NEW YORK (AP) _ A.J. Ellis got a big hit in his Philadelphia debut, breaking a seventh-inning tie with a two-run double Sunday that sent the Phillies to a 5-1 victory over the New York Mets.
Vince Velasquez and four relievers quieted a streaking Mets lineup that was minus ailing sluggers Yoenis Cespedes (quad) and Neil Walker (back).
New York also lost shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera in the first inning. He exited with soreness in his left knee, a problem area that sidelined him twice earlier this year.
And just when the Mets were beginning to build some momentum in the NL wild-card race, those three recurring injuries stalled them again.
With the score tied at 1 in the seventh, Philadelphia loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Tommy Joseph, Aaron Altherr and Jimmy Paredes off Robert Gsellman (1-1), who was very effective to that point in his first major league start.
The rookie left to a nice round of applause from the crowd of 32,033, and gave way to Hansel Robles.
Ellis drove Robles’ fourth pitch over Curtis Granderson’s head in left field, scoring Joseph and Altherr with his first hit for the Phillies. The veteran catcher was acquired Thursday from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade for longtime Philadelphia backstop Carlos Ruiz.
Pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos was hit by a pitch from Robles with the bases loaded, forcing in another run.
Cesar Hernandez added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.
David Hernandez (3-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win as the Phillies, outscored 21-5 in the first two games of the series, avoided a weekend sweep.
Philadelphia squandered two chances to score early in the game, when Freddy Galvis was thrown out at home on a failed safety squeeze and Altherr was cut down at the plate on Paredes’ fourth-inning RBI double.
Velasquez allowed five hits in five innings while striking out seven. The 24-year-old right-hander had allowed 19 runs and 25 hits over his previous 16 1/3 innings.
The Mets entered having scored 31 runs over their last three games, including three homers by Cabrera during that span.
Cabrera aggravated his knee in the first inning when he collided with Joseph at first base while beating out a one-out bunt single. As Joseph reached for Velazquez’s high throw, Cabrera’s left arm made contact with Joseph’s left hip. Cabrera appeared to twist awkwardly after the collision.
After safely reaching first base, Cabrera doubled over in pain and was immediately attended to by the Mets’ training staff and manager Terry Collins, but remained in the game.
Kelly Johnson lined a single to right field, and Cabrera was noticeably limping as he advanced to second. After the play, Cabrera was removed from the game and escorted to the dugout by trainer Ray Ramirez.
Cabrera recently missed 17 games with a strained patella tendon in his left knee, returning on Aug. 19. He was batting .438 (14 for 32) with three homers and nine RBIs since returning to the lineup.
Wilmer Flores pinch-ran for Cabrera and scored on Granderson’s sacrifice fly before remaining in the game at third base. Jose Reyes shifted over to shortstop.
Phillies: Bourjos was hit by a 97 mph fastball on the left wrist. After crouching down in pain behind home plate, he went to first base.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (shoulder) threw a bullpen and is expected to throw another one before coming off the disabled list to start Thursday against Miami rather than Wednesday, Collins said.
Phillies: RHP Jake Thompson (1-3, 9.78 ERA) opens a three-game series against NL East-leading Washington, his fifth major league start. He’s failed to reach the sixth inning in any of his previous four. Tanner Roark (13-7, 2.99 ERA) pitches for the Nationals.
Mets: RHP Rafael Montero (0-0, 11.57 ERA) has the difficult task of facing All-Star RHP Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.91) in his first big league start of the season as the Mets begin an important four-game series with Miami at Citi Field. Montero will be recalled from Double-A Binghamton on Monday and last pitched in the majors on April 19. He struggled at Triple-A Las Vegas, but had a 1.70 ERA in eight starts at Binghamton.
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