Wilmer Flores touched first base, tossed his helmet aside and braced for the rush of humanity. For the Mets, there was plenty to celebrate.
They had squandered a gem by Jacob deGrom and suffered an unsightly bullpen meltdown in the eighth inning, all in the space of four pitches. But with two outs in the 10th Tuesday night, Flores washed it all away, lining a slider for an RBI single that gave the Mets a 5-4 win over the Phillies at Citi Field.
"It's a good feeling obviously because we got the win," said Flores, who also lifted a tying sacrifice fly in the eighth. "It's always a good feeling."
Flores' winner offered the Mets redemption after a nightmarish eighth. They began the frame with a 3-0 lead behind deGrom and ended it trailing 4-3 after three relievers conspired to deprive deGrom of a win.
Still, the Mets endured.
"It's definitely a good feeling," said deGrom, who was charged with two runs in 71/3 innings. "The most important thing is that we got the win."
After being swept by the Pirates in a three-game series -- a showing that prompted manager Terry Collins to call a team meeting -- they will go for a three-game sweep of the Phillies on Wednesday.
"Good game for us to hang in there and come back and win," Collins said.
One start after his one-hit, eight-inning, 11-strikeout masterpiece against the Cardinals -- the best-pitched game by a Met in the last two seasons -- deGrom put up a string of zeros against the Phillies. At one point, he retired 11 straight.
In the fourth, Michael Cuddyer delivered a two-run single and Lucas Duda singled in a run. The way deGrom was cruising, the 3-0 lead appeared to be enough.
After getting Odubel Herrera to fly out in the eighth, deGrom had not let up a run in 151/3 innings. But Carlos Ruiz and Cesar Hernandez delivered back-to-back singles and deGrom was pulled after 105 pitches for Hansel Robles.
The 24-year-old quietly has climbed the Mets' bullpen hierarchy. In 10 appearances, he had posted a 2.89 ERA. And the day before, he got two outs in the eighth to help the Mets protect a three-run lead.
But on Robles' second pitch, Ben Revere smoked a triple to right-center, driving in two runs. On Robles' fourth offering, Freddy Galvis singled through a drawn-in infield to tie it at 3.
The mood darkened further when rookie Maikel Franco singled home the go-ahead run off Carlos Torres.
From there, the Mets regrouped. Flores tied it with the sacrifice fly in the eighth. In the ninth, Kevin Plawecki uncorked a perfect throw to keep Herrera from swiping second as the potential go-ahead run.
For the first time this season, the Mets turned to closer Jeurys Familia for two innings. He responded by putting up a pair of zeros.
Then Flores made it count when he lined Elvis Araujo's slider into the outfield for the winning hit.
"Obviously, we had a rough eighth inning," said Flores, who hit a tiebreaking three-run homer Monday. "But we kept pushing and we wouldn't give up."
On May 15, Flores committed his ninth error, bringing more attention to his deficiencies on defense. They were compounded by his struggles at the plate. But he hasn't committed an error since, and in his last 13 games, he's hitting .280 with three homers and 11 RBIs.
Said Flores: "I'm right where I need to be."
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