BOWIE 6, BINGHAMTON 2: Amed Rosario went 3-for-4 and drove in both runs as the B-Mets (61-71) clinched their first losing season since 2012. Binghamton starter Ricky Knapp (4-1) allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings. Rosario pulled the B-Mets within 3-2 in the top of the eighth with a run-scoring triple, but he was subsequently thrown out at the plate while attempting to score on a chopper to third base. Bowie answered in the bottom half as Chance Sisco blasted a solo homer and Henry Urrutia had a two-run shot against Paul Paez. Box

ST. LUCIE 3, PALM BEACH 0; PALM BEACH 8, ST. LUCIE 3: David Thompson lifted St. Lucie to a walk-off win with a three-run homer on his 23rd birthday in the resumption of a suspended game. The game had been scoreless when it was halted in the bottom of the eighth on Saturday. With a chance to move into first place in the division, the Mets then took a 3-2 lead into the seventh of the regularly scheduled game when things unraveled. Casey Delgado got ahead of No. 9 hitter Jose Fernandez but couldn’t put the .175 hitter away and instead walked him. Later in the frame, with two outs and two in scoring position, Delgado surrendered a go-ahead two-run single to Cole Lankford. Three more runs, including one inherited baserunner, scored after Tyler Bashlor replaced Delgado. The Mets now enter the season's final week a half-game behind Jupiter for first place in the FSL South Division. The teams face each other in the final four games. Box 1, Box 2

COLUMBIA 8, KANNAPOLIS 6: The Fireflies overcame a 5-0 deficit with a six-run sixth that included a three-run double by Patrick Mazeika. With the score then tied at 6 in the eighth, Dash Winningham delivered a tiebreaking two-run double that plated Mazeika and Eudor Garcia. Mazeika finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. Garcia was 3-for-5. Box

KINGSPORT 5, DANVILLE 4: Reed Gamache had a tiebreaking RBI single in the third, and the K-Mets took a 5-2 lead the following frame when Gamache again drove in a run with a single. Danville scored twice in the sixth against Trent Johnson to pull within a run, but Darwin Ramos earned his first save by holding the Braves off the scoreboard over the final two innings. Box

BROOKLYN 2, WILLIAMSPORT 1: Hengelbert Rojas walked with the bases loaded to force in the tying run and Arnaldo Berrios delivered a tiebreaking RBI single later in the seventh. Desmond Lindsay and hitting coach Sean Ratliff were ejected after a called third strike in the eighth. Box

GCL METS 8, GCL NATIONALS 6: Miguel Patino went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Oliver Pascual scored three times. Box

Compiled with team reports

Ailing Mets fall back to uncertain reality

August, 28, 2016
Aug 28
7:51
PM ET

NEW YORK -- The days of uncertainty seemed to be vanishing in the New York Mets' rearview mirror over the past week. Injury issues that had been a drag on the team all season were beginning to clear, and the club reeled off six wins in seven games. It had the feel of another run to the postseason.

Then came Sunday and a sobering reality: Uncertainty will stay with the Mets for their final 32 games.

New York Mets' Asdrubal CabreraAP Photo/Frank Franklin IIStarting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had to leave the game in the first inning after he re-aggravated a left knee injury.

The team's two most reliable hitters, Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker, were unable to start the game. In the first inning of the 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies before 32,033 at Citi Field, the Mets' third-most reliable hitter, starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, came out of the game after aggravating a left knee injury.

Manager Terry Collins will wake up every morning for the final five weeks of the regular season not knowing who will be in his starting lineup. Cespedes is trying to play through a right quadriceps strain. Walker is trying to play with a back issue. Cabrera has tendinitis in his knee.

“It’s been an interesting year and frustrating at times, so it’s just day-by-day right now. Guys come in here, and you see who’s good to go and who’s not,” Walker said. “Hopefully it all goes well with everyone who’s banged up and we can throw a good lineup out there.”

Cabrera came off the disable list Aug. 19 and hit .438 with nine RBIs in the eight games before Sunday. He bunted for a hit in the first inning but was in a collision with Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph. He came away from the contact holding his wrist. He remained in the game, but something had aggravated the knee. When Collins and his staff saw him run unnaturally to second base on a Kelly Johnson single, they took him out.

