The New York Mets prevailed 4-3 against the last place Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon in extra innings at Citizens Bank Park. This time it took just 11 innings for the game to be decided, after playing 14 epic innings on both Friday and Saturday. After starting the game on the bench, Lucas Duda played a starring role entering the game to play first base in the top of the 10th, and blasting the two run go-ahead home run in the top of the 11th.
Mets lefty starter Jonathon Niese gave a stellar performance. The veteran ace pitched 8 innings allowed just 2 runs (a two run homer to Phillies first baseman in the bottom of the fourth), scattering 8 hits, walking one hitter while striking out 6. Phillies lefty ace Cole Hamels was equal to the task though, tossing seven innings, allowing 2 runs on six hits, walking 4 batters but striking out 8.
Lefty reliever Josh Edgin picked up his first win of the year, improving to 1-0 while the newly recalled Phillipe Aumount took the loss dropping to 0-1. Mets closer Jenrry Mejia notched his sixth save of the season.
Before the game the Mets announced that lefty reliever Dana Eveland would be activated and outfielder Matt den Dekker was optioned back to AAA Las Vegas.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first three innings. Leading off the top of the fourth, David Wright lined a double that rolled all the way to the fence in center field. First baseman Eric Campbell then hit a dribbler up the third base line. Third baseman Reid Brignac charged the ball, threw to first but not nearly in time, as Campbell was safe at first, while Wright advanced to third on the play. Left fielder Chris Young then hit a pop-up that chased Hernandez deep into foul ground. Hernandez caught it, Wright then bolted for home and scored to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Campbell advanced to second on the throw home. Right fielder Curtis Granderson followed with a walk. Shortstop Ruben Tejada then grounded to second, but Granderson and Campbell moved to second and third respectively on the play. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud was intentionally walked and Jon Niese weakly grounded to second retiring the side.
Right fielder Marlon Byrd struck out swinging to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but catcher Carlos Ruiz lined a double to the gap in left center. First baseman Ryan Howard then launched a home run to dead center to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. Left fielder John Mayberry Jr. then popped out to first, and second baseman Cesar Hernandez flied out to right to end the inning. Neither the Mets nor Phillies scored in the fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth Eric Campbell hit a ground ball fair down the left field line, it rolled foul and bounced off the jutting stands allowing Campbell to take second base. Chris Young then safely reached first on a throwing error by Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, with Campbell advancing to third on the play. Curtis Granderson then lined a ball to right for an out, but deep enough so Campbell could score to tie the game 2-2. Ruben Tejada then grounded to second as Young moved over to second base, Travis d’Arnaud was intentionally walked for the second time, and Jonathon Niese struck out looking to retire the side. Both teams did not score in their next at-bats.
Phillies Cesar Hernandez led off the bottom of the seventh with a bunt down the first base line for a base hit. Reid Brignac then sacrificed himself to Niese allowing Hernandez to take second. Outfielder Dominic Brown pinch-hit for Cole Hamels, and lined a single to left. Chris Young threw home and missed the cutoff man, but it took a nice bounce for Travis d’Arnaud, who threw to second to tag out Brown who tried to take second on the throw. Hernandez never made a break for the plate. Centerfielder Ben Revere then grounded weakly back to Niese who threw to first to end the inning.
Neither team scored until the top of the 11th. Curtis Granderson led off the inning with a strikeout swinging. Ruben Tejada then flied out to right, but Travis d’Arnaud followed with a walk. Lucas Duda then rocketed a pitch off Phillipe Amounte to dead center giving the Mets a 4-2 lead. Josh Edgin, who entered and struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th, then struck out swinging in his first career at bat to retire the side.
Closer Jenrry Mejia entered to shut the door on the Phillies in the bottom of the 11th. Jimmy Rollins flied out to center for the first out. Right fielder Marlon Byrd then lined a pitch that just barely went over the left field wall, landing in the flower bed in front of the seats for a home run, bringing the Phillies back to within a run, 4-3 New York. Carlos Ruiz then hit an easy pop-up in foul ground, and Ryan Howard weakly grounded to first to end the game.
After the game it was announced centerfielder Juan Lagares would be sent to back to New York to have an MRI on his ribs, after being removed in the top of the 10th due to tightness, the same injury that kept him from starting Saturday’s game. Matt den Dekker is on hold in case Lagares is sent to the disabled list. Veteran Bartolo Colon takes the mound for the Mets tomorrow night opposing Phillies veteran Roberto Hernandez in the series finale.
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