PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets came into this three-game series at Citizens Bank Park admitting they wanted to measure themselves against the Phillies.
Judging by the first two games and the standings, maybe it's the Phillies who should be thinking about playing up to the Mets' standards.
The Mets rallied for four runs in the seventh inning Tuesday night, taking the lead on a Lucas Duda single, and went on to a 7-4 victory.
Ten of the Mets' 17 wins, including the first two games here, have been of the come-from-behind variety.
The third-place Mets matched their high-water mark at four games over .500 by improving to 17-13. The last-place Phillies fell to 14-17.
"What we've been doing the last few weeks, it's really exciting," said Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and scored the tying run on a botched rundown. "Even against a great team like this, we're never out of it."
Trailing 4-1 in the seventh, the Mets strung together four straight two-out hits and were helped by a Phillies throwing error to take the lead.
David Wright singled to right off Chad Qualls to drive in Torres, but got caught in a rundown trying to take second base on the throw home. Nieuwenhuis eventually started down the line at third before scrambling back to the base.
But Phillies second baseman Pete Orr fired wildly to third in an attempt to get Nieuwenhuis. The ball bounced toward the stands as Nieuwenhuis scored and Wright took third.
"That was a tough one," Nieuwenhuis said. "I know David was wanting me to go the whole time."
Said Wright: "I was peeking over there. I wasn't lasting much longer in that rundown."
The Mets went ahead when Duda singled to right against lefthander Antonio Bastardo. They added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on a Nieuwenhuis sacrifice fly and Duda single, also off a lefthander.
Mets starter Miguel Batista allowed four runs (two earned) in 51/3 innings. He was hurt by a pair of second-inning errors: one by Valdespin in his first start at shortstop and one by Batista himself.
The Mets are 1-2 in what would have been the injured Mike Pelfrey's turn in the rotation. His fill-ins -- Batista and Chris Schwinden -- have an 8.78 ERA.
Matt Harvey, meanwhile, lowered his Triple-A ERA to 4.00 with six shutout innings for Buffalo Tuesday night. But this is his first experience at the minors' highest level, and general manager Sandy Alderson has maintained that the Mets want to bring the 23-year-old former No. 1 pick up only when they believe he is ready to stay up.
The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Hunter Pence hit his seventh home run. They made it 4-0 in the second, helped by a throwing error from Valdespin on a routine grounder to short one night after his game-winning, three-run home run off Jonathan Papelbon.
"That's what young players can do to you," manager Terry Collins said. "They're playing with all their heart, they're playing as hard as they can. They're going to make some mistakes . . . When you've got a young team, they're going to at times make you tear your hair out."
And at times like in the late innings Tuesday night, they're going to inspire you.
"This team battled," Duda said. "And I think that's what we're going to do all season."