“But with the way all of a sudden we’ve played here in these last four or five days, this took a little air out of the balloon in that first inning tonight,” Collins said.

The Mets got three more runners into scoring position and stranded them all. Rookie righty Robert Gsellman threw six impressive innings of one-run ball, then gave up three hits to start the seventh. The Mets bullpen allowed all three to score in a four-run Philadelphia rally.

The Mets remain 2 1/2 games out for the second National League wild card, and they missed a chance to gain ground on Sunday, with the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins losing.

The moment is calling for Jay Bruce, the Mets’ big trade-deadline acquisition, to rise to the occasion, but Bruce has yet to play like the run producer he was in Cincinnati.

Bruce went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts on Sunday. In 23 games since the trade, he is batting .165 with six RBIs and 26 strikeouts. He had 25 home runs and 80 RBIs in 97 games with the Reds before he was traded. The Mets are still searching for an answer as to why he has struggled.

“We got him for a reason, and we’ve got to somehow get him to settle in and do some damage for us because that’s a big spot,” Collins said. “When you don’t have [Cespedes] ... you need production. I think he’s adding a little extra heat on himself."

The news of the day was not all bad, however. Starter Steven Matz threw a bullpen session, and the sore shoulder that has sidelined him felt better. He will throw another session before starting Thursday in the finale of a key four-game series against Miami in New York.

Collins said that Cabrera responded to ice after coming out of the game, and they will know more on Monday. Cespedes expects to play Monday, while Walker was optimistic that his recurring back discomfort will clear with treatment and exercise.video

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

August, 28, 2016
Aug 28
6:30
PM ET

NEW YORK METS (66-64, third place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (67-63, second place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-0, 11.57) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.91), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Seth Lugo (1-2, 2.51) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (9-9, 3.85), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (12-7, 3.44) vs. RHP David Phelps (7-6, 2.52), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Steven Matz (9-8, 3.40) vs. RHP Jose Urena (2-5, 5.83), 7:10 p.m. ET

MARLINS SHORT HOPS

  • Sluggers Giancarlo Stanton (25 homers in 381 at-bats) and Justin Bour (15 homers in 213 at-bats) are on the disabled list. Stanton, who landed on the DL on Aug. 14, may be unable to return during the regular season because of a groin strain. Bour has been on the DL since July 6 with a high-ankle sprain.
  • Dee Gordon returned July 28 after serving an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He is hitting .287 (31-for-108) with nine steals in 28 games since his activation from the restricted list.
  • The Marlins acquired ex-Met Jeff Francoeur from the Atlanta Braves in a three-team trade last Wednesday that also involved the Texas Rangers.
  • Ichiro Suzuki has 3,009 career major-league hits. His next hit will match Wade Boggs for 27th all time. Ichiro recorded his 3,000th hit with a seventh-inning triple against Chris Rusin on Aug. 7 at Colorado. He has 4,287 hits between MLB and Japan -- unofficially more than Pete Rose (4,256).
  • Fernandez is 10-2 with a 1.91 ERA at Marlins Park and 3-5 with a 4.42 ERA on the road this season. He is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts against the Mets in 2016.
  • Closer A.J. Ramos, an All-Star selection, returned from the disabled list on Aug. 21 after being sidelined with a hairline fracture of his right middle finger.
  • Phelps stepped back into the rotation on Aug. 5 after working out of the bullpen during the opening four months of the season. The Marlins needed his services in the rotation with Wei-Yin Chen sidelined since July 20 and a trade for San Diego’s Colin Rea undone because of an elbow issue.
  • The Marlins have played in 20 straight games decided by three runs or fewer. That’s the longest streak in franchise history as well as the longest streak in the majors this season.

