With Nine Unanswered Runs, Mets Finish Sweep


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Daniel Murphy hitting a two-run double in the 13th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies that sparked the Mets’ 9-5 victory.

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Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

PHILADELPHIA — Shortly after the Mets’ lineup was posted outside their clubhouse, Daniel Murphy walked over to inspect the blue card taped to the wall.

Murphy stood there for a few seconds — probably finding his name in the third spot in the order — and blinked, doing a double take before walking away.

After scuffling for months to score runs for their ballyhooed pitching staff, the Mets have been manufacturing rallies like an assembly line of late. Even five-run deficits and seven-inning cold snaps no longer seem insurmountable, and the Mets climbed out of such holes on Thursday for a 9-5 win in 13 innings over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Murphy drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run double off reliever Hector Neris. One of the runners to score was relief pitcher Carlos Torres, who had led off the 13th with an infield single. Freddy Galvis, after making a number of stellar defensive plays throughout the night, could not get a grip on Torres’s grounder while trying to throw to first.

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The Mets’ David Wright, left, and Travis d’Arnaud  returning to the dugout after d’Arnaud’s two- run home run in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

Credit
Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Curtis Granderson followed with a single, setting up Murphy two batters later. Murphy later scored on a throwing error by Neris.

“If you’re going to win, you don’t ride one horse,” Manager Terry Collins said of the diversity of his now potent stable of hitters. “You play a season that’s 162 games, you got to spread out the wealth, and we’ve done it right now.”

The Mets went without four opening day starters to begin the game — Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, Michael Cuddyer and Lucas Duda, who is on the disabled list — as well as the midseason acquisition Juan Uribe, who has five home runs in just over a month with the team.

Still, Thursday’s lineup had ample threats, and three players hit home runs, pushing the team’s total in August to 43, the most in any month in club history. After the Phillies scored five runs in the third, the Mets needed only two innings to get even.

Before the game, Collins compared his offense from earlier this season with the current juggernaut. “We had to do little things to help win games; we had to move runners over,” Collins said. “Some of the times we didn’t do it. That’s why we got beat, 1-0 and 2-1.”

Now they bash balls out of the park and score in clumps. In the fourth, after David Wright led off with a single, Travis d’Arnaud knocked a hanging slider into the right-field seats at Citizens Bank Park.

One inning later, Granderson singled to lead off and scored when Yoenis Cespedes belted his sixth home run in seven games. Later in the fifth, Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer.

Over the Mets’ just-completed nine-game trip, their bats covered up some less-than-stellar pitching performances; they allowed a total of 48 runs.

After being knocked around in Colorado during his last start on Saturday, Jon Niese was bullied in the five-run third inning by the Phillies.

The opposing pitcher, Aaron Harang, led off with a shallow single to center field that a diving Cespedes came within inches of catching. After a strikeout, Niese walked two batters to load the bases, and the Phillies cashed in on a two-run single by Jeff Francoeur. After another run scored on a fielder’s choice, Darin Ruf capped the inning with a two-run homer.

Niese had mastered the Phillies recently, carrying a 5-0 record in his last seven starts, including two wins this season in which he yielded a total of one earned run over 131/3 innings. But he struggled with his control throughout the night, walking five and hitting another batter.

He left the game with a no-decision, though, and the bullpen backed him up with seven scoreless innings. The Mets also showed off their defensive prowess in prolonging the game. In the 10th, Francoeur scorched a line drive up the middle that deflected off the bottom of Torres’s shoe. The ball shot toward Murphy at first base, who smothered it and threw to Torres covering first in time for the out.

“When the play happened, my first thought is, That’s got to tell you we’re going to win the game,” Collins said.

Torres, who wears soccer-style cleats, said he had not meant to kick the ball. Murphy, whose back was partly turned to first base, was unsure whether Torres was running toward the bag, but he flipped the ball anyway.

With all the bounces going their way, the Mets maintained their six-and-a-half-game lead over the Washington Nationals with their seventh straight win over all and their ninth consecutive victory against the Phillies, capping an 8-1 stretch away from Citi Field.

“It’s a good road trip,” Murphy said. “It’s a real good road trip.”

INSIDE PITCH

The Mets announced that STEVEN MATZ would make one more rehab start for Class AA Binghamton on Monday before being recalled on Tuesday, when major league rosters expand.

Correction: August 28, 2015

An earlier version of this article misstated the number of home runs the Mets have hit in August. It is 43, not 42.



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