Buchanan strong in Phillies loss to Mets


Jul 5, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan (55) reacts in the dugout after being removed from the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies expect a lot out of David Buchanan as he fills in for the injured Cliff Lee, again.

Buchan has delivered so far in both stints, including Monday’s afternoon showdown with the New York Mets.

The right-hander went six innings and gave up three earned runs on just four hits.  He also struck out five batters for the second consecutive start.  Buchanan moved to 6-6 with a 4.40 ERA with the Phillies this season after earning the loss.

Philadelphia clung to a 2-1 lead after Darin Ruf hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning off Mets starter Jonathan Niese.  Ruf, batting just .152 this season, also walked and struck out before Grady Sizemore pinch hit for him.

The Mets regained the lead in the seventh inning once Justin De Fratus came on in relief.  De Fratus stayed in for a full inning while giving up a game-tying double to Matt den Dekker and then a three-run blast to catcher Anthony Recker to make it 5-2 in favor of New York.

The Phillies made a bid to come back in the ninth inning as it seemed pinch-hitter Chase Utley hit a two-run shot to score both himself and Cody Asche.  After a review, however, it was ruled a ground-rule double and the score was settled at 5-3.

First baseman Ryan Howard reached base for the eighth straight game by going 1-for-3 with a strikeout.  He came into the game with an average of .167 against Niese.

The Philadelphia bullpen was strong before De Fratus blew the lead, allowing just one earned run in 24.2 innings prior.  Antonio Bastardo and Cesar Jimenez each pitched a scoreless inning following De Fratus’ shaky appearance.

The Phillies and Mets will meet for one more series at the end of August.  New York is 11-5 in the series this season.