NEW YORK (AP) — Stuck in a batting slump all week, the New York Mets seemed unlikely to even get a hit. Scoring? That looked downright impossible.
Yet somehow, they rallied.
The Mets suddenly struck for three runs in the ninth inning against Philadelphia's makeshift bullpen minus closer Jonathan Papelbon, then ended a five-game skid by beating the Phillies 5-4 Sunday on Ruben Tejada's single in the 11th.
"Desperate? You can call it desperate if you want to, but we have to stay positive," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I don't know, 'standing on the edge of the cliff' probably is a better way to describe it."
Down 4-1 with only three outs left, the punchless Mets fought back, sparked by Daniel Murphy's two-run homer. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Papelbon was sore and unavailable to pitch in a third straight game.
"The daily grind of the season," Papelbon said. "It's just kind of a product of the last couple of games."
Lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo and Roberto Hernandez — who started Friday night — quickly let the Phillies' lead slip away.
In the 11th, Chris Young opened with an infield single, barely beating the flip from second baseman Chase Utley's glove. The Mets sent up pitcher Zack Wheeler as a pinch-hitter, and he put down a perfect sacrifice bunt that moved Young to second.
Juan Lagares drew an intentional walk and Anthony Recker loaded with the bases with another infield hit stopped by diving third baseman Reid Brignac. Tejada won it with one out, hitting a sharp single to left-center against Jeff Manship (1-1).
Tejada's teammates chased him down in short right field to celebrate.
"It feels pretty good after a rough week for me and the team," said Tejada, who recently lost his starting job at shortstop.
Scott Rice (1-1) got Brignac on a grounder with two runners on to finish the 11th.
Held to a total of nine runs in their previous five games, the Mets began their comeback in the ninth when Eric Young Jr. led off with a double and Murphy followed with a home run that made it 4-3.
Chris Young ended his 0-for-18 slump by hitting a one-out double off the wall, and Hernandez emerged from the bullpen — he threw 99 pitches in the series opener.
Pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu singled off the glove of a diving Utley, and a slow grounder by Lagares drove in the tying run.
Continue reading this story on the...