PHILS MELT DOWN AGAIN IN THE 9TH, STILL 4 OUT OF WILD CARD!

By Sam Bush

Pete Alonso drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs to and lift the Mets to a 5-4 win over the Phillies that tied the two teams with the Brewers at 72-68, four games out of the last NL wild card spot.

Alonso had an RBI single in the eighth to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Wilson Ramos added a two-out RBI single to provide a run that turned out to be valuable in the ninth, when embattled closer Edwin Diaz (2-7) gave up a two-run homer to J.T. Realmuto.

Mike Morin (1-2) retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth before Juan Lagares singled to left-center. Lagares went to third when J.D. Davis — whose shirt was torn off by Alonso following a walk-off single against Cleveland on Aug. 21 — pinch-hit for Diaz and singled on a full-count pitch.

Nick Vincent then plunked Jeff McNeil with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Alonso got ahead 2-0 against Vincent, who evened the count before issuing ball three.

“He’s got nowhere to go,” Alonso said. “That’s a tough spot on him.”

Vincent’s final pitch was up and well out of the strike zone. Alonso tossed his bat and trotted to first, where he was engulfed by teammates and eventually had his jersey ripped off.

“I honestly couldn’t tell, I was getting seeds and Gatorade dumped on me,” Alonso said when asked who ripped his jersey off. “So I’ve got to watch the video on that one.

“It’s a fun thing. Hopefully I can rip some more shirts off and they can rip some shirts off me.”

The Mets (72-68) moved into a tie with the Phillies. Both teams are four games behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s second wild card.

The Phillies have lost three straight, the last two by walk-off.

“We’re staying in the game but we’re just not quite finishing it when we need to,” Realmuto said. “That’s a good club over there. They’re in the same spot we are. They were able to get it done tonight and we weren’t.”

The Phillies likely dodged potential disaster in the third when right fielder Bryce Harper was hit in the right hand by an up-and-in pitch from Mets starter Steven Matz. Harper remained in the game to run the bases before being replaced by Sean Rodriguez.

The Mets took the lead on McNeil’s two-out RBI single in the third and Conforto’s leadoff homer in the fourth.

The Phillies tied it on Realmuto’s RBI double in the fifth and Maikel Franco’s run-scoring single in the sixth.

Matz gave up two runs and six hits with three walks while striking out four over 5 2/3 innings. Phillies starter Zach Eflin allowed two runs and six hits with no walks while striking out six over five innings.

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