METS SHORT HOPS

  • Montero will be promoted from Double-A Binghamton for a spot start on Monday. Citing fatigue, the Mets decided to skip Jacob deGrom’s turn after he allowed a combined 13 runs and 25 hits in 9 2/3 innings over his last two starts. Montero had a 7.20 ERA and 40 walks in 80 innings with Triple-A Las Vegas this season. He then had a 1.70 ERA in eight Eastern League starts after a demotion to the B-Mets. Montero tossed seven scoreless innings against Hartford last Monday in his final outing with Binghamton.
  • The Mets have more injury issues. Asdrubal Cabrera departed Sunday’s game in the first inning after a first-base collision resulted in discomfort in the left knee. He recently had been sidelined for three weeks with a strained patellar tendon in that knee. Cabrera will be further evaluated Monday. Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes (quadriceps) and Neil Walker (back) sat out the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies with flare-ups of recent injury woes.
  • Matz is now penciled in to return from the disabled list for Thursday’s start, which coincides with the Sept. 1 roster expansion. Matz has been on the disabled list with a mild shoulder strain. He reported no discomfort after throwing a bullpen session to test the shoulder on Sunday at Citi Field.
  • Jay Bruce is hitting .165 (14-for-85) with 26 strikeouts since joining the Mets.

Asdrubal Cabrera leaves game with sore left knee

August, 28, 2016
Aug 28
2:23
PM ET
video

NEW YORK -- Fueled by the hot bats of Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker, the Mets have made a drive back into the thick of the postseason race. But on Sunday, before the end of the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, all three had gone down to injury.

Manager Terry Collins said before the game that Cespedes has a tight quadriceps, Walker has a stiff back and both would be out of the lineup for the contest. Cabrera left the game in the bottom of the first inning with a sore left knee.

All three players have been bothered by these same injuries this season.

Cabrera, the starting shortstop hitting second in the order, bunted for a one-out hit but collided with Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph and came away holding his left wrist. After being checked out by the team trainer, Cabrera remained in the game. He moved to second on Kelly Johnson's single to right but was moving gingerly. He was later removed from the game for what the team called "a sore left knee."

Cabrera missed time with a left knee injury earlier this month and returned from the disabled list Aug. 19. He has thrived at the plate in nine games since, batting .455 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs.

Cespedes was out earlier this month with his quadriceps injury. He also came off the DL and began a run of torrid hitting. In eight games since his return, he has batted .355 with 4 home runs and 8 RBIs.


(Read full post)


video

Jemele Hill has no issues with Darryl Strawberry publicly expressing his concerns about Dwight Gooden's drug use because Strawberry was doing what good friends do.

NEW YORK -- And now the New York Mets turn to a rookie to try to keep things rolling.

Robert Gsellman makes his first major league start as the Mets try to complete a weekend sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Gsellman, who debuted with 3⅔ scoreless innings in relief of Jonathon Niese on Tuesday at Busch Stadium, opposes right-hander Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA).

Gsellman’s outing begins an interesting stretch of starting pitching for the Mets. Rafael Montero will fill in for skipped Jacob deGrom against the Miami Marlins on Monday, followed by Seth Lugo on Tuesday and potentially Steven Matz in his first start off the disabled list on Wednesday.

Robert GsellmanAP Photo/Billy HurstMets rookie Robert Gsellman gets the call for his first big league start Sunday.

Matz is due to throw off a mound Sunday for the first time since landing on the DL with shoulder discomfort.

Montero had a 7.20 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, but then posted a 1.70 ERA in eight starts after a demotion to Double-A Binghamton.

“Even though it’s Double-A, that’s still a good league,” Terry Collins said.

The Mets (66-63) have won six of their last seven games. They are now three games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 7. They moved to within 2½ games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

The Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates both trail St. Louis by 1½ games.

SUNDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Noah Syndergaard allowed one run and two hits in seven innings and Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Neil Walker homered as the Mets beat the Phillies 12-1 on Saturday. The Mets now have 87 homers at Citi Field this season, -- a franchise record at the stadium, which opened in 2009. Walker’s 23rd homer of the season, a solo shot in the eighth, matched his career high. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com.
  • Justin Ruggiano landed on the disabled list before Saturday’s game with a left-shoulder injury. T.J Rivera returned from Triple-A Las Vegas. Rivera did take some pregame fly balls in center field, but Ruggiano’s return to the DL again leaves the Mets with no bona fide righty-hitting center fielder.
  • Gabriel Ynoa tossed eight scoreless innings and Gavin Cecchini went 5-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored in Las Vegas' 9-0 win against Salt Lake. Subbing for a scratched Montero, spot starter Logan Taylor allowed two runs in 2⅔ innings in Binghamton’s 5-0 loss to Bowie. Ben Griset, Domingo Tapia and Robby Coles combined for eight scoreless innings in a game against Palm Beach that was suspended in the eighth. Patrick Mazeika, Eudor Garcia and Tucker Tharp had run-scoring extra-base hits in a seven-run third and Columbia beat Kannapolis 10-6. Joel Huertas tossed five scoreless innings in Kingsport’s 2-0 loss to Danville. Read the full minor league recap here.
  • From the bloggers ... Mets Report still likes the Jay Bruce trade, even though he is struggling and sat out Saturday’s win.

BIRTHDAYS: Joel Youngblood turns 65. ... Mike Torrez is 70. ... David Thompson is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets thrive during this upcoming stretch with young starting pitchers?

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NEW YORK -- Dare it be said that the New York Mets look legit, or at least as legit as they’re going to look given their shortcomings and short-staffing.

A lot has to continue to go well and a lot has to break right for the Mets to return to the postseason (their current playoff odds: 21 percent). But on Saturday, things did, with a 12-1 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets gained a game on the St. Louis Cardinals and moved within 2 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot in the National League. Granted, the past two wins have come against the fast-fading Phillies, but the first four came against contenders -- the San Francisco Giants and Cardinals.

On Saturday, the Mets won with lightning bolts: a second straight strong start from Noah Syndergaard and (per the Elias Sports Bureau) the fourth game in club history to feature a solo homer, two-run homer, three-run homer and grand slam.

Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera continued what has looked like a Daniel Murphy hot streak with his third home run in two games. This one was a shot -- a two-run, opposite-field clout that cleared the fence in left-center by 35 feet.

Cabrera’s 16 homers match the second most he has had in a season in his career. His four opposite-field home runs are one more than he had from 2013-15 combined, though he shrugged that off as being an improved part of his approach.

“I’ve done it before,” Cabrera said.

Asdrubal CabreraESPN Stats & Information


Yoenis Cespedes did what he has done before, clocking a 420-foot homer to left for three runs in a manner resembling Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza. Mets manager Terry Collins joked about the internal competition on the team, noting that right before the homer, bench coach Dick Scott predicted Cespedes would not let his teammates get the better of him in this game.

It was also a similar type of home run to some of those that Cespedes hit in August and September 2015.

“I think the energy we have right now is taking us back to last season,” Cespedes said. “The desire, the motivation, the not giving up until the last out.”

Yoenis CespedesESPN Stats & Information


Kelly Johnson’s smash was of the tack-on variety, turning the game into a laugher. It was his fifth career grand slam, his first since the 2011 season, and the 10th pinch-hit grand slam in club history. Neil Walker’s was his 23rd of the season, matching his career high set in 2014.

Speaking of club history, the Mets now have 87 home runs at Citi Field, the most they’ve ever hit in a season there (one more than 2015). Remember when the ballpark was among the toughest in baseball to hit one out?

This marked the sixth time in team history (and second time this season) that they hit at least four home runs in consecutive games. The only other season with two such streaks was 2005.

Syndergaard matched his career low for hits allowed, yielding only two in seven innings. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin called it “typical Syndergaard” and for good reason -- he's 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four starts against the Phillies. His season ERA is 2.55, third best in the majors.

After some struggles earlier in the month, Syndergaard did some things that were Syndergaard-like, such as striking out Ryan Howard three times on pitches in three different spots.

Noah SyndergaardESPN Stats & Information



“He established his fastball early, and then he threw us a bunch of breaking balls later after we saw him,” Mackanin said. “He just put it to us.”

Phillies hitters were 0-for-11 with four strikeouts against Syndergaard’s fastball, the first start all season in which he held an opponent hitless with his fastball.

The breaking balls led to chases. Syndergaard threw 19 two-strike pitches out of the strike zone. The Phillies swung at 12 of them (including the ones from Howard above). His 63 percent two-strike chase rate also was a season high.

