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Cabrera 11th-inning homer leads Mets over Phillies 9-8

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NEW YORK (AP) Jose Reyes hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth inning and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run drive in an 11th-inning comeback to lift the New York Mets to a dramatic 9-8 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night that assured them of remaining in the NL wild-card lead.

New York trailed 6-4 when pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo singled off Jeanmar Gomez leading off the ninth and Reyes sent changeup over the right-field wall with one out.

Reyes, who rejoined the Mets this summer, had never homered to tie a game in the ninth inning or later. He danced with Alejandro De Aza in the dugout before exchanging exuberant high-fives with teammates.

Philadelphia went ahead 8-6 in the 11th when A.J. Ellis hit an RBI single off Jeurys Familia and Jim Henderson (2-2) walked Maikel Franco with the bases loaded.

Pinch-hitter Michael Conforto walked against Edubray Ramos (1-3) with one out in the bottom half, Reyes singled and Cabrera, who has been playing with a strained left knee tendon, sent a slider soaring to right, setting off a wild celebration. The Mets had been 0-63 this year when trailing after eight innings.

New York, which stopped a three-game skid, began the night tied with St. Louis and San Francisco for the NL wild-card lead.

The Mets used 27 players, including 10 pitchers, to win a New York used to win a struggle that took 4 hours, 23 minutes.

New York wasted a lead provided by Curtis Granderson‘s two-run homer and fell behind 3-2 when Ryan Howard and Cameron Rupp homered on consecutive pitches from Seth Lugo in the fifth. Lugo is among the rookies inserted into the Mets rotation because of injuries to Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: LHP Steven Matz was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday because of continued discomfort in his left shoulder. He hasn’t pitched since Aug. 14.

Phillies: OF Tyler Goeddel was diagnosed with a concussion after getting hit by a Chris Beck pitch on Wednesday. . RHP Luis Garcia was hit on the right ankle by a sixth-inning line drive off the bat of James Loney. Garcia remained in the game.

UP NEXT

RHP Jeremy Hellickson (12-9) starts against the Mets for the fifth time this year on Friday. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 1/3 innings. RHP Gabriel Ynoa (1-0) will start in place of Matz.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.