Conforto’s 9th-inning HR lifts Mets over Neris, Phils 3-1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Michael Conforto crushed a splitter from Hector Neris and watched it drift just wide of the foul pole.
”It’s like getting punched in the stomach a little bit,” Conforto said. ”But you’re still in the at-bat, so you take a deep breath. I saw one (pitch) and then got a fastball in the middle of the plate.”
”I think we needed that feeling,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
It was only the Mets’ second win in 10 games. And it came in improbable fashion in their first game since an embarrassing gaffe in Wednesday’s loss to Cincinnati in which they batted out of order, squashing a first-inning rally.
”I was surprised when the sun came up,” Callaway said before the game.
Callaway said he told the players he ”messed up, big time,” held a pregame meeting with the coaches and staff and tinkered the pregame procedures.
”The thing you try to do now is make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said.
For eight innings it looked like not much would change for the Mets. Phillies starter Jake Arrieta allowed five hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings and they led 1-0 until Neris allowed a one-out single, Conforto’s third homer and a homer to Devin Mesoraco on the next pitch.
It was the second blown save for Neris (1-3) in six days, both costing Arrieta a victory.
”We just drink a beer, talk about it and move forward,” Arrieta said.
Neris, booed loudly by the home crowd, left the park without talking to reporters.
Odubel Herrera extended his on-base streak to 40 games with a first-inning home run for the Phillies, who had won four straight.
Jeurys Familia (2-1) worked a perfect ninth for the Mets, who had scored two or fewer runs in seven of their previous nine games.
Herrera, who went 2 for 3 and is hitting .360, pulled a curveball to right off Steven Matz to move into a tie with Willie Montanez for the seventh-longest on-base streak in Phillies history. Mike Schmidt holds the record (56 in 1981-82).
But the Phillies fell to 7-14 against NL East opponents. They’re 15-2 against the rest of the majors.
Arrieta struck out Adrian Gonzalez with two on to end the third, and was effective in holding the Mets to mostly weak contact while striking out five.
Arrieta worked around a leadoff walk and hit in the seventh, picking off Jose Reyes at first to end the threat. He was lifted after retiring pinch-hitter Juan Lagares to lead off the eighth on his 101st pitch.
Matz allowed five hits and four walks in five innings.
”He didn’t have anything tonight. He was up the whole game, but he stayed focused,” Callaway said. ”He didn’t let things unravel and he kept us in the ballgame.”
Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes (right quadriceps) was in the lineup but only at 85 percent, according to Callaway. . OF Jay Bruce (paternity leave) will miss the series. 1B Dominic Smith, who said he’s dropped 35 pounds since last season, was recalled from Triple-A Last Vegas. . RHP Hansel Robles (right knee) was placed on the 10-day DL even though an MRI was negative. . C Kevin Plawecki (broken left hand) left for Florida to continue his rehab. . Ricco said the Mets are projecting a July return for INF T.J. Rivera from Tommy John surgery.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (back) is scheduled to throw three innings in a minor league rehab start Monday. . RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (forearm) will throw 2 1/3 innings for Class A Clearwater on Saturday.
The Mets recalled LHP Buddy Baumann from Triple-A to replace Robles. But after staying for batting practice, he returned to the hotel to serve a suspension for something he did with his former team, San Diego.
”A weird situation,” he said.
Baumann was suspended one game for his role in the Padres-Rockies brawl on April 11. He was immediately sent to the minors, then waived and claimed by the Mets, so this was the first chance to sit out.
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 3.09 ERA) starts Saturday night against Phillies RHP Zach Eflin (1-0, 0.71).
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