New York Mets secure late win to split London Series with Philadelphia Phillies

The New York Mets staged a stunning ninth-inning comeback to beat divisional rivals the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 and split their two-game series at London Stadium.

National League East leaders Philadelphia (45 wins, 20 losses) had secured a dominant 7-2 victory in Saturday’s London Series opener, but fans who packed West Ham’s Premier League home on Sunday were treated to a far more back-and-forth affair to close out the third edition of Major League Baseball’s London Series.

New York fought back from a 3-0 deficit to tie up the contest in the top of the sixth, and though Phillies pinch hitter David Dahl briefly restored their lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, the Mets capitalised on reliever Jose Alvarado’s struggles in the top of the final inning to take a 6-4 lead.

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies – London Stadium – Sunday June 9th
Philadelphia Phillies fans in the stands (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The Phillies clawed one back with their final three outs and went close to forcing MLB’s first extra innings in London, but their late-stage rally was cut short when Nick Castellanos grounded into a dramatic game-ending double play.

Wrexham co-owner and Philadelphia native Rob McElhenney threw out the first pitch on a cool afternoon in Stratford, which saw his side get a single run in the bottom of the first then add two more in the fourth, when shortstop Edmundo Sosa hit a one-out line drive to bring in Castellanos and Whit Merrifield, soon spelling the end to a short 3.2 inning outing for Mets starter Jose Quintana.

Phillies starter Taijuan Walker began to struggle in the top of the sixth, when he was replaced by reliever Gregory Soto with men on first and second and two out, but the Dominican lefty failed to get the job done, allowing the Mets to tie it 3-3 before Matt Strahm was summoned from the bullpen and struck out Tyrone Taylor to bring the frame to a close.

Philadelphia boss Rob Thomson’s choice to replace centre fielder Johan Rojas with Dahl to begin the bottom of the seventh proved a prescient one when his pinch hitter replied with a solo blast to right centre field, briefly handing the Phillies back their advantage.

But the Mets, down to their last three outs, had runners on the corners when Phillies third baseman Bohm bobbled Mark Vientos’ sharply hit ball, allowing Taylor to score and square it up again at 4-4.

With the bases loaded and one out, Thomson’s fourth reliever, Jose Alvarado – who was charged with the loss – hit Pete Alonso with a pitch to bring in the go-ahead run before a passed ball allowed Jose Iglesias to cross home plate and extend the Mets’ lead to 6-4.

The Phillies had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth when Drew Smith gave up a walk to Alec Bohm to draw Philadelphia within one, but it was ultimately mere consolation when the Mets catcher Luis Torrens executed a rare 2-3 double play – getting the out at home before throwing to first – to seal victory.