The Philadelphia Phillies have had a winning record once this year. They've had the best mark in baseball after the All-Star break over the past six.
The Phillies look to begin another strong second half when they open a pivotal nine-game road trip against the New York Mets on Friday night.
The Phillies (48-48) have won eight of 11 and are looking to move above .500 for the only time this season other than June 6, when they were 31-30.
They're 6 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, while Washington is six back.
"What's meaningful is we're not out of the race," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose 50 games and you're going to win 50 games. It's those 62 that really make the difference. It's going to come down to the last weekend like it has the last couple of years."
That seems very possible given Philadelphia's 314-198 record after the All-Star break since the start of 2007.
Duplicating that success on this trip could be a factor in whether the Phillies are buyers or sellers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. After facing the Mets (41-50) for three games, Philadelphia visits division leaders St. Louis and Detroit.
"They're going to make decisions based on where we are in the standings," Rollins said. "So if we come out in the second half and start out hot, then they're going to make a decision according to that."
Visiting Citi Field may be just what Philadelphia needs, as it's won six in a row there with a 1.50 ERA.
Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 3.68 ERA) has enjoyed his own success in Flushing, going 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA in four starts. The right-hander's latest performance there may have been the best of his career, as he tossed a three-hitter in a 4-0 win April 26 to beat the Mets for a third straight start overall.
He has a 1.59 ERA during that winning streak.
Kendrick, though, has gone 1-3 with a 6.44 ERA in his last five road starts.
The Mets, who hosted Tuesday's All-Star game, concluded the first half with a 6-3 trip, but they have a losing record at the break for the first time since 2009.
"We're disappointed," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website. "We're not happy with where we're sitting. We got off to such a good start. We've had ups and downs."
The right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA over his last six outings, five ending in New York victories. That stretch includes a 4-3 win at Philadelphia on June 21 in which Hefner allowed three runs - two earned - with six strikeouts in six innings.
Despite that performance, he's 2-2 with an 11.02 ERA in five games - four starts - versus the Phillies.
Hefner has struggled against Domonic Brown , one of the Phillies' two All-Stars. The left fielder is 4 for 4 with a double and a home run off Hefner.
David Wright , the Mets' other All-Star, is 10 for 25 with two home runs and two doubles against Kendrick over the past four seasons.
The third baseman has batted .412 in his last 17 home games.
|July 14, 2013||Ben Revere||15-Day DL||Broken right foot - out 6-8 weeks|
|July 13, 2013||Ben Revere||Day-to-Day||Broken right foot|
|July 06, 2013||Ryan Howard||15-Day DL||Left knee inflammation|
|June 24, 2013||Ryan Howard||Day-to-Day||Knee|
|June 23, 2013||Michael Stutes||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|June 22, 2013||Jonathan Pettibone||Day-to-Day||Back|
|New York Mets|
|July 13, 2013||LaTroy Hawkins||Day-to-Day||Sore right triceps|
|July 09, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Thoracic outlet syndrome|
|July 08, 2013||Shaun Marcum||Day-to-Day||Right hand numbness|
|June 22, 2013||Lucas Duda||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal|
|June 21, 2013||Jonathon Niese||15-Day DL||Partially torn left rotator cuff|
|June 20, 2013||Jonathon Niese||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shoulder discomfort|
NEW YORK (AP) -- If the Philadelphia Phillies are going to make a playoff push with another successful second half, this certainly was an emphatic start.
Chase Utley , Domonic Brown and the rest of the Phillies came flying out of the All-Star break, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings Friday night on the way to a 13-8 rout of the New York Mets .
"Obviously, that doesn't happen all the time. But going into the break we realized that we needed to win some games, so I don't think we all just sat on the couch for four days," Utley said.
Philadelphia roughed up familiar foil Jeremy Hefner in its seventh consecutive victory at Citi Field and leapfrogged Washington into second place in the NL East, 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta. Michael Young hit a three-run homer, Utley had a two-run drive and Brown a solo shot as the Phillies (49-48) won their ninth in 12 games to move over .500 for only the second time this season.
Philadelphia entered with a major league-best .616 winning percentage after the All-Star break since 2007.
"Keep going. Keep going. We've got to have a better record," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think we're definitely coming to the ballpark with the mindset that we're going to win the game, and that's our No. 1 priority."
While the Phillies have made themselves right at home in Queens, the Mets keep struggling in their own ballpark. Back on the field after hosting the All-Star game Tuesday for the first time since 1964, they fell to an NL-worst 17-28 at home.
Utley tripled and drove in three runs on a 95-degree night that made Citi Field feel like a sauna. Delmon Young had three hits and Brown, fresh off his All-Star debut, tagged Hefner once again while adding three hits and two RBIs.
Brown is 6 for 6 with two homers, a double, two walks and seven RBIs against Hefner in his career.
"After four days off, to see the bats come alive like that, that was good to see," Brown said. "We had an early BP, everybody looked pretty good and we just took it into the game."
John Mayberry Jr. also knocked in two runs, and every Philadelphia position player had at least one hit and scored by the third inning. The beneficiary of all that early offense was Kyle Kendrick (9-6), who came to bat before throwing a pitch. Handed an 11-0 cushion, he gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.
"Obviously, I needed it tonight," Kendrick said about the offensive outburst. "I like pitching in this weather. I just couldn't make a pitch, I felt like. ... But the offense picked me up."
Kendrick, who threw a three-hit shutout April 26 at Citi Field, improved to 4-1 in five starts at the ballpark and 13-3 in his last 19 against NL East teams.
"We left him out there too long. KK might have gotten a little dry inside," Brown said.
Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer, and David Wright had a two-run shot in the ninth for the Mets.
Hefner (4-7) came in with a 1.76 ERA in his past eight starts, the best mark in the majors since June 4, but he's often run into big problems when facing the Phillies. Chased after getting only six outs, Hefner dropped to 2-3 with a 13.75 ERA in six career outings against Philadelphia.
"I don't know what it is about the Phillies. I know how to get them out, I just need to execute," he said.
With streaking center fielder Ben Revere sidelined by a broken foot last weekend, Jimmy Rollins returned to the leadoff spot for the Phillies and got them off to a fast start.
Rollins, who had been hitting third, has batted in each of the top three slots at least 20 times this season.
"To me, the lineup we've got right now, that's where he goes," Manuel said before the game.
Rollins singled to start the game and scored on Utley's one-out triple off the 408 sign on the center-field fence. Brown hit an RBI single, Delmon Young drove in a run with an infield single and Mayberry added an RBI single before Hefner finally ended a 38-pitch inning that lasted 20 minutes.
It only got worse in the third, when Philadelphia scored seven runs and batted around for the second time.
Brown sent an 0-2 breaking ball into the second deck in right for his 24th home run. Darin Ruf doubled and scored when Byrd overran Delmon Young 's single in right field for an error. Mayberry smacked a run-scoring double that chased Hefner before Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double off Greg Burke .
Michael Young capped the outburst with a three-run shot to left. Utley added a two-run drive off Josh Edgin in the fifth to make it 13-3.
"We always looked good on paper, and I thought it was just a matter of time before things started coming together," Brown said.
NOTES: Mayberry made his 17th start of the season in center, but assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the Phillies are looking into "all sorts" of other options. "I wouldn't rule anything out," he said. "We haven't had a situation that merited pulling the trigger at this point." ... New York rookie Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.54 ERA) pitches Saturday against LHP Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.05), who is 6-11 with a 4.28 ERA in 23 starts against the Mets.