PHILADELPHIA -- For the third time this season, the Mets own a winning streak of at least half a dozen games. They grabbed their sixth straight win with a 9-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night, extending their National League East lead over the Nationals to 6 1/2 games -- their largest since leading the Phillies by seven games with 17 to go in 2007 -- and putting themselves on pace for exactly 90 wins.
"You've got to win games you're supposed to win, there's no question about it," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Right now, we'll take it."
A continued offensive renaissance resulted in three first-inning runs off Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff and plenty of late insurance. Michael Cuddyer homered and drove in three runs, Michael Conforto delivered another multihit game and the Mets plated six-plus runs for the fifth time in their last six games, giving Bartolo Colon plenty of cushion throughout his seven scoreless innings.
"I'm not happy about the loss," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You never want to lose games. The Mets have had our number all year. We want to beat them, especially with a game tomorrow. We need to salvage something out of this series."
The Mets wound up cashing in much of their insurance when the Phillies rallied for four runs off Eric O'Flaherty and Carlos Torres in the eighth, highlighted by Cameron Rupp's two-run double. But Tyler Clippard nailed down the final out of the eighth and the Mets cruised from there.
The Phillies have lost eight consecutive games to the Mets and 11 of 12 this season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED First on the board: For the second straight night and the third time in four games, the Mets jumped out to a lead in the top of the first. Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera sparked the rally when he ranged under Curtis Granderson's deep fly ball … and dropped it. Daniel Murphy later drove Granderson home on a groundout, Cuddyer added an RBI double and Conforto singled home Cuddyer.
Eickhoff recovers from shaky start: The righty allowed three runs, two earned, in the first inning but quickly recovered and allowed just four runs over six innings. In a stretch that began with the final two outs of the first, the rookie retired 16 straight Mets hitter, five of which were strikeouts, before a Conforto double and a Juan Uribe single gave the Mets their fourth run of the night in the sixth. Eickhoff, who threw six scoreless innings in his Major League debut on Friday, fell to 1-1. More >
"I thought [Eickhoff] did an outstanding job after that first inning," Mackanin said. "He basically had a quality start tonight. He turned himself around and pitched very well through the sixth inning."
Bart cruises: It initially seemed like it would be another one of those games for Colon, who allowed singles to three of the first four batters he faced. But Colon used a double play to escape that jam, then largely kept the Phillies off the basepaths through seven scoreless innings. The outing came just in time for a pitcher who came into the game with a 6.08 ERA since the All-Star break. More >
Too little, too late:The Phillies' offense lay dormant for most of the night against Colon. In the eighth, against the Mets' bullpen, the Phillies showed some signs of life as they manufactured four runs on four hits, a walk and an error. Clippard ended the threat when he got Darnell Sweeney to strike out swinging with two on.
"We fought back," Mackanin said. "We were kind of listless the whole game. Mainly because Colon really knows how to pitch. That's the first time I've really seen him use more than a fastball. He generally cuts you up with a fastball, but tonight he used all of his pitches."
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When Cuddyer's eighth-inning home run landed in the second deck, the Mets tied their franchise record with 40 homers in a month. They also hit 40 in June 2006. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Mets:David Wright will be back in the lineup for the Mets' series finale Thursday against the Phillies. He'll start at third base behind left-hander Jon Niese, who will pitch the 7:05 p.m. ET game at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets plan to have Wright play in three straight games, before resting him again Sunday against the Red Sox.
Phillies:Aaron Harang will get the call as the Phillies try to escape the Mets' stranglehold on them. The veteran right-hander will try to post his second straight quality start.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.