“My slider’s been more consistent the last two times around,” Syndergaard said. “Just getting back to repeating my delivery, getting good mechanics and trusting it like a fastball.”

Syndergaard also hit a double -- his sixth extra-base hit of the season (one shy of Tom Seaver’s 1972 record for most extra-base hits by a Mets pitcher) -- and ducked out of the way of a Cespedes foul ball, just before his home run. Collins joked that a few weeks ago, it would have hit Syndergaard in the back.

But perhaps a reminder of where things are for the Mets and how things differ from 2015: In the next three games, they’ll start Robert Gsellman, Rafael Montero and Seth Lugo -- three pitchers who have combined for 11 major league starts.

Montero, a forgotten man after a forgettable series of stints with the Mets, has rediscovered success at Double-A Binghamton, to an extent. He has a 1.70 ERA in eight starts, though he has walked 19 in 47 2/3 innings pitched (3.6 per nine innings).

“He’s had two real, real good starts and an ERA sub-2.00,” Collins said. “In order to have that kind of ERA, you’ve got to be pitching pretty well.”

Given that Jose Fernandez will be Montero’s mound opponent this Monday, that will be a pretty good test to see if Montero is, dare we say it, looking legit.video

LAS VEGAS 9, SALT LAKE 0: Gabriel Ynoa tossed eight scoreless innings and combined with Erik Goeddel on the shutout. Gavin Cecchini went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Box

BOWIE 5, BINGHAMTON 0: Filling in for scratched Rafael Montero, B-Mets spot starter Logan Taylor surrendered a two-run homer to Glynn Davis in the second inning that opened the scoring. Bowie stretched its lead with a three-run fifth against relievers Alberto Baldonado and Luis Mateo. Bowie starter David Hess (5-12) snapped a six-game winless streak by tossing six scoreless innings. Maikis De La Cruz struck out to leave the bases loaded in the second. He fanned again in the fourth to leave two more aboard. Rehabbing Brian Duensing tossed two scoreless relief innings for Bowie. Taylor (4-2) surrendered two runs on four hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings. Montero now officially is listed as Binghamton's starter on Sunday. The B-Mets are 0-for-their-last-21 with runners in scoring position. Box

PALM BEACH 0, ST. LUCIE 0 (suspended): The game was suspended due to unplayable field conditions in the middle of the eighth inning. It will resume Sunday, followed by the regularly scheduled game. The Mets mustered only two singles against Cardinals starter Junior Fernandez. The 19-year-old Dominican retired 13 straight batters to complete his outing. The Mets had runners on the corners with one out in the second but Luis Guillorme lined out and Michael Katz struck out. Palm Beach appeared to take the lead in the seventh. With runners on the corners and one out, Danny Diekroeger grounded to Jonathan Johnson, who flipped to Guillorme at second base for the second out. Guillorme was unable to get a throw off to first base to complete the double play because Thomas Spitz slid into him. That initially allowed a run to score from third base, but the umpires convened and ruled that Spitz slid past the second-base bag and interfered with Guillorme and the run was taken off the board. Ben Griset, Domingo Tapia and Robby Coles combined for eight scoreless innings for St. Lucie. Box

COLUMBIA 10, KANNAPOLIS 6: Patrick Mazeika, Eudor Garcia and Tucker Tharp all had run-scoring extra-base hits in a seven-run third inning as the Fireflies took a 9-1 lead. Johnny Magliozzi contributed 2 2/3 scoreless relief innings. Starter Chase Ingram allowed six runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings. Box

DANVILLE 2, KINGSPORT 0: K-Mets starter Joel Huertas tossed five scoreless innings, but Connor Buchmann surrendered a pair of runs in relief. Dionis Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a walk in the loss. Box

WILLIAMSPORT 8, BROOKLYN 2: Cyclones starter Gabriel Llanes allowed six runs (four earned) on 10 hits in six innings. Gene Cone went 2-for-4 and scored both of Brooklyn's runs. Box

GCL METS at GCL MARLINS (ppd.)

