Sports

Mets rally in ninth to beat Phillies 6-5 and split London Series, getting game-ending double play

LONDON — (AP) — Catcher Luis Torrens turned Nick Castellanos’ bases-loaded roller in front of the plate into a game-ending double play, and the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on Sunday for a split of their two-game London Series.

New York rallied from a 4-3 ninth-inning deficit against José Alvarado (1-3), who blew a save for the second time in 13 chances.

Mark Vientos hit an RBI single on a two-hopper that third baseman Alec Bohm tried to barehand. Pete Alonso forced in a run when was hit on his left thigh by a cutter, and catcher J.T. Realmuto allowed a run-scoring passed ball that put the Mets ahead 6-4.

Reed Garrett (6-2) got an out but allowed two batters to reach in the bottom half. Bryce Harper loaded the bases with a single off Drew Smith, and Bohm forced in a run with a walk.

Castellanos broke his bat when he tipped the ball in front of the plate, and Torrens grabbed it before stepping back on the plate for a forceout as pinch-runner Garrett Stubbs tried to slide home. Torrens then threw to first, where Alonso fell as he stretched for the final out, giving Smith his second save.

“What a great play, the instincts not to only go get the baseball, but having the ability to come back, touch the plate and then execute the throw — unbelievable play,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “I don’t think I’ve seen it before.”

Smith initially thought Torrens stepped on the bat: “It was a heck of a play, and we needed it. I asked him if he stepped on the bat, he said ‘No.'”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time a player grounded into a 2-2-3 double play to end a game since 1940, when GIDP became an official statistic in both leagues.

It was the majors' first catcher-to-first double play on a grounder at any point in a game since Philadelphia’s Erik Kratz in the third inning against the Marlins’ Justin Bour at Miami on Sept. 22, 2015, according to Elias.

David Dahl snapped a 3-3 tie with a pinch-hit homer off Dedniel Núñez in the seventh for the Phillies, a major league-best 45-20. Philadelphia won Saturday's opener 7-2 for its fourth straight win as Major League Baseball came to London for the third time.

Bohm grounded into a run-scoring double play with the bases loaded in the first, and Philadelphia opened a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Castellanos chugged around third on Edmundo Sosa's double and scored when the relay throw bounced on the turf and just over the glove of Torrens, and Whit Merrifield followed with an RBI single off Jose Quintana.

New York (28-36) tied the score in the sixth after loading the bases against former Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker. Brandon Nimmo hit an RBI double off Gregory Soto, and J.D. Martinez followed with a two-run single.

Walker, who had shoulder soreness earlier in season, allowed two runs and two hits in 5 2/3 innings. Quintana gave up three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Both teams used six pitchers. Alvarado threw 35 pitches — 18 for strikes.

“His stuff was really good, I thought he was just missing," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. "You have games like that. I still trust him a great deal.”

The Mets traded for Torrens on May 31 in a cash deal with the New York Yankees, and he's fighting to stick around as Francisco Alvarez (left thumb strain) could return this week.

“We have to make a tough decision here really soon,” Mendoza said.

FUN & GAMES

Instead of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, Wrexham co-owner Rob McElhenney and his wife, actress Kaitlin Olson, did a " ceremonial double play." Olson rolled the ball to McElhenney at shortstop, he threw to Chase Utley at second, and the former Phillies All-Star fired a strike to Harper at first. ... The Phillie Phanatic dressed as a Beefeater to serve tea to the ESPN broadcasting crew. ... Attendance was 55,074.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: Trea Turner (hamstring) "did very well" running on a grass soccer field next to the stadium Saturday, Thomson said. The two-time All-Star shortstop fielded grounders and hit in the cages.

Mets: OF Starling Marte was out of the lineup a day after not making a catch in right field. Mendoza said the plan coming into London was to limit the 35-year-old to one game on the artificial turf because of a knee issue.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-2, 2.33 ERA) is expected to start Tuesday's opener of a three-game series at Boston.

Mets: RHP Tylor Megill (1-2, 3.00 ERA) is set to start Tuesday against visiting Miami.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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