McNeil’s homer lifts Mets; Phillies slip in playoff race

Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff McNeil hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the seventh inning, and the New York Mets beat Philadelphia 3-2 Sunday night, damaging the Phillies playoff hopes.

The Phillies blew a two-run lead Sunday night and fell two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and 3 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the second NL wild card.

The Mets snapped a five-game losing streak.

McNeil’s homer off Phillies starter Kyle Gibson was his first since Aug. 1. and gave the Mets their first lead since squandering a 3-2 advantage in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 7-6, 11-inning loss to the Cardinals.

Aaron Loup (6-0), the fifth of six Mets pitchers, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and tossed 1 1/3 hitless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.00 in 51 innings this season.

Edwin Diaz plunked Freddy Galvis with one out in the ninth before striking out Jean Segura and retiring Bryce Harper on a fly to deep left to earn his 29th save.

The Phillies stranded 10 runners

McNeil also sparked the Mets’ rally in the fifth with a leadoff single. Tomas Nido followed with a double and both runners raced home on a pinch-hit, two-run double by Dominic Smith, who is 4 for 11 with four RBIs as a pinch-hitter this month.

Harper had his 14-game hitting streak snapped, but still helped the Phillies jump out to a 2-0 lead against Rich Hill. With two outs in the first. Harper walked and ran through a stop sign by third base coach Dusty Wathan to score on a bloop double by J.T. Realmuto. In the fifth, Freddy Galvis singled, went to third on Jean Segura’s double and scored on Harper’s sacrifice fly.

Gibson (10-8), who pitched beyond the sixth for the third time in nine starts with the Phillies, allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Hill remained winless in 11 appearances (10 starts) with the Mets after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

THAT’S RICH

During a third inning at-bat against Harper, Hill threw back-to-back curveballs that registered at 68 mph and 70 mph and were listed as “unknown” on the scoreboard. He followed the curveballs with an 88 mph fastball, which Harper fouled off, and an 85 mph sinker Harper took for ball three. He struck out the slugger looking with a 72 mph curveball that was recognized as such on the scoreboard.

In the fifth, the scoreboard again registered back-to-back curveballs by Hill — these clocked at 65 mph and 68 mph — against Harper as “unknown” before Harper hit a 70 mph curveball for a sacrifice fly.

CAM FINALLY MEETS THE METS

When Cam Bedrosian relieved Gibson in the seventh, it marked the first time he faced the Mets — the only team he hadn’t opposed in his eight-year career prior to Sunday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: LF Andrew McCutchen, who had the wind knocked out of him while making a diving catch in the seventh inning Saturday, returned to the lineup and went 0 for 4.

Mets: IF Jonathan Villar (left thumb) entered in a double-switch in the seventh. Villar jammed his thumb while batting Saturday night. … Manager Lus Rojas said RHP Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) looked good while throwing 15-20 pitches of batting practice.

UP NEXT

Phillies: LHP Ranger Suarez (6-4, 1.50 ERA) will look to remain hot Monday, when he opens a three-game series against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. Suarez has a 1.85 ERA in nine starts since moving to the rotation.

Mets: After an off-day Monday, RHP Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.88 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound in the opener of a two-game series Tuesday at the Boston Red Sox. It will be the 32nd start for Stroman, tops in the majors and one shy of his career-high, set in 2017.

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