Compiled with team reports

Jay Bruce not bummed out by brief benching

August, 27, 2016
Aug 27
5:48
PM ET

If you took one look at Jay Bruce coming off the field after New York Mets batting practice on Saturday, you would have never known he was hitting .160 since his acquisition from the Reds.

A day after going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts (his first four-strikeout game in nearly a year), Bruce was given a day off by Mets manager Terry Collins. The Mets went with Alejandro de Aza in center and Curtis Granderson in right with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson starting for the Phillies (against whom Bruce is 1-for-8). Bruce left a game earlier this week with a calf cramp, but Collins indicated the day off was for a mental rest rather than a physical one.

"I think it's human nature (to try to impress your new team)," said Collins. "I don't know one player who didn't instantly want to make an impact."

BruceESPN Stats & Information

Bruce's impact has been minimal. He has two home runs and six RBIs in 81 at-bats with the Mets. He was leading the NL with 80 RBIs when he was traded by the Reds.

Nonetheless, Bruce smiled and was affable throughout a chat with a couple of reporters in the Mets' dugout.

"It looks like I've been moving away from the plate," said Bruce, who arrived at the ballpark early for extra work. "So many small things like that happen. That's baseball. I don't think I forgot how to hit. I do a lot of my damage middle-away, and I've gotten away from that."

Bruce is accurate in that regard. He had 30 extra-base hits against the 947 outside pitches (defined as "outer-half of the plate or off the outside corner") he saw with the Reds (a rate of one for every 32 pitches seen). He has the two home runs and no other extra-base hits on the 236 outside pitches he has seen with the Mets.

Bruce heard boos after each of his strikeouts, but was not bothered. He has been through this sort of thing before.

"Everyone knows what kind of player I am," Bruce said.

If there was any sense of annoyance it was in his lack of performance, as he noted, no one is harder on him than he is.

"I'm frustrated that I haven't contributed," Bruce said. "I'm not frustrated by how people perceive me."

Morning Briefing: Happy Thor's Day!

August, 27, 2016
Aug 27
6:30
AM ET

NEW YORK -- Are things actually looking up for the New York Mets?

With a 9-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, the Mets (65-63) moved two games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 9. They remained 3 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61 ERA) opposes right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.

SATURDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera set the tone with consecutive homers to open the first and Bartolo Colon pitched effectively into the eighth inning in Friday’s series-opening win against the Phillies. It marked the second time in Mets history that the team’s opening two batters went deep. Reyes paired with Ruben Gotay to accomplish the feat on July 12, 2007, against Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo. Cabrera homered twice on Friday. Reyes again pulled even with Curtis Granderson for the franchise record for leadoff homers, with 18. Wilmer Flores had the big blast with a fifth-inning grand slam against left-hander Adam Morgan to open a five-run cushion. Colon held the Phillies hitless until Odubel Herrera’s one-out double in the fifth. Colon took a 9-1 lead into the eighth, when he ran out of gas and surrendered three runs without recording an out. Colon also had the second two-hit game of his career. The other came 14 years ago. With career win No. 230, Colon passed Luis Tiant (Cuba) for the third-most wins by a Latin American pitcher. Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua) ranks first with 245, followed by Juan Marichal (Dominican Republic) with 243. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.
  • Justin Ruggiano departed Friday’s game with left shoulder discomfort and will be seen by a doctor on Saturday.
  • Terry Collins expects to skip Jacob deGrom against the Miami Marlins on Monday, when his turn next arises. DeGrom has allowed 13 runs in 9 2/3 innings over his last two outings. There is no optimal answer to fill in for deGrom in the opener against another wild-card contender. Options would appear to include Sean Gilmartin, Gabriel Ynoa, Rafael Montero and Logan Verrett. Read more in the Post, Newsday and at MLB.com.
  • Steven Matz (shoulder) played catch on Friday and is planning to throw off a mound on Sunday. Although Matz is eligible to return from the disabled list on Tuesday, Collins appears to favor keeping Seth Lugo in the rotation to start that day and inserting Matz on Wednesday.
  • Neil Walker went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored Friday in his return from a three-day paternity leave. T.J. Rivera was dispatched back to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Record.
  • Jay Bruce returned to the lineup Friday after missing a start with calf tightness, but his struggles continued. Bruce struck out in all four of his plate appearances. He is now hitting .160 (13-for-81) with 23 strikeouts since joining the Mets.
  • Mike Puma in the Post advocates benching Curtis Granderson, who now regularly sits against left-handed pitching.
  • Mets farmhands Champ Stuart and Blake Taylor are scheduled to represent Great Britain, and Ty Kelly, Tyler Herron and Josh Zeid are due to represent Israel in a World Baseball Classic qualifier in Brooklyn from Sept. 22-25. Ex-Mets Ike Davis and Josh Satin also are scheduled to compete for Israel.
  • Syndergaard, a two-year-old colt, won the $200,000 Funny Side Stakes at Saratoga on Friday.
  • Paul Paez surrendered a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth as Bowie beat Binghamton, 3-1. Despite five scoreless innings from P.J. Conlon, St. Lucie lost the nightcap to split a doubleheader and fall a half-game behind Jupiter for the division lead. Harol Gonzalez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Ali Sanchez had an RBI single in Brooklyn’s 1-0 win against Williamsport. Read the full minor-league recap here.
  • From the bloggers … Mets Report weighs in on giving deGrom extra rest.

