MLB: Mets look to rebound vs. Phillies in London

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Despite being over 3,500 miles away from Philadelphia, Phillies star Bryce Harper looks right at home.

Harper finished a triple shy of the cycle in London on Saturday, and he will attempt to continue impressing fans across the pond on Sunday when Philadelphia wraps up a two-game set with the New York Mets.

The Phillies get to play as the home team in the series finale after serving as the visitors in the opener.

Thanks in large part to a 3-for-4 effort from Harper, Philadelphia cruised to a 7-2 victory over New York on Saturday. The Phillies did most of their damage in the fourth inning, hanging six runs on the Mets via a three-run homer from Whit Merrifield, a solo shot from Harper and RBI singles from Edmundo Sosa and Kyle Schwarber.

After his one-out blast, Harper catered his celebration to the London fans, sliding in front of Philadelphia’s dugout like he had just scored a goal on the pitch — or soccer field, as Americans typically call it.

Harper is hoping his antics help turn London Stadium into a home away from home for the Phillies on Sunday.

“Jump on the wagon. C’mon,” Harper said. “We’ll take everybody. I don’t care where you’re from, who you are, what you do, man, I’ll take anybody you got. So, you wanna wear Phillies stuff, you’re part of our family, you’re part of Philadelphia. Just make sure you show up.”

Right-hander Taijuan Walker (3-1, 5.73 ERA) will be hoping Harper’s recruitment methods work, as he is set to make his eighth start of the season.

In his most recent outing, Walker gave up four runs on five hits in five innings against the St. Louis Cardinals last Sunday. He did not factor into the decision.

Walker is 1-3 with a 3.44 ERA in seven career starts against New York.

The Mets will counter with left-hander Jose Quintana (1-5, 5.17), who took a no-decision against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Sunday after allowing three runs and four hits in four innings.

In 10 career starts against the Phillies, Quintana is 0-2 with a 3.72 ERA.

New York recorded a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals ahead of the international series, and it very well could have recorded a fourth consecutive win on Saturday had it not been for the characteristics of London Stadium.

The Mets had trouble seeing the ball all game and New York right fielder Starling Marte made a costly mistake in the fourth inning, losing a weak fly ball in the air and letting it drop in for Sosa’s run-scoring single.

Merrifield followed with his three-run blast, breaking the game open.

Marte wants to clean up his defense for Sunday, and for the rest of the season.

“I just think we need to continue working on the positioning,” Marte said through an interpreter. “I think a lot of the plays I have struggled with this year have been the ones that have been down the line, and I think those are the conversations that me and the coaching staff need to have going forward.”

Sunday marks the sixth meeting of the season between the teams. Philadelphia is 4-1 against the Mets.

–Field Level Media

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