-0) picked up the win, facing just one batter in the bottom of the eight. His strike out of Lance Nix ended the inning and left two Phillies on base – two of ten men stranded by the Phils.

Game note: Mets catcher Josh Thole left the game in the bottom of the eight after taking a shoulder to his chin during a collision at home plate (photo right). Thole held onto the ball to keep the game tied but appeared to be shaken up. He left the field on his own two feet and was replaced by Mike Nickeas. Nickeas had a big two out double in the ninth that allowed Valdespin an opportunity to hit the game-winning homer.

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