Flores slugs slam as Mets barrage Phillies

Flores slugs slam as Mets barrage Phillies

NEW YORK -- In need of another storybook run as they look to scale the National League Wild Card standings, the Mets on Friday turned to a player best known for his flair for the dramatic. Wilmer Flores slugged his third career grand slam, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes combined for three additional homers and Bartolo Colon cruised, leading the Mets to a 9-4 win over the Phillies at Citi Field.

The Mets remained 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals, who also won, in an NL Wild Card race with five serious competitors.

"We're not quitting," Flores said. "I think everybody knows that. We've got to keep it going."

One of the league's foremost sluggers against left-handed pitchers, Flores clubbed his slam off Phillies starter Adam Morgan in the fifth inning, opening up a five-run lead for the Mets. An inning later, Cabrera hit his second homer, after teaming up with Reyes to open the game with back-to-back solo shots.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

All of it was more than enough support for Colon, a beacon of sturdiness as injuries crumble the rotation around him. Though the Phillies chased him from the game with four consecutive hits to lead off the eighth inning, Colon became the first Mets starter to pitch even into the sixth inning in their last four games. He allowed four runs in total, holding the Phillies hitless until the fifth.

Collins: Colon has kept Mets in playoff race

Colon does it all

"Colon just seems to own us," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We can't square the ball up off of him. He does a heck of a job of command and movement. He's tough. Didn't score enough runs to stay in the game."

Morgan's up-and-down season continues with loss

Morgan gave up six runs in five innings, all of them on homers. Though he did record the Phillies' first run with an RBI single, Colon topped him there, too, recording two hits in a game for the first time since 2002.

Morgan's RBI single

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Grand Flo: It was the first of Colon's two hits, a leadoff double in the fifth inning, that sparked the Mets' most significant rally of the night. Reyes followed with a double, and Neil Walker walked to load the bases three batters later. That brought up Flores, who crushed a first-pitch slider over the left-field wall for his grand slam, earning a curtain call from the Citi Field crowd.

"It feels good," Flores said of the ovation. "They make me feel good every time they do something like that. It's real special."

Colon smacks a double

A couple steps too short: Before Flores broke the game open in the fifth, Ryan Howard found himself with an opportunity to end the inning. With two outs and runners on second and third, Walker hit a popup into foul territory. Howard jogged back, looking over his shoulder, but the ball dropped in foul territory without going into the stands. Walker made the most of the extra chance and walked, setting the stage for Flores' blast.

"It was in that floor-to-triangle area, and I was hoping somebody could run that down," Mackanin said. "You got to pitch around those type of things and make good pitches. Like I said, the mistake to Flores, really kind of put it away for them."

Double dip of history: When Reyes and Cabrera homered to open the bottom of the first, they became just the second Mets duo to start a game with consecutive homers. Reyes was also involved in the first instance back in 2007, when he and Ruben Gotay went back to back. In a bizarre coincidence, Gotay also hit a home run in his first at-bat Friday for the independent-league Long Island Ducks.

Reyes' pair of extra-base hits gave him 416 as a Met, passing Hall of Famer Mike Piazza for fourth-most in franchise history. More >

Blond Mets blast back-to-back

Hold your horses: The Phillies entered the eighth trailing 9-1, with the Mets seemingly en route to an easy victory. But then Peter Bourjos and Jimmy Paredes led off the inning with singles, and Cesar Hernandez doubled both home. Aaron Altherr, the next batter, doubled in Hernandez to chase Colon from the game. The Phillies wouldn't score again, though.

Hernandez's two-run double

QUOTABLE
"It was instinct. As soon as I saw it go through [Reyes'] hands, I had to go behind. Because that happens in the game." -- Cabrera, on his diving play to force Altherr out at third base in the eighth

Cabrera's heads-up defense

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• For the third time this season, the Mets hit four home runs against the Phillies. It ties a single-season franchise record, which they set in 1990 against the Astros.

• Colon passed Luis Tiant with his 230th career win, moving into sixth place among pitchers born outside the United States (since 1900).

FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
It would hardly be a Mets game without some sort of injury. Outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who has spent the majority of his Mets tenure on the disabled list, departed after five innings due to left shoulder discomfort. It's an injury that has bothered Ruggiano since his first game as a Met, when he made a diving attempt at a ball in the outfield. He will go for testing Saturday.

Play also stopped in the ninth inning, when blood began seeping out of a ripped callus on pitcher Sean Gilmartin's finger. Though Gilmartin initially stayed in the game, he faced two batters and did not record an out.

WHAT'S NEXT
Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field against a Mets team he's struggled against this season. In three starts, he's compiled a 5.63 ERA and a 1-1 mark.

Mets: Fresh off perhaps his best start of the season, Noah Syndergaard will return to the mound to start against the Phillies on Saturday. He gave the Mets eight shutout innings last time out in San Francisco, improving to 11-7 with a 2.61 ERA.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.