BIRTHDAYS: Mike Maddux turns 55. ... Brian McRae is 49. ... Colby Woodmansee is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY:


YOU’RE UP: Is skipping deGrom the right call?

NEW YORK -- If you were to apply the 1986 New York Mets team slogan, “Baseball Like It Oughta Be,” to the aspiring, banged-up, somehow-pasting-it-together-to-stay-in-contention 2016 Mets, the poster for that would be what the Mets did Friday: Come back refreshed after arriving in the wee hours from St. Louis and pound out four home runs in a 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.

The Mets now have won five of their past six games and scored at least nine runs in consecutive games for the first time this season.

Mets manager Terry Collins was concerned about the late arrival in New York, but the Mets basically did what they do when they play well: Hit the ball hard repeatedly, this time against a pitcher in Adam Morgan who had the highest hard-hit rate in the majors. Meanwhile, Mets starter Bartolo Colon earned a standing ovation for his shutdown work for much of the night.

Bartolo ColonJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesBartolo Colon went 2-for-3 with two runs scored on Friday and, oh yeah, pitched seven innings to lead the Mets past the Phillies.

The Mets remained 3½ games behind the Cardinals for the National League's second wild-card spot after St. Louis topped the Oakland Athletics. New York did not escape unscathed, however: Center fielder Justin Ruggiano left with a sore shoulder and will visit a doctor on Saturday morning. He joins a long list of injured Mets.

Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate in the same game for the first time in his career and made two excellent defensive plays.

Cabrera first showed quick reflexes on a ball sharply hit to his right by Maikel Franco in the fourth inning (worth noting: Baseball Info Solutions rated Cabrera as having the worst range rating on balls hit in the shortstop-third base hole entering the day).

In the eighth, Cabrera made a heads-up play when a slow grounder rolled under Jose Reyes' glove, racing to third base and, with a dive, tagging Aaron Altherr, who was trying to advance during a Phillies rally.

“He’s a pro,” Collins said of Cabrera, who is hitting .393 in seven games with a .750 slugging percentage since coming off the disabled list. “He plays the game the right way.”

For some Mets, it was a bit of a turn-back-the-clock night.

Wilmer Flores spun it back to 2015 with a big home run: his third career grand slam, which extended a 2-1 lead to 6-1. Flores continues to crush left-handed pitching. He is now hitting .344 with 10 home runs in 93 at-bats against southpaws.

Flores repeatedly went to the same thought postgame with regard to where this team is: “We gotta keep it going,” Flores said.

Reyes took it back to 2006-08, with a leadoff home run, a double and a leaping catch on a Ryan Howard line drive in the fourth inning. His 18 leadoff home runs tie Curtis Granderson for the franchise lead.

