By AARON BRACY
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The New York Mets erased a six-run deficit in the ninth inning, capping the rally with Starling Marte’s tiebreaking double to beat the flabbergasted Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 Thursday night.
With the Mets trailing 7-1, Marte led off the inning with an infield single against James Norwood and scored on Francisco Lindor’s two-run homer. Mark Canha added an RBI infield single that clanked off pitcher Corey Knebel (0-2), and J.D. Davis had a pinch-hit RBI double to rally the NL East-leading Mets.
Brandon Nimmo then lined a tying, two-run single to center off Knebel. He came around to score when Marte ripped a double off the wall in center field. Marte also had a solo homer in the sixth.
It’s the first time New York trailed by at least six runs in the ninth and won since Sept. 13, 1997, when Carl Everett hit a tying grand slam with two outs in the ninth and the Mets went on to beat the Montreal Expos in extra innings.
Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos homered for the Phillies, and Aaron Nola pitched seven sharp innings. The Phillies have lost five of six.
It looked like Nola was going to earn his second victory when the Mets came to bat in the ninth having scored just one run on three hits.
Edwin Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save in seven chances. Adonis Medina (1-0) allowed one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Philadelphia jumped on Taijuan Walker for four runs in the first inning.
Harper had an RBI double, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura added RBI singles and Castellanos had a run-scoring groundout. The Phillies were helped by a costly error by shortstop Lindor on Alec Bohm’s grounder early in the inning.
Philadelphia went in front 7-0 in the fourth on back-to-back homers by Harper and Castellanos.
Walker, making just his third start due to a stint on the injured list with a shoulder injury, lasted just four innings and surrendered six earned runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. All three of his outings have been against Philadelphia.
Phillies: Castellanos left the game in the sixth inning after getting hit by an 86-mph changeup from Medina. Castellanos has a right wrist contusion. X-rays were negative and he is day-to-day, the Phillies said.
Mets RHP Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61) is scheduled to face Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson (2-1, 2.93) in the second game of the four-game set on Friday night.
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