NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff McNeil hit a go-ahead, three-run homer during a rain-soaked fourth inning, Francisco Lindor drove in three to extend his RBI streak to a career-best six games and the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 on Saturday night.
Taijuan Walker (3-0) limited the Phillies to two runs in five innings, Luis Guillorme matched a career high with three hits and the NL East leaders improved to 31-17. They’ll try for a three-game sweep Sunday night in their final game against Philadelphia until Aug. 12.
Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto had two hits each, but the Phillies stumbled with yet another defensive lowlight in the outfield and went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Heavy rain began falling in the bottom of the fourth, and that’s when the Mets pounced against starter Zach Eflin (1-4). Lindor walked and Pete Alonso singled before McNeil roped his homer into the second deck in right field. McNeil flipped his bat and stared into New York’s dugout as the ball soared into the seats for a 4-2 lead.
The downpour let up in the fifth, but the Mets didn’t. Guillorme led off with a bunt single, Starling Marte doubled, and both scored on Lindor’s triple. Lindor drove in another run with a single in the seventh and has 14 RBIs during his six-game run.
Lindor’s triple was a long fly ball that skipped off the fence in left-center between Phillies outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Odubel Herrera. The pair collided on the warning track and bounced off the wall together, the latest misplay by Philadelphia’s maligned defenders.
Alonso followed with a sacrifice fly, making him the first Mets player to accrue 29 RBIs in May. Alonso leads the majors with 46 RBIs in 48 games.
Dominic Smith’s sacrifice fly in the second made it 1-0 New York, but Philadelphia took the lead in the fourth. Realmuto’s bases-loaded line drive went just past a diving Guillorme at second base for a two-run single and a 2-1 advantage.
Walker threw 30 pitches in the fourth but left the bases loaded on Schwarber’s flyout.
Colin Holderman threw two scoreless innings in relief for New York, giving him eight shutout frames to begin his big league career.
Eflin covered six innings but was charged with seven runs. He struck out four after punching out 12 Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous outing.
Phillies: Bryce Harper was hit in the foot by Rhys Hoskins’ foul ball while leading off third base in the third inning, but remained in the game.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom said his injured right shoulder blade feels “completely normal,” and he’s waiting for New York’s medical staff to clear him to resume throwing off a mound. … CF Brandon Nimmo had an MRI on his right wrist that came back clean, but was held out of the lineup. Manager Buck Showalter said he expected Nimmo might get an injection, but he doesn’t anticipate New York’s leadoff hitter will miss significant time. … RHP Yoan Lopez was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, and OF Nick Plummer was called up.
Former Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (3-3, 3.38) starts for the Phillies against New York RHP Chris Bassitt (4-2, 3.91) on Sunday night. Wheeler is 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA in nine starts against the Mets since signing a $118 million, five-year deal with Philadelphia prior to the 2020 season.
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