By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Wilmer Flores launched a grand slam, Asdrubal Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate and even Bartolo Colon had two helpful hits while pitching the New York Mets to a 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Jose Reyes and Cabrera opened the Mets’ half of the first inning with consecutive home runs, only the second time the franchise has accomplished the feat. Trying to make a significant move in the crowded NL wild-card race, New York (65-63) opened a 10-game homestand by winning for the fifth time in its past six.
The 43-year-old Colon (12-7) carried a two-hitter into the eighth inning and took over the team lead in wins. He also lashed two sharp hits that delighted the crowd, a leadoff double in the fifth and a line-drive single in the sixth.
The pudgy pitcher scored both times, first ahead of Flores’ third career slam and then in front of Cabrera’s second homer of the night. The switch-hitting shortstop became the first Mets player to go deep from both sides in one game since Carlos Beltran at Colorado on May 12, 2011.
Colon gave up four straight hits to start the eighth but walked off the mound to a warm ovation and acknowledged the crowd by patting his glove and pointing two fingers.
Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan (1-8) gave up two homers on his first five pitches but recovered from that shaky start. He was trailing 2-1 when Neil Walker, just back from the paternity leave list after the birth of a baby girl, worked a nine-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs in the fifth.
Flores hit the next delivery over the fence in left-center and was summoned out of the dugout for a curtain call.
Morgan, who has dropped eight straight decisions, allowed eight hits and struck out eight in five innings. He was fortunate to avoid a serious injury, too, when he barely ducked out of the way of Yoenis Cespedes’ screaming line drive.
Morgan, hit by a line drive earlier this season, spun around and crouched in front of the mound as he caught his breath. The crowd let out a trio of collective groans as the big video board showed three replays of the ball whizzing just above Morgan’s head.
After trading longtime catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, the Phillies called up touted catching prospect Jorge Alfaro from Double-A Reading. Alfaro, acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels deal last year, did not play and probably won’t stay long. He is expected to be sent back down when veteran catcher A.J. Ellis joins the team, which will likely be on Saturday. Ellis was obtained from the Dodgers for Ruiz.
Mets: CF Justin Ruggiano struck out twice and then left in the sixth with left shoulder discomfort. He was replaced by Alejandro De Aza, who drew a leadoff walk to start a three-run sixth. … RF Jay Bruce struck out all four times, drawing boos from the home crowd. Bruce was back in the lineup after missing Thursday night’s victory in St. Louis. He left Wednesday night’s game with cramping in his right calf.
Phillies RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Saturday night against Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61). Hellickson, set to make his fourth start this season against the Mets, has won four consecutive decisions overall and six of his last seven. Syndergaard, who is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in three career starts against Philadelphia, is coming off eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball at San Francisco on Sunday.
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