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Mets can’t overpower Phillies, lose on infield hit in 12th

Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets

Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets forces out Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies at second base in the fourth inning during a game at Citizens Bank Park on April 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Hunter Martin

PHILADELPHIA -- These Mets are built for power. For better or worse, this is nothing new. In each of the past two seasons, few teams in baseball have relied more on the home run to generate their runs.

But for all of that pop, the Mets dropped a 5-4 decision to the Phillies in the 12th inning on an infield single by Peter Bourjos.

Freddy Gavis hit a one-out double off reliever Hansel Robles and after David Lough was intentionally walked, the runners advanced on a wild pitch. Robles retired Emmanuel Burriss on a flyout to shallow center and nearly got out of the inning when Bourjos hit a foul pop that third baseman David Wright didn’t reach. Wright had more room than he thought as the ball hit the top of the fence. Bourjos then hit a grounder that Wright backhanded behind third base and beat his off-balance throw to first.

With that, the Phillies spared themselves a sweep and ended the Mets’ three-game winning.

With the Mets down 3-2, Yoenis Cespedes hit a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning, and the suddenly-surging Lucas Duda immediately followed with a go-ahead home run. It was his third homer in as many games.

For the first time in team history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets hit back-to-back home runs in three consecutive games.

Duda’s infamous streakiness has again come into full view. In his first 10 games of the season, the Mets’ slugging first baseman went 7-for-35 (.200). His only extra-base hit was a double.

But in his last four, Duda is 7-for-18 (.389) with three homers and seven RBIs.

“You take the good with the bad,” he said before the game.

When it comes to leaning on the long ball, the Mets have finished in the upper third of the league in each of their previous two seasons. In 2014, 35.1 percent of their runs came via the homer, which ranked eighth. In 2015, that number jumped to 39.7 percent, good for ninth.

Entering play Wednesday, the Mets had scored 56.6 percent of their runs via the homer, second only to the Orioles for the most in baseball. Such a pace is unsustainable, of course.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that the home run will once again go a long away toward determining whether the Mets lineup is productive or peters out.

The Mets have hit 19 home runs over their last six games, the most over any six-game span in franchise history, according to Elias. The previous mark was 18 home runs in a six-game stretch from August 18-25, 2015.

That number would have been 20 had Asdrubal Cabrera’s blast to rightfield survived a crew chief’s review. The Mets believed they had gone ahead on a three-run blast by Cabrera in the second inning.

The ball hit the top of the rightfield wall and bounced toward the sky. It was snagged by a fan, who umpires later ruled had reached over the barrier.

Cabrera’s three-run shot was instead a ground-rule double, good enough to knock in one run. Later, a wild pitch allowed Neil Walker to score from third base, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. But the bottom of the order stranded Cabrera on second.

While the Mets have turned to the long ball, they haven’t been particularly good at taking advantage of other scoring chances. The Mets led off three of their first four innings with doubles and came away with only two runs.

Not until the back-to-back blasts in the fifth did the Mets score again.

The homers were good enough to give Bartolo Colon a 4-3 lead. The veteran righty surrendered a two-run shot to Galvis in the second inning. In the fourth, Lough’s sacrifice fly scored Ryan Howard, who reached on a walk.

After holding the Phillies to three runs on four hits in six innings, Colon left the game in line for victory No. 220. Among pitchers born in the Dominican Republic, it would have ranked him second only to Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (243).

Instead, Colon did not factor into the decision. In the seventh, Lough scored the game-tying run on Bourjos’ RBI single off setup man Addison Reed.

The Mets finished 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.


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