Kendrick went 2 for 2 with a run scored, and he didn't do badly in his main job. In seven innings, Kendrick allowed one run on six hits.
"He made pitches when he needed to and got out of a couple of jams," said first baseman Ryan Howard, whose first-inning RBI single staked the Phillies to a 1-0 lead. "And he swung a pretty good bat, too."
The bat was a bonus, but Kendrick was far from overpowering on the mound. He walked three and struck out none, taking advantage of cavernous Citi Field.
"It's a great park to pitch in, and I can be more aggressive here," Kendrick said.
And he took advantage of a Phillies defense that didn't commit an error and turned two double plays, one when Kendrick was on the mound.
"I don't look for strikeouts," he said. ". . . If I get ground balls and can save pitches, that helps my pitch count."
Kendrick threw 109 pitches, 69 for strikes.
What also helped him was the long ball, and that was supplied, surprisingly, by Martinez, whose three-run blast in the fifth inning extended the lead to 4-0. Martinez, who will be 29 in September, is in his first major-league season.
The Phillies led by 8-1 after Kendrick departed and reliever Juan Perez took over to begin the eighth inning. Perez and Ryan Madson combined to allow three runs that inning. Closer Antonio Bastardo came in with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth and put the fire out by striking out Justin Turner. Bastardo did allow a run in the ninth, but earned his sixth save in as many chances.
On many staffs, Kendrick's season numbers would look impressive, but on the Phillies his 5-4 record and 3.34 ERA doesn't earn much attention.
Kendrick has served as a starter and reliever this season and has been starting because of injuries to Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton.
"He did a great job and did what he is supposed to do," said shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who was 3 for 5 with a run and two RBIs. "He has been having good outings pretty much all year."
Rollins said the back-and-forth roles for the 26-year-old Kendrick might not be the worst thing.
"It's good in that he can't get in a comfort zone," Rollins said. "Sometimes you need a guy to be unsure about his future, and sometimes it creates competition, and he has been driven and been very good."
Since he doesn't have overpowering stuff, Kendrick needs to be precise with his location. And things didn't always go smoothly on Sunday when the Mets failed to score after putting runners in scoring position each of the first three innings.
"He made pitches when he had to," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Kendrick is now 40-28 in his career with the Phillies. He hasn't always been consistent, but he keeps winning games.
"The whole key is keeping your team in the game," Kendrick said. "And that is what a starting pitcher is supposed to do."
On this day, that's exactly what he did.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, email@example.com,
or @sjnard on Twitter.