Jeff McNeil’s 3-run homer propels Mets to an 8-2 win over the Phillies-Orange County Register


Jeff McNeil stepped on the plate at the end of the fourth inning with runners at the corners and his team at one.

McNeil, the Mets’ consistent hitter this season, was the perfect candidate to try and at least bring home third-place Francisco Lindor. He made the two of the Amazons better.

The left fielder smashed Phillies starter Zach Eflin’s 93-mile sinker and sent it straight into the Coca-Cola corner. It was the perfect catalyst for the Mets’ eventual 8-2 win over the Phillies and their unfortunate defense.

It was also a welcome pick-me-up for Taijuan Walker, who had to grind through his last two innings of his starting Saturday at Citi Field. Walker finished his effort with five innings and 88 pitches after giving up two earned runs with six hits, two walks and just one strikeout. It was still a good start from Walker, especially considering when he last saw those Phillies — on May 5, they lit up his stat sheet and added seven runs, six earned, including two homers and two batters who went four innings.

On Saturday, Walker loaded bases in the fourth inning with back-to-back singles against Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos and a walk against Rhys Hoskins. The next single he dropped, this time to JT Realmuto, proved costly. Luis Guillorme made a valiant attempt to get the line drive that had just flown out of his reach, but by the time the ball found its way to Starling Marte in right field, Harper had already scored and Castellanos was yards from the plate.

The Phils took a 2-1 lead.

Walker got out of the inning and through the fifth without allowing more damage. But the Mets’ at-bats were always there.

After the rocky peak had the fourth walker, there was Lindor working flat out on Eflin’s pitches for a walk. Pete Alonso then smashed a single into the midfield gap and electrified an unyielding crowd as a steady curtain of rain descended on the stadium.

McNeil’s bomb was the icing on the cake. He pointed his right hand at the crowd as he trotted around first base.

It was also McNeil’s second home run in five games.

The hit parade continued into the fifth inning with Guillorme’s single, Marte’s double and then Lindor’s accidental triple – the shortstop hit one on the left field wall, but even with two men, Kyle Schwarber and Odubel Herrera, chasing the ball, they both missed it, it fell onto the warning lane and Lindor just kept running. He might have gotten caught at third base, but the throw to Alec Bohm was just out of reach and Lindor slipped in safely. And in all the frolicking, Guillorme and Marte scored and extended Lindor’s RBI streak to six games.

Alonso then hit a sacrifice flyout to score Lindor.

() Jeff McNeil’s 3-run homer propels Mets to an 8-2 win over the Phillies-Orange County Register

Caroline Bleakley

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