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Mets fall flat in 7-2 loss to Phillies in London Series opener

LONDON, UK - The Mets dropped the first of their two London Series games on Saturday as the Phillies batted around in the top of the fourth inning, with Sean Manaea giving up six runs, and held on for a comfortable 7-2 win.

Here are the takeaways...

-The atmosphere in London was surprisingly intense, with plenty of “Let’s Go Mets” chants from the Mets fans in attendance, many of whom - but not all - made the trip across the pond. This helped give the event a true sense of occasion with just under 54,000 fans in attendance, but they seemed to have lost interest by the bottom of the eighth inning as they started doing the wave.

-Manaea took 21 pitches to get through the top of the first inning but settled down well to get through the first three innings unscathed, with his off-speed pitches effective as he struck out three of the first six men he faced.

-The Mets struck early when Francisco Lindor laced a double down the left field line and then Starling Marte did exactly the same thing with two outs to plate him for the go-ahead run.

-Phillies starter Ranger Suarez, who statistically tends to get better as the game goes along, also settled down after giving up those two extra-base hits in the bottom of the first.

-While the ball has traditionally carried well in these London games, that wasn’t the case in the early stages of Saturday’s game. However, Bryce Harper launched a deep home run, his 15th of the season, to right field to tie the score in the top of the fourth. In addition, the infield was noticeably fast and the ball was bouncing higher than usual on the custom-made London Stadium artificial turf.

-After the home run, Manaea struggled to get through the top of their fourth and, after a mound visit with two men on, gave up a bloop single to Edmundo Sosa and a three-run line drive home run to Whit Merrifield to increase the lead to 5-1.

-Manaea eventually departed after Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single dropped just in front of a diving Harrison Bader in center field to make it 6-1. He ultimately threw 81 pitches in 3.2 innings, giving up seven hits and six earned runs and saw his ERA increase to 4.30 on the year. Sean Reid-Foley replaced him and induced a ground ball to mercifully end the inning.

-The Mets scratched out another run in the bottom of the fifth as some heads-up baserunning by Lindor enabled him to score on a Martinez ground-out to third base. The Mets then chased Suarez from the game in the bottom of the sixth but were unable to cash in when Lindor struck out with two on and two out. Suarez’s final line, on 89 pitches, saw him give up eight hits but just two runs with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

-Adrian Houser pitched a solid 2.2 innings in relief before being replaced by Danny Young with a man on first and two outs in the top of the seventh. Young struck out Harper, who wound up a triple short of being the first player to hit for the cycle in London, to end the threat. However, Young gave up a solo home run to Nick Castellanos in the top of the eighth to extend the lead to 7-2.

-J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets ended up just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Alonso, Lindor, Marte and Iglesias each had two of the Mets’ 10 hits. Iglesias remains hot, as he has nine hits in his first six games with the Mets.

Game MVP: Bryce Harper

The honor goes to Harper, whose three-hit day included the home run that started the decisive fourth-inning rally. Harper was one of the main players UK-based fans were eager to see and he didn’t let them down.

Highlights

What's next

The Mets and Phillies have under 24 hours to prepare to go at it once again from the London Stadium for a 10:10 a.m. EDT first pitch, 3:10 p.m. in London.

Lefty Jose Quintana (5.17 ERA and 1.388 WHIP over 62.2 innings) gets the ball for his 13th start of the campaign. Philly starts ex-Met Taijuan Walker (5.73 ERA and 1.593 WHIP over 37.2 innings) will make his eighth start.