Bruce, Gsellman move Mets closer to playoff spot, beat Phils

New York Mets' Jay Bruce, left, hits an RBI single off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Alec Asher during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Philadelphia. At right is catcher Cameron Rupp. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jay Bruce homered for the third straight game and drove in three runs, Robert Gsellman threw six sharp innings and the New York Mets moved closer to securing a wild-card berth with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

The defending NL champions reduced their magic number to one. The Mets began the night atop the wild-card race, with San Francisco one game back and St. Louis two behind.

Gsellman (4-2) scattered seven hits and struck out seven in another strong performance. The rookie right-hander has allowed only three earned runs in his last four starts.

More Mets fans were inside a half-empty ballpark on a wet, chilly night when Ryan Howard began his final series in front of the home crowd. The blue-and-orange faithful screamed ''Let's Go Mets'' and their ''Bruuuuuce'' chants drowned out boos from Phillies fans.

Philadelphia starter Alec Asher (2-1) retired the first 11 batters before he ran into trouble.