MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - INSIDE PITCH

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Phillies were hopeful that a productive Saturday evening was another sign they were emerging from their season-long offensive funk.

Not quite.

The Phillies slipped into old habits Sunday, when they stranded 10 runners -- including six in scoring position -- in a 6-5 loss to the New York Mets at Citi Field.

"Had some walks, created some base runners and opportunities," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Came up short on capitalizing on those opportunities."

The most frustrating innings for the Phillies on Sunday were actually ones in which they scored. In the fourth, the Phillies took a 1-0 lead on first baseman Ryan Howard's RBI double and loaded the bases with one out before catcher Wil Nieves hit into a double play.

In the sixth, Howard's solo homer with one out tied the game at 2-2 before center fielder Grady Sizemore drew a walk and left fielder Domonic Brown singled. But Mets right-hander Dillon Gee wriggled out of the jam by striking out Nieves and retiring third baseman Cody Asche on a fly to center.

An inning later, the first three Phillies reached base against Gee and left-hander Dana Eveland, but after surrendering an RBI single by shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Eveland retired second baseman Chase Utley on a pop-up to short and struck out Howard and Sizemore.

Rollins invoked an analogy from a different sport in discussing the Phillies' struggles with runners in scoring position.

"(Like) in basketball -- you don't hit your free throws when they're sitting right there in front of you," Rollins said, "Bases loaded early, first and third again, we get one run from each of those."

Even with the missed chances Sunday, the Phillies scored at least five runs for the eighth time in their last 15 games, during which they are 8-7. They scored five runs or more just 43 times in the first 121 games.

"Overall, we did a lot better driving runs in (during August)," Rollins said. "And we were able to put together some wins. So (in) September, hope we do it again."


MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 62-74

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Phillies (LHP Cole Hamels, 7-6, 2.59 ERA) at Braves (RHP Juliio Teheran, 13-9, 2.90 ERA)


--RHP Cole Hamels will look to carry his strong summer pitching over into September when he takes the mound for the Phillies on Monday afternoon in the opener of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Hamels didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start on Tuesday, when he gave up three runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out five over seven innings in the Phillies' 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals. In 17 starts since June 1, Hamels is 6-3 with a 1.90 ERA and a 114/32 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 118 2/3 innings. He has lowered his overall ERA in that span from 4.43 to 2.59, which was tied for the third best in the National League entering play Sunday. Hamels is 15-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 career games (32 starts) against the Braves. He earned the win the last time he opposed the Braves on July 19, when he gave up one run over seven innings in the Phillies' 2-1 victory.