Bourjos lifts Phillies to win over Mets in 11th

April 21st, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- Once the Phillies managed to stop the Mets' home run barrage on Wednesday, all they needed was a well-placed hit. Peter Bourjos obliged with a walk-off infield single in the 11th inning at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night, leading Philadelphia to a 5-4 win to avoid a series sweep.

"You want a winning record at home and play .500 on the road," manager Pete Mackanin said. "But we're happy to go 5-5 on this homestand. It's great to salvage a win from these guys, as well as they've been swinging the bats."

Bottoms up: Bourjos lifts Phils in No. 9 spot

The Phillies began their winning rally when Freddy Galvis doubled sharply to right field with one out. Mets reliever Hansel Robles intentionally walked the next batter, advanced both runners on a wild pitch, then got pinch-hitter Emmanuel Burriss to fly out. But Bourjos, batting ninth in the lineup, followed with a soft grounder that handcuffed David Wright at third base, forcing him to throw off his back leg. Bourjos beat the throw to first base with relative ease, allowing the winning run to score.

"He's one of the fastest guys in the game, so I knew just catch and release," said Wright, who just missed catching a foul pop on the first pitch of Bourjos' at-bat. "I was able to make a good throw, just not nearly in time."

Mets lament game of inches in missed sweep

It was enough to upend the Mets, who for much of the night seemed bent on keeping Citizens Bank Park their home away from home. Twenty-eight of the Mets' 37 runs this series came via the homer, and Wednesday's finale was not much different. Consecutive fifth-inning long balls from Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda gave the Mets a temporary lead against Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson, who received a no-decision.

So did Mets counterpart Bartolo Colon, who was in line to pass Pedro Martinez with his 220th career win before Bourjos laced an RBI single off Addison Reed in the seventh, tying the game and ultimately sending it to extra innings. The Phillies had done their earlier damage off Colon on Galvis' two-run homer and a David Lough sacrifice fly.

"You get a little greedy, you win the first two you want to win the third," Wright said. "But series wins, that's the name of the game. At least we can take that out of here."


Back-to-back, back-to-back-to-back: For the third straight game, Duda hit consecutive homers with one of his teammates. This time, it was Cespedes, whose solo shot with one out in the fifth inning tied things at 3, moments after the Mets fell behind for the first time in 31 innings. The next batter, Duda, launched a 400-foot shot on a high arc to right field, giving the Mets a lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history the Mets hit back-to-back homers in three consecutive games.

Bullpen keeps Mets at bay: After Hellickson was lifted with one out in the fifth inning, Hector Neris took over and proceeded to throw a career-high 2 2/3 scoreless innings in long relief, striking out six. Neris has been the most reliable arm in the Phillies' bullpen, having yet to allow a run in eight appearances this season. 

"From his last two outings in the spring, [Neris] started showing real good command and poise," Mackanin said. "Even through the early part of this season, he's been doing that every time. The numbers speak for themselves."

Those numbers? Neris has struck out 15 while walking only two. He's inherited five runners and stranded them all.

The rest of the Phillies' bullpen got the job done, too, totaling 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run and striking out 11.

"They were executing pitches," Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud said. "Not only their fastballs, but their offspeed. You've just got to tip your cap and move on."

Immediate impact: Lough has played in all three games since being recalled on Monday, and has at least one hit in all three. He went 2-for-3 with a single, double and sacrifice fly on Wednesday, providing Philadelphia with a much-needed offensive spark. His sac fly briefly gave the Phillies their first lead of the series, and he also scored his first run.

"People think it's a huge difference between Triple-A and the big leagues," Lough said. "It's really not. ... It's just about getting comfortable down there, then coming up here and trying to help the team win."


"The chances of getting him out on that play are pretty impossible." -- Wright, on Bourjos' game-winning infield hit


• Dating back to Aug. 24, the Mets have hit as many home runs (29) as the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The only catch? They've done it in 23 fewer games.

• Wednesday marked the first time since June 1, 1979, that the Phillies had anyone but a pitcher bat ninth in the starting lineup, playing in a National League stadium. The last position player to do so was shortstop Bud Harrelson, who went 1-for-3, with Steve Carlton batting eighth.


In the second inning, Asdrubal Cabrera launched what was initially ruled to be a three-run home run and the Mets' seventh homer in two games. But a crew chief review overturned the call, citing fan interference and sending Cabrera to second with an RBI ground-rule double and Neil Walker back to third. Walker wound up scoring on a wild pitch, but the Mets stranded Cabrera on third base.


Mets: After an off-day in Atlanta, the Mets will open a three-game series Friday against the Braves behind struggling ace Matt Harvey. The right-hander, who is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA through three starts, has spent all week working on a mechanical tweak that the Mets feel will help him when he opposes Bud Norris in a 7:35 p.m. ET game at Turner Field.

Phillies: Philadelphia gets its first day off since April 5, the day after Opening Day in Cincinnati, on Thursday before beginning a three-game weekend set in Milwaukee on Friday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Aaron Nola will pitch, looking to get back on track after allowing seven runs in five innings to the Nationals on Saturday.

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