NEW YORK — The Philadelphia Phillies can’t find any relief from the bullpen blues this month.
Brought into a tight game in the fifth inning, Frank Herrmann immediately gave up a three-run homer to Michael Conforto and the New York Mets broke away for a 10-5 win Friday night.
Phillies relievers entered the game with a 1-7 record, seven blown saves and a 6.13 ERA in September — they let leads get away in the ninth inning and again in the 11th Thursday night.
“We talked about how we like our young pitchers, which we do a lot. The whole bunch of them,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
“We’ve been in so many close games that we rely heavily on the bullpen for most of the year. Perhaps it’s catching up to us,” he said.
Conforto’s homer capped a six-run rally, and the Mets added three more against three relievers in the seventh.
The Mets began the day tied with San Francisco for the wild-card lead. St. Louis lost and trails New York by 1 1/2 games.
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson (12-10) was coming off his first shutout since 2011. He took a 3-1 lead into the fifth, but the Mets loaded the bases with one out. Curtis Granderson singled home a run and Kelly Johnson hit an RBI single, with another run scoring when rookie right fielder Roman Quinn overran the ball for a 4-3 lead.
Herrmann came in, and Conforto connected on the fifth pitch.
“Fastball command, just couldn’t find it,” Hellickson said. “I feel like that’s the cause every time I come here. You lose the fastball command and I try to get a little too predictable and before you know it, I’m at 30, 35 pitches in the inning.”
“This combination of losing command and that’s a good lineup and they put some good at-bats together, I just couldn’t make a big pitch when I needed to,” he said.
A day after using 10 pitchers in a stirring 9-8, 11-inning win over the Phillies, the Mets sent out six more. With his team competing for a playoff spot, manager Terry Collins yanked starter Gabriel Ynoa after just two shaky innings.
Robles preserved a 7-5 lead in the seventh, getting pinch hitter Tommy Joseph to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Robles finished with hitless relief for his first career save.
Maikel Franco homered for the second straight day and pinch hitter Darin Ruf also connected for the Phillies.
Cesar Hernandez and Quinn hit RBI singles in the second off Ynoa. Hernandez has safely reached in 28 straight games, matching the best streak by a Phillies player since Chase Utley in 2011.
THIS ‘N THAT
Ruf hit his first home run of the season, and the second pinch-hit homer of his career. … Franco hit his team-leading 24th homer, one more than Ryan Howard. … Odubel Herrera stole his 25th base. … Phillies starters hadn’t given up more than three earned runs in 19 straight starts before Hellickson was charged with six in 4 1/3 innings.
Phillies: RHP Jeanmar Gomez is feeling fine, but manager Pete Mackanin says he won’t close for a couple of days. Gomez gave up a tying home run to Jose Reyes in the ninth inning Thursday night, and is 0-2 with a 16.20 ERA in 10 games this month.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard has been scratched from his start Saturday night because of strep throat. Collins said Syndergaard might be able to start Monday or Tuesday at Miami.
Phillies: RHP Alec Asher (1-0, 2.16) makes his fourth start for the Phillies this year. He started against the Mets last Sept. 30 and gave up five runs while getting chased in the first inning.
Mets: LHP Sean Gilmartin will pitch Saturday night in place of the ailing Syndergaard. Gilmartin’s only major league start came last year. He is 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA in 13 games this season, and got two outs Thursday night.