Flores brushes off brush-back, then blows away the Phils

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - By Rob Par­ent rpar­ent@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Reluc­tan­tSE on Twit­ter

At first, Wilmer Flores thought he’d been brushed by a pitch by Phillies re­liever Vic­tor Arano. Un­luck­ily for the Phillies Mon­day night, the re­plays in­di­cated oth­er­wise.

Flores went back into the box and be­fore too long, Arano would groove a 3-1 four-seamer up in the strike zone and Flores did what he does best. His blast off the left field foul pole gave the Mets a 4-3 vic­tory in 10 in­nings in the first game of a twi-night dou­ble­header.

Not that it seemed fa­mil­iar or any­thing.

It was the fourth ca­reer walkoff home run for Flores, ty­ing for the Mets’ fran­chise lead with Cleon Jones, Chris Jones, Kevin McReynolds and Mike Pi­azza. Flores has a fran­chise­high 10 walk-off RBIs now, too.

“I don’t know if any­body has a knack for walk-off home runs,” Phils man­ager Gabe Kapler said, “but that was cer­tainly a big one.”

What made it hurt worse was the way the Phillies could have, should have had the game un­der con­trol prior to that. The Phillies left 12 men on base. Do­ing much of that dam­age was slump­ing Odubel Her­rera (0-for-5) and Scott Kingery, each of whom left four run­ners on base.

“We did have some chances to score runs and ul­ti­mately we didn’t get the big hit in the big mo­ment,” Kapler said. “We’ve had that hap­pen from time to time dur­ing the sea­son. It’s part of base­ball. It’s a round ball, a round bat. Swing and miss some­times. You put the ball in the seats some­times. And to­day in Game 1 we didn’t get the big hit.”

*** Start­ing pitcher Zach Eflin, bothered in his last out­ing by a blis­ter on a finger on his pitch­ing hand be­cause he’d “cut a nail too short,” ad­mit­ted he wasn’t 100 per­cent in Game 1 against the Mets.

But that wasn’t be­cause of his nail-trim­ming in­abil­i­ties.

“Not like it did last out­ing,” Eflin said when asked if the finger was bother­ing him. “It was there to­day but it wasn’t con­cern­ing at all. So it was just frus­trat­ing not hav­ing your stuff.”

Eflin went just five in­nings, al­low­ing three earned runs on five hits and strik­ing out four. He threw just 84 pitches, af­ter be­ing lifted af­ter just 82 in his pre­vi­ous out­ing.

“I thought I bat­tled and was able to kind of limit the dam­age that was on base at the time,” Eflin said. “I didn’t re­ally have slider com­mand. I didn’t have curve­ball com­mand. I threw some change­ups that were kind of up in the zone. My heater, four-seam, I felt some re­ally good ones but at times I just didn’t get in enough or didn’t sink enough. But I thought they hit some re­ally good pitches.

“At the end of the day you are go­ing to run into starts like that.”

FRANK FRANKLIN II — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS The Mets’ Wilmer Flores, right, hugs team­mate Jose Reyes af­ter hit­ting a walk-off home run in the 10th in­ning of the first game of a dou­ble­header against the Phillies Mon­day night at Citi Field.

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