PHILADELPHIA — The yelling from the Mets dugout echoed through the empty ballpark as Brandon Nimmo sped around the bases.
All night the Mets had clawed following a disastrous Seth Lugo start, and finally they had the lead again. And soon enough, a must-needed series victory.
Nimmo’s homer leading off the ninth against Brandon Workman brought in the go-ahead run, and the Mets kept going in a 10-6 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Robinson Cano launched a two-run homer in the ninth, after Dominic Smith’s RBI triple had provided insurance following Nimmo’s blast.
“I just had to kind of pinch myself tonight,” Nimmo said. “It’s just one of those nights where things worked out exactly how you picture them.”
For a second straight night, the Mets (23-27) fell behind early, received strong relief and let their lineup go to work against an underwhelming Phillies bullpen. The Mets’ postseason chances remain thin, but they are alive as they return to Citi Field for six games against the Braves and Rays.
Nimmo finished 3-for-4, reaching base four times. Smith was 3-for-5 with two RBIs on a night the Mets totaled 11 hits.
“I was really proud of the guys in the dugout. We just kept emphasizing that all we have left to do is fight,” said Nimmo, whose Mets trailed 6-3 after two innings. “There is no other choice. If we’re down a run or three runs then we have to go up there and fight.
“The guys had two choices, either give up or keep fighting and the guys chose to keep fighting.”
The hits were big, but so were the bullpen arms. Erasmo Ramirez, Chasen Shreve, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson and Edwin Diaz combined to pitch 7 ¹/₃ shutout innings. Diaz pitched for a third straight day — he had already begun warming up as the Mets were exploding for four runs in the ninth.
Nimmo resurrected the Mets with a two-run triple in the sixth that tied it 6-6. It came after the Mets had knocked out Aaron Nola earlier in the inning. The right-hander was uncharacteristically wild, walking five batters over 5 ¹/₃ innings in which he was charged for five earned runs on five hits.
Lugo’s stuff was flatter than the ballpark patrons in a stint that lasted just 1 ²/₃ innings in which he allowed six earned runs on eight hits, four of them homers.
After Lugo started his night with a strikeout of Andrew McCutchen, the situation took a fast downhill turn: Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius hit back-to-back-to back homers. It was the first time a Mets pitcher surrendered three straight homers since June 2018, with Jason Vargas on the mound in Colorado.
The Phillies went for the sombrero, but Jean Segura’s shot to right field against Lugo hit the fence and became a triple. Adam Haseley’s RBI single after Andrew Knapp struck out put the Mets in a 4-3 hole.
The onslaught carried over into the second. Lugo recorded two outs before Harper’s second homer of the game — a rocket that hit the facing of the third deck in right field — extended the Phillies’ lead to 5-3. Lugo remained in the game for three additional batters, all of whom reached base. Bohm doubled, Gregorius was drilled by a pitch and Segura’s RBI single widened the Mets’ deficit to 6-3.
“I think guys were a little comfortable in the box against me,” Lugo said. “I have got a pretty good grasp on the issue and look forward to fixing it in the next couple of days.”
Ramirez followed Lugo by pitching 2 ¹/₃ shutout innings. The veteran right-hander has emerged as a secret weapon in long relief, pitching to a 0.73 ERA in four appearances this season.
The Mets parlayed walks to Nimmo and Michael Conforto leading off the game into a big inning against Nola. Smith delivered a RBI double before Cano’s two-run single gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. But the rally died with Pete Alonso’s double-play grounder to end the inning.
But Alonso homered in the sixth against Nola to pull the Mets within 6-4. The blast was Alonso’s 12th of the season, which leads the Mets.