NEW YORK (AP) Mets starter Dillon Gee called it the hottest game he’s pitched in all year. And on a muggy afternoon at Citi Field, a boost from the bench was just what New York needed to cool off the Phillies.
Anthony Recker snapped a sixth-inning tie with a three-run homer in a rare start, and the Mets held off Philadelphia 6-5 Sunday to avoid dropping into last place.
”Anytime you get a chance to play, you just want to contribute,” Recker said. ”We’ve got a few guys on the bench that haven’t been seeing a lot of time, so when we get our chance we really want to be able to do our part.”
Wilmer Flores had three hits and made two sparkling defensive plays at shortstop in the final two innings to help New York hang on. By taking two of three in the series, the Mets kept Philadelphia in the NL East cellar.
Gee (6-6) pitched effectively into the seventh inning, and New York finished 13-6 against the Phillies this season.
Domonic Brown homered and had a career-high four hits for Philadelphia, which had won seven of nine. He grounded out with a runner on to end it.
Ryan Howard also went deep for the Phillies.
Recker, a backup catcher who had not played since Aug. 19 in Oakland, lined the first pitch he saw from A.J. Burnett in the sixth into the left-field seats to give the Mets a 5-2 lead. The home run was only his third hit since the All-Star break.
”That’s how you win games, period,” New York manager Terry Collins said about the contributions from Recker and reserve outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, among others. ”It just makes a huge difference and it takes a lot of heat off the guys who every day get worn down. Once in a while fresh blood in the lineup can lift you up. Today it did.”
Burnett (7-15), who has struggled mightily this season against the team that drafted him, looked sharp early on but ended up allowing five runs and nine hits over six inconsistent innings.
Gee dodged trouble all afternoon, stranding a runner at third three times against a club that’s hit him hard most of his career.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Wil Nieves grounded into a double play started by Flores. Ben Revere was left at third when Jimmy Rollins struck out in the fifth. And in the sixth, Gee struck out Nieves with runners at the corners before Cody Asche flied out to deep right-center.
”That’s what Dillon Gee does. He hangs in there,” Collins said. ”He keeps you in the game.”
Brown drove Jeurys Familia’s third pitch just over the left-center fence leading off the eighth to pull the Phillies to 5-4.
Mets rookie Dilson Herrera, who made his major league debut Friday night, added an important insurance run in the bottom half with his first career RBI, driving in Nieuwenhuis with a single.
Philadelphia put its first two hitters on in the ninth before Herrera and Flores turned a tough double play against Howard. Grady Sizemore had an RBI single, then Jenrry Mejia retired Brown for his 21st save.
Flores also helped Familia with a diving play on Revere’s hard-hit grounder to end the eighth.
Howard hit a solo shot in the sixth, reaching 20 home runs for the eighth time and first since 2011. He has seven career homers against Gee.
Herrera, who got his first major league hit Saturday night, said he plans to send the souvenir ball to his parents. ”I’m going to send it to my mom and dad because I’m really happy for them,” he said through a translator. ”It’s a pleasure to give them the ball.”
HALL OF FAME COMPANY
Rollins’ RBI single in the seventh gave him 657 multihit games, tying Richie Ashburn for the franchise record. ”I had no idea. That’s cool, though,” the veteran shortstop said. ”I’ve heard a lot about Richie. To do that is another cool feat along the way.”
Phillies: OF-1B John Mayberry Jr. (left wrist inflammation) arrived in the clubhouse a few hours before the game. He was scheduled to fly with the team to Atlanta afterward, and was expected to be activated from the disabled list for Monday’s game against the Braves. But on Sunday night, the Phillies traded Mayberry to Toronto for minor league infielder Gustavo Pierre.
Mets: LHP Josh Edgin (elbow) is still experiencing significant soreness and will see a doctor again this week, according to Collins. … RF Curtis Granderson was not in the lineup after going 0 for 4 Saturday on his bobblehead night and striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh. Collins said he thought it was an ideal opportunity to give Granderson a rest.
Phillies: LHP Cole Hamels (7-6, 2.59 ERA) faces 13-game winner Julio Teheran on Monday afternoon in Atlanta.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (9-9, 3.44) is on the mound Monday for the opener of a three-game series at third-place Miami. Wheeler is 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins. He had his six-game winning streak snapped Wednesday by Atlanta despite his 19th quality start of the season.