Don't blame Mike Pelfrey. At least not technically.
After getting charged with seven runs in the second-shortest start of his career, Pelfrey was let off the hook when Daniel Murphy’s RBI single capped a five-run fifth and pulled the Mets even at 7.
However, a half-inning later, after a two-out double by Shane Victorino against Blaine Boyer, Placido Polanco sent an opposite-field, sinking liner toward Carlos Beltran in right field. The ball dropped under Beltran’s glove, Victorino scored and the Phillies ultimately retook the lead en route to a 10-7 win on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Boyer, who allowed three runs and five hits in two innings, including a solo homer to Ben Francisco in the sixth, was charged with the loss.
The Mets’ three-game winning streak and brief occupation of first place both ended.
Had the Mets (3-2) won, overcoming the seven-run deficit would have matched the second-largest comeback in franchise history. A 10-run eighth inning on June 30, 2000, capped by Mike Piazza’s three-run homer, lifted the Mets to an 11-8 win against the Atlanta Braves that day to overcome a seven-run deficit.
The largest comeback in franchise history was from an eight-run deficit on Sept. 2, 1972, in an 11-8 win at Houston.
• K-ROD COUNTER: Francisco Rodriguez, who had not appeared since Saturday’s blown save, pitched the eighth with the Mets trailing by three runs. Because he was the last Mets pitcher used in the game, he was credited with his first game finished of 2011. Rodriguez now needs to finish 54 of the Mets’ final 157 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012.
• TAYLOR TANKS: Pelfrey left the bases loaded and none out in the third, and Taylor Buchholz allowed all three inherited runners to score -- two on a single by opposing pitcher Joe Blanton.
Buchholz, who worked two innings, did strike out five batters. That was his highest K count since July 16, 2007 for the Colorado Rockies against Pittsburgh, before he required Tommy John surgery.
• JO-SE, JO-SE: Jose Reyes reached base to open the game for the third straight time. This time, Reyes bunted toward the first-base side of the mound. Blanton fielded it, but his rushed throw at Ryan Howard’s feet wasn’t handled and Reyes was credited with an infield hit.
Reyes then swiped second and reached third on a throwing error by ex-Met Brian Schneider. But for a second straight game, he was stranded on third in the first inning despite reaching there with none out. This time, Willie Harris and David Wright struck out and Beltran flied out to left field.
Reyes appeared to hurt his left hand on the headfirst slide into second base on the steal, but showed no ill effects later.
Wright ultimately struck out three times.
• CAREER NIGHT: Howard matched a career high with four hits. He homered off Pelfrey and also had a pair of doubles and a walk.
• IGNITION: Angel Pagan’s two-run homer in the fourth off Blanton, the center fielder’s first long ball of 2011, began the Mets’ rally from a 7-0 deficit.
• NEXT: Jon Niese opposes Roy Halladay in a 3:05 p.m. rubber game Thursday.