Lucas Duda's home run in 11th lifts Mets over Phillies in third straight extra-inning game

Lucas Duda of the Mets is congratulated by Lucas Duda of the Mets is congratulated by Travis d'Arnaud #15 after Duda's two-run home run in the 11th inning to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, in a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 1, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rich Schultz

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PHILADELPHIA - Signs of fatigue were everywhere.

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins airmailed a throw to first base on a routine grounder. Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada stole second base, only to slide over the bag and get tagged out.

The Phillies' Domonic Brown singled to extend a rally, then ran into an out when he inexplicably tried to advance to second on a throw.

"Guys were tired," said Lucas Duda, whose two-run homer hastened the end of another exhausting day.

Duda's mammoth shot off Phillippe Aumont in the 11th inning paved the way for the Mets' 4-3 win over the Phillies.

With 14-inning marathons Friday and Saturday, and Sunday's brisk-by-comparison 11-inning affair, the Mets and Phillies carved out a slice of history. They became the first teams to play three straight games of at least 11 innings since the Mariners and Blue Jays tangled from Sept. 16-18, 1991.

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"We're getting tired," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But they're great to win, very, very good games to win. It lifts the spirits. It does keep the energy up even though you know you're tired physically."

In the bottom of the 11th, former Met Marlon Byrd's solo homer brought the Phillies within one run against Jenrry Mejia. But he shut the door for his sixth save, getting Carlos Ruiz to pop up and Ryan Howard to ground out.

The trilogy -- consisting of 14 hours, 24 minutes -- has taken a toll. The Mets spent the last two days slapping band-aids on their battered bullpen, calling up Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland to protect themselves from calamity.

They desperately needed a long outing from lefthander Jonathon Niese, who responded with eight efficient innings and departed with the score tied at 2. His only mistake came in the fourth, when Howard drilled a two-run homer to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.

"I really wasn't trying to trick guys out there," said Niese, who put a higher priority on allowing the Phillies to put the ball in play. "Either they were going to hit me hard early or they were going to get outs early."

Niese ensured it was the latter, pumping fastball after fastball into the zone -- enough to keep his team in the game.

David Wright tagged up and scored on Chris Young's foul pop in the fourth for a 1-0 lead. After Howard's homer, the Mets tied it at 2 in the sixth. Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly drove in Eric Campbell, who had doubled and advanced to third on Rollins' throwing error.

As the game meandered into extras, a feeling of dread struck Collins as he began mapping out how to deploy his threadbare bullpen. But Duda saved him in the 11th.

"I was lucky enough to square a ball up and it left the yard," said Duda, who hit his team-high eighth homer. "I was just trying to hit it hard. I got lucky."

Since the Memorial Day shake-up -- the dismissals of hitting coach Dave Hudgens and reliever Jose Valverde -- the Mets have won five of six. They are only two games under .500 (27-29) and are four games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East.

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And after 39 innings of delirious baseball in three days, the Mets will face the Phillies again Monday night in the finale of a rare five-game set.

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