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PHILADELPHIA — Francisco Lindor might not be hitting, but the rest of this Mets lineup is starting to show signs of life.
The most welcomed additions are Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil, who spent most of this season’s first month in pronounced slumps. Dominic Smith’s recent downturn also appears over.
Sunday night it came together for the Mets in the form of a six-run eighth inning that propelled a wild 8-7 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets (11-11) won their second straight and their scoring total matched a season’s best. It gave the Mets consecutive games of scoring at least five runs for the first time this season.
Somehow, the Mets survived the ninth. Rhys Hoskins appeared to hit a game-tying homer off Edwin Diaz with two outs, but the call was overturned by a crew chief’s review. Hoskins was awarded a two-run double, and Jeurys Familia entered to strike out Bryce Harper, ending it. Diaz allowed three earned runs on two walks and two hits in his first real meltdown of the season.
In a huge eighth inning, the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate and savaged the Phillies bullpen, including Jose Alvarado — who earlier in the day was suspended three games (he is appealing) for his role in inciting the benches to empty Friday night.
Pete Alonso delivered the big hit in the eighth, a three-run double, after the Mets had rallied to take the lead. Kevin Pillar homered leading off the inning and Jonathan Villar’s alert base-running contributed to another run. On the play, pinch-hitter Jose Peraza singled off Hoskins’ glove, with the ball deflecting behind him. Villar had initially stopped at third, but with the Phillies not paying attention he broke to the plate to tie it 4-4. Conforto later walked — his fourth time reaching base in the game — to force in the go-ahead run before Alonso’s double to right-center provided a cushion. Roman Quinn stroked an RBI triple against Edwin Diaz in the ninth on a night the Mets bullpen allowed four runs, three of which were earned.
Lindor went 0-for-5 and saw his average drop to .171. Lindor, who remains tethered to the No. 2 hole in the lineup, has one homer and three RBIs. In his biggest at-bat of the night he was retired by Zach Eflin with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning.
Miguel Castro surrendered a three-run homer to Didi Gregorius in the sixth inning to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The blast ended a 19-inning scoreless streak by Mets relievers.
David Peterson gave the Mets a chance by allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts, over five innings. It was a second straight solid start for the left-hander, who allowed two earned runs over six innings against the Red Sox last week.
The Mets took a 2-1 lead in the sixth following Smith’s second double of the game. Pillar singled and James McCann’s fielder’s choice brought in the run. But the Mets missed an opportunity to extend that lead as Lindor was retired for the final out with the bases loaded.
Conforto’s RBI single in the third had tied it 1-1. It continued a solid weekend for Conforto, who blasted a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning a day earlier, after lining a two-run double against Zack Wheeler.
Andrew McCutchen launched Peterson’s third pitch of the game for a leadoff homer, but the Mets escaped further damage in the inning with help from McNeil’s glove, after Hoskins had walked and Bryce Harper singled.
Alex Bohm hit a shot toward the middle that McNeil managed to knock down and flip to Lindor to start an inning-ending double play. McNeil’s quick reflexes saved at least one run and perhaps an even messier extended inning.
Smith doubled leading off the second and was thrown out by Quinn attempting to score on Pillar’s single.
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