PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Michael Conforto had a career-high six RBIs and finished a triple shy of the cycle, Zack Wheeler pitched seven solid innings for his career-best 12th win and the New York Mets beat the fading Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 on Monday night.
The Phillies entered the day seven games behind Atlanta for the NL East lead. The Braves’ magic number to clinch the division dropped to seven, pending the outcome of Atlanta’s game against St. Louis.
Conforto had a two-run single in the fifth, an RBI double in the seventh and a three-run homer in the ninth for the Mets, who have won 7 of 11 and are 26-17 over their last 43 games. Conforto has 75 RBIs, including 45 since the All-Star break, second most in the NL over that span behind Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich.
Wheeler (12-7) allowed four runs and three hits to become the first Mets pitcher since Steve Trachsel in 2001 to record nine wins after the All-Star break. Since the break, the right-hander is 9-1 with a 1.68 ERA in 11 starts.
J.P. Crawford had a three-run triple for the Phillies, whose slim playoff chances took another hit. Philadelphia began play 6 ½ back of first-place Atlanta in the NL East and five games out of the wild card. The Phillies have lost 8 of 11.
Conforto’s two-out double in the seventh off Tommy Hunter (4-3) snapped a 4-all tie and helped the Mets continue their mastery of Philadelphia. New York has won 7 of 11 against the Phillies this season and is 45-20 in Philadelphia since 2012.
Wheeler didn’t allow a hit until Wilson Ramos’ leadoff single in the fifth that caromed off the glove of diving second baseman Jeff McNeil and into short right field. Wheeler then gave up a single to Nick Williams and hit Odubel Herrera with a pitch to load the bases. Crawford cleared them with a triple to right, and Cesar Hernandez’s sacrifice fly scored Crawford to tie it at 4.
The Mets took a 4-0 lead against Jake Arrieta. Austin Jackson’s RBI double in the second got New York on the board, and the Mets scored three more runs in the fifth on Amed Rosario’s sacrifice fly and Conforto’s single to center.
Arrieta was tagged for four runs and nine hits in five innings.
Phillies: 3B Maikel Franco (neck) missed his fifth straight game. Manager Gabe Kapler said he expects Franco to return in two or three days. … Williams (shoulder) returned to the lineup after sitting out the last three games.
Mets LHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.18) opposes RHP Aaron Nola (16-5, 2.42) in the second contest of the three-game set.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)