NEW YORK -- So much has changed in the eight days since Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the Mets' clubhouse in San Francisco, stood in front of his corner locker and quietly asked for a trade. Since that afternoon, the Mets have won seven of eight -- including a 7-6 victory over the Phillies on Saturday at Citi Field, which Cabrera powered with a go-ahead, two-run homer.
"Deep inside these guys, they're pros," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "[Cabrera] understood the dynamics of everything and I knew when he got out there, that he'd settle in and play very, very well. I'll tell you, if we get him hot, we're going to have a good finish."
Still a Met for the time being, Cabrera hit his decisive shot off Pat Neshek in the seventh, to the glee of the 33,080 attending the shortstop's own bobblehead day. Soon after, fans scattered to the concourses to wait out a 57-minute rain delay.
When it ended, Addison Reed entered to complete a four-out save, his 14th in 16 chances.
"It's always good when you start winning and you're playing really good baseball," Cabrera said.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. In his first outing back from an 11-day disabled list stint, the Mets' Zack Wheeler couldn't escape the fourth, allowing two unearned runs and throwing 81 pitches. Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson made it to the seventh, giving up four runs, including a 426-foot Lucas Duda homer that clanged off the apple in center field.
• Wheeler starts strong in return, but out in 4th
"That kind of sums up our season so far this year," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "What a shame. Neshek has been just about unhittable all season and he just [missed location] tonight, and I know he feels terrible. But I felt pretty good when he came in. You kind of have to win those games."
• Neshek's scoreless streak ends in rough way
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cleaning up: With the two teams stuck in a tie game in the seventh, Freddy Galvis and Aaron Altherr opened the inning with consecutive singles. That brought up Tommy Joseph, who crushed a 412-foot homer off Noel Salas to give the Phillies a 6-3 lead. It would be short-lived.
"It's one of those things, you have a three-run lead, you expect to win ballgames," Joseph said. "Any good team should expect to win ballgames."
Sparking the rally: The Mets planted the seeds of their go-ahead rally long before Cabrera came to the plate in the seventh. T.J. Rivera opened things with a leadoff homer against Hellickson, leading to the starting pitcher's departure two batters later. Mackanin turned from there to Neshek, who allowed back-to-back doubles to the first batters he faced.
"It's going to happen. Yeah, just put it behind you." -- Neshek, on his 18-inning scoreless streak being snapped in the seventh. He had allowed just two runs in 31 2/3 innings this season before allowing three runs against the Mets
"I want a job as a meteorologist in this town. They're wrong a lot." -- Collins, upset that umpires delayed the game with two outs in the eighth, which forced him to use Reed for four outs
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Duda's home run was the 122nd of his career, tying him for eighth on the Mets' all-time list with Kevin McReynolds. Next up is Todd Hundley, who finished his Mets career with 124.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Phillies were already walking off the field when Collins challenged second-base umpire Quinn Wolcott's call of a Curtis Granderson caught stealing in the first. The crew confirmed the call via replay review, dropping Collins to 13-7 on challenges this season.
Phillies: Rookie right-hander Nick Pivetta (1-4, 5.40 ERA) pitches Sunday's 1:10 p.m. ET series finale against the Mets at Citi Field. Following two starts in which he allowed just three runs in 13 innings against the Red Sox and Cardinals, he allowed six runs in just 2 2/3 innings in his last start against the D-backs.
Mets: Seeking a sweep, the Mets will send right-hander Rafael Montero (1-4, 5.63 ERA) to the mound for Sunday's series finale against the Phillies. Entering the rotation in place of injured teammate Robert Gsellman, Montero is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his past three outings.
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