New york – Raul Ibañez spent most of the week angry, hurt and uncharacteristically defiant.
On Thursday, Ibañez declared that he was done talking about steroids, and after a quiet 0-for-4 during the first nine innings, he hit a two-out, three-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Philadephia Phillies a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets.
The timely blast by the former Seattle Mariners outfielder gave the Phillies their second extra-inning win at Citi Field in two nights. The Phillies closed their 10-game road trip with seven wins and three losses, and they won the three-game series against the Mets, who now trail them by four games in the National League East.
“It’s a tough ballclub, a bunch of mentally strong guys in here, all 25,” said Ibañez, who signed a free-agent deal with Philadelphia during the offseason. “I’ve been on teams before where a lot of the guys were tough and mentally tough. This team everybody is mentally tough and never gives anything away.”
Upset by a blogger’s suggestion that he might have used performance-enhancing drugs and a newspaper column that discussed it, Ibañez lashed out Tuesday, denying drug use. On Thursday, he expressed himself only on the field.
The homer won a game that began with an effective outing by starter Jamie Moyer, another Seattle castoff. The left-hander made a recent mechanical adjustment that improved his motion from the stretch, and the change seemed to serve him Thursday. Moyer allowed eight hits in six innings but limited the damage and allowed just three runs.
“It’s nice to be able to go on the road and feel comfortable in the environment that we’re in and play well,” Moyer said.
Shane Victorino sparked the big 10th inning with a one-out single off Bobby Parnell (2-2). After Chase Utley walked, Ken Takahashi came in and struck out Ryan Howard as the crowd at a misty Citi Field roared. But Ibañez followed with a drive over the wall in right-center for his 21st homer.
“I was aware of his hitting abilities,” Takahashi said through an interpreter. “He’s a great hitter and I gave it my best but that was the result.”
Scott Eyre (1-1) recorded the last out of the ninth to earn the win, throwing just two pitches. Ryan Madson worked the 10th for his fourth save in five opportunities and second in two days.