- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHILADELPHIA -- Juan Lagares is starting to look like big league material.
The rookie center fielder glided backward to take away a potential tiebreaking hit from Carlos Ruiz that ended the fifth. Then, a half-inning later, the 24-year-old Lagares put the Mets in the lead for good as part of a career-high-matching three-hit night.
Final score: Mets 4, Phillies 3 on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
New York Mets
The Mets (29-41) have won four of six games on this 11-game road trip, which will include stops in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago (AL) as well as a cameo in Colorado.
With Jeremy Hefner facing a bases-loaded, two-out jam and with the score tied at three, Lagares retreated in center field and ran down Ruiz's shot for the fifth inning's final out. Then, in the top of the sixth, Lagares gave the Mets the lead with an RBI double against Cole Hamels.
Lagares finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. He was starting for the fifth time in six games. He should continue to see playing time given his performance and a continued string of opposing left-handed pitching, including John Lannan on Sunday in Philly and Chris Sale and John Danks against the Chicago White Sox in the two-game series that follows.
Eric Young Jr. had a big game Friday, too. With the Mets trailing 3-0, Young doubled to lead off the fourth for the Mets' first hit against Hamels. Young then scored on David Wright's single. An inning later, Young evened the score at three with a two-run single.
Hamels was ultimately charged with four runs on seven hits and three walks (one intentional) in six innings. He was charged with his MLB-leading 11th loss.
As the Mets officially returned to a five-man rotation with Jonathon Niese sidelined, Hefner limited Philadelphia to three runs (two earned) on 10 hits and a walk in six innings and departed with a 4-3 lead. One of the runs was unearned because second baseman Daniel Murphy flubbed a two-out grounder in the second inning that allowed Philadelphia's third run of that frame to score.
Hefner (2-6, 3.89 ERA) won for only the second time this season. The Mets have allowed eight unearned runs to score with Hefner pitching over his past three starts.
What's next: Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.56 ERA) opposes right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.40 ERA) at 4:05 p.m. Saturday. Gee, despite battling elbow tendinitis, has a 1.53 ERA and has struck out 32 and walked four over his past four starts.