PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wilson Ramos is focused on being relaxed at the plate. His hitting streak? Don’t even mention it.
Ramos matched his career high with four hits and extended his hitting streak to 24 games, helping the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 on Saturday.
Ramos had three singles and a double, upping his average to .446 (41 for 92) during the streak. He drove in one and is hitting .299 for the season.
“I’m not trying to do too much,” Ramos said. “Use all the field. It’s helping me to be more relaxed.”
The streak is far from his mind in the batter’s box.
“I don’t want to think about that,” he said. “I want to think about getting a pitch to hit, go out have fun and enjoy day by day.”
Todd Frazier had three hits, two RBIs and made a stellar, run-saving catch in the sixth inning for the Mets, who pulled within four games of the Cubs for the second NL wild card.
“Guys just picked each other up,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “Big team win.”
The Mets will go for the series sweep Sunday night.
Bryce Harper homered and drove in two for Philadelphia, which remained 3 ½ games behind the Cubs.
“Super frustrating,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s a game we have to win.”
Steven Matz (9-8) continued his strong second half, allowing two earned runs over five-plus innings. Matz didn’t retire a batter in the sixth, but the lefty got a big lift from New York’s bullpen and defense.
After a leadoff homer to deep left-center by Harper, an error and a pair of singles loaded the bases and ended the 28-year-old’s day, Cesar Hernandez lined Luis Avilan’s pitch toward left field. Frazier made a leaping grab at third base for the first out to save at least one run.
“What a great play,” Callaway said. “I’ve never seen him jump that high.”
Frazier joked that he used his “go-go gadget arm,” referencing the “Inspector Gadget” cartoon show he watched as a kid.
“I take a lot of pride in my defense,” he said. “Glad I could help on the defensive end.”
After walking home a run to make it 5-3, Avilan got Adam Haseley to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Matz is 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. He earned his first career win in his seventh start in Philadelphia, where he had been 0-4 with an 8.18 ERA — including a 27.00 ERA this season — prior to Saturday.
Seth Lugo pitched the last two innings, striking out four for his fourth save in nine chances.
Former Mets lefty Jason Vargas (6-7) gave up five runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. Vargas was making his first start against the Mets since April 7, 2006 — a span of 257 starts between outings against them.
Ramos extended his hitting streak with an RBI single in the first. After the Phillies tied it in the bottom half on Harper’s RBI groundout, New York went up 2-1 in the third on Michael Conforto’s RBI double. Vargas escaped a bases-loaded, no-out situation without further damage. But the 36-year-old lefty couldn’t retire any of the four batters he faced in the fifth, and the Mets went ahead 5-1 thanks to an RBI double by Frazier and a two-run double by Joe Panik.
ANOTHER METS STREAK:
New York’s Pete Alonso extended his on-base streak to 26 games with a walk in the first inning.
New York recalled right-hander Walter Lockett and optioned right-hander Chris Mazza to Triple-A Syracuse. Lockett is 1-1 with a 7.79 ERA in four starts this season.
INF Robinson Cano, who tore his left hamstring on Aug. 5, had two hits, including a double and an RBI, while playing second base for Class A Brooklyn on Saturday in his first rehab game.
RHP Marcus Stroman (7-12, 3.29), making his sixth start for the Mets since being acquired from Toronto, opposes Philadelphia RHP Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.50) on Sunday night.
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