NEW YORK — Minus closer Jonathan Papelbon, the Philadelphia Phillies ran into all sorts of problems trying to protect a three-run lead with three outs to go.
The New York Mets suddenly rallied in the ninth inning to tie it against Philadelphia’s improvised bullpen, then ended a five-game skid with a 5-4 win Sunday on Ruben Tejada’s single in the 11th.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Papelbon was sore and unavailable to pitch in a third straight game. Antonio Bastardo and Roberto Hernandez — who started Friday night — let a 4-1 edge slip away.
“It’s frustrating any time we lose a ballgame,” Papelbon said.
The All-Star closer said most every part of his body hurt.
“Everything. Back, legs,” he said.
“The daily grind of the season,” he said. “It’s just kind of a product of the last couple of games.”
The Phillies are off Monday. Papelbon said he felt certain he’d be OK when they host the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
The punchless Mets fought back in the ninth, sparked by Daniel Murphy’s two-run homer.
In the 11th, Chris Young opened with an infield single, barely beating the flip from second baseman Chase Utley’s glove. The Mets sent up pitcher Zack Wheeler as a pinch-hitter, and he put down a perfect sacrifice bunt that moved Young to second.
Juan Lagares drew an intentional walk and Anthony Recker loaded the bases with another infield hit stopped by diving third baseman Reid Brignac. Tejada won it with one out, hitting a sharp single to left-center against Jeff Manship (1-1).
Tejada’s teammates chased him down in short right field to celebrate.
Scott Rice (1-1) got Brignac on a grounder with two runners on to finish the 11th.
Bastardo got the call to begin the ninth.
“That was in my hands,” he said.
Eric Young Jr. led off with a double and Murphy followed with a home run that made it 4-3.
Chris Young ended his 0-for-18 slump by hitting a one-out double off the wall, and then Hernandez emerged from the bullpen — he threw 99 pitches in the series opener.
Pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu singled off the glove of a diving Utley, and a slow grounder by Lagares drove in the tying run.
The Mets’ comeback denied Cole Hamels his elusive first win of the year and the 100th of his career. He struck out 10 in seven innings while throwing a whopping 133 pitches, the most by any major leaguer since San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum tossed 148 in his no-hitter last July 13.
Hamels began the day with a 7.02 ERA in three starts during a season already beset by tendinitis in his left biceps and a bout with the flu. The 2008 World Series MVP said he wasn’t worried about his pitch count.
“If you’re physically able to do so, I don’t see why not,” he said. “I’m here to pitch.”
Held to a total of nine runs in their previous five games, the Mets started quickly when Young Jr. led off with a single and stole second, Murphy walked and David Wright hit an RBI single.
Wil Nieves and Cody Asche hit doubles in the second off Jonathon Niese that made it 1-all.
Ryan Howard led off the Phillies fourth with a single and went to third on Marlon Byrd’s double. Domonic Brown followed with a grounder to first baseman Eric Campbell, who made his major league debut Saturday night.
Campbell hesitated a moment before whipping a sidearm throw home that sailed a bit up the third-base line, and the lumbering Howard twisted inches past Recker’s tag, sprawled to the dirt and slapped the plate with his left hand. Nieves added an RBI groundout.
Utley tripled home a run in the ninth that made it 4-1.
NOTES: Phillies LHP Cliff Lee starts against the Angels on Tuesday night. Angels All-Star OF Mike Trout grew up rooting for the Phillies in nearby Millville, New Jersey, and this will be his first game against them. A few thousand fans from his hometown are expected at the two-game series. Asked what impressed him most about Trout, Howard said, “his poise.”