The home runs by Reyes and Cabrera to start the game marked the second time in team history that the Mets opened a game with back-to-back home runs. The other instance was on July 12, 2007, when Reyes and Ruben Gotay homered against the Cincinnati Reds. (Coincidentally, Gotay, now playing for the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks, homered a few minutes before Reyes on Friday.)

And of course, Colon turned back the clock, holding the Phillies hitless through 4⅓ innings (matching his longest no-hit bid of the season) -- and to one run and two hits through seven before faltering in the eighth. The highlight might have been his second-inning strikeout of Freddy Galvis on this pitch, a 91 mph fastball about a mile off the outside corner.

GalvisESPN Stats & Information

“All my pitches were working,” Colon said.

Colon became the third-winningest Latin-born pitcher, passing Luis Tiant, by recording his 230th career victory. Dennis Martinez (245) and Juan Marichal (243) rank Nos. 1 and 2.

Colon also had his second multihit game of his career, his first since 2002 while with the Montreal Expos. His double in the fifth inning was his second of the season, the first time he has ever hit two in a season.

“He hits the ball hard every time he hits it,” Flores said.

Colon gave the Mets hope they might not have to use their bullpen on Friday. After seven innings, pitching coach Dan Warthen questioned whether the 43-year-old righty had enough for another inning.

“I got two,” was the reply from Colon.

Alas, Colon could not finish.

“Bart’s not used to legging those hits out,” Collins said to much laughter. “Those hits might have taken some starch out of him.”

Colon did merit a huge ovation both upon taking and leaving the mound, one reminiscent of the kind the original "Like It Oughta Be" champion Mets used to hear. It brought him back to the earliest days of his career.

“It means a lot,” Colon said. “It took me back to my Cleveland days, when there was a sellout every time out. You feed off that energy.”

SALT LAKE at LAS VEGAS: Box

BOWIE 3, BINGHAMTON 1: Paul Paez surrendered a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth and the B-Mets went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Champ Stuart had three hits and two steals in the loss. In his return to Binghamton after a one-month stint with St. Lucie, Mickey Jannis allowed one run in seven innings. The knuckleballer surrendered six hits, stranded six runners and held the Baysox to 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Box

ST. LUCIE 7, PALM BEACH 5; PALM BEACH 1, ST. LUCIE 0: In the resumption of a suspended game, former Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard entered with the score tied at 5 in the ninth and walked two and hit a batter to load the bases. Luis Guillorme then delivered a sacrifice against reliever Landon Beck. Jonathan Johnson contributed a run-scoring groundout later in the frame. Corey Taylor struck out the side in the bottom half with St. Lucie acting as the road team at Tradition Field. In the regularly scheduled game, Jack Flaherty blanked the Mets over six innings. He only allowed a pair of singles -- to Kevin Taylor and Tomas Nido to open the second. However, Jhoan Urena popped out with Taylor on third base and one out. Mora then flied out to end the threat. Flaherty walked five batters but the Mets didn't take advantage. St. Lucie starter P.J. Conlon tossed five scoreless innings despite early control issues to lower his league-leading ERA to 1.53. The Cardinals plated the game’s lone run in the sixth. Kelly Secrest walked Casey Grayson, who scored on Danny Diekroeger's double. St. Lucie slipped a half-game behind Jupiter for first place in the division. Box 1, Box 2

KANNAPOLIS 6, COLUMBIA 3: Nabil Crismatt struck out 10 in seven innings, but was charged with five runs (three earned) in the loss. Eudor Garcia drove in two runs for the Fireflies. Box

PRINCETON 5, KINGSPORT 1: K-Mets starter Adonis Uceta allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in 3⅔ innings. Box

BROOKLYN 1, WILLIAMSPORT 0: Harol Gonzalez tossed 6⅓ scoreless innings and combined with Alejandro Castro and Joseph Zanghi on a seven-hit shutout. Ali Sanchez's two-out single in the sixth plated Michael Paez for the game's lone run. Paez opened the inning with a double. Box

Compiled with team reports

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
12 3.44 103 151
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Cespedes .295
HRY. Cespedes 26
RBIY. Cespedes 67
RC. Granderson 59
OPSY. Cespedes .938
ERAN. Syndergaard 2.55
SON. Syndergaard 184