The offense provided the run support while Dillon Gee battled through six-plus innings of work Sunday in a 6-5 rubber game win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Anthony Recker hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to left center off of A.J. Burnett, his fifth of the season, giving New York a 5-2 lead. Of Recker’s 12 career homers, nine have either tied the game or given the Mets the lead including four of five this season.
The Mets got on the board in the previous inning due to some two-out hitting from the top of the order. Matt den Dekker roped a double down the right field line, scoring Juan Lagares who reached on a ground ball single. Lagares stole second to put himself in scoring position to spark the rally, his sixth of the season. Terry Collins said he wants Lagares to become more of a threat on the basepaths.
“It’s got to become part of his game, he’s got foot speed,” Collins said. “We’ve got to get him to be aggressive. If you’re going to be a good base-stealer, you can’t worried about getting thrown out. What you’ve got to worry about is getting a good lead and trying to get a good jump. If you do those two things, you’re going to be safe the majority of the time.
David Wright followed den Dekker with a liner up the middle, notching his first RBI in 14 games. Wright finished the night 2-for-4, his first multi-hit game since August 13 vs. the Washington Nationals.
Dillon Gee picked up his sixth win on the season, surrendering three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. Gee was pulled after walking Freddy Galvis on four pitches to start the seventh inning. Collins was pleased to see Gee remain tough against a team that traditionally has given him trouble.
“That’s what Dillon Gee does, he hangs in there and keeps you in the game,” Collins said. “He got us deep in the game, which with the way our bullpen is at the moment, we needed that.”
The Phillies threatened in the ninth with runners on first and second with nobody out and Howard at the plate. Howard hit a sharp ground ball to Herrera, playing back, who along with Flores, completed a head-turning 4-6-3 double play. Rollins would score on a base hit by Grady Sizemore to make it a one-run game. Mejia got Domonic Brown, who blasted a solo-homer in the previous inning, on a ground ball to short to close out the series and improve the Mets record to 64-73 on the season.
Ryan Howard ripped a 2-2 hanger just inside the right field foul pole in the sixth inning to even the game at two. The solo shot was Howard’s 20th home run of the season, the eighth time the 34-year-old has done so in his career but the first since 2011.