PHILADELPHIA — Nick Castellanos homered and drove in four runs to reach a career-best 103 RBIs in a season, and the Philadelphia Phillies maintained their hold on the top NL wild-card spot with a 5-4 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night.
Alec Bohm also homered and Bryce Harper added a pair of hits for the defending NL champion Phillies, who opened a seven-game homestand with their fifth win in their last seven game. Philadelphia (84-69) is 3 games ahead of Arizona for the first NL wild card.
Mark Vientos homered, and Jeff McNeil singled, doubled, tripled and drove in a run for the Mets.
Castellanos hit a 92 mph fastball from Jeff Brigham (1-3) 454 feet off the facing of the second deck in left field in the sixth inning to put Philadelphia in front 5-4. Castellanos' two-run single in the first gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead, and he got another RBI in the third with a sacrifice fly. His previous single-season career best was 101 RBIs in 2017 when he was with Detroit.
"It's pretty cool to get 100 RBIs," Castellanos said. "It means you're getting a lot of at-bats, playing a lot of games and driving in a lot of guys."
It has been a bounceback season for Castellanos following a subpar 2022 in which he hit 13 homers and drove in 62 runs after signing a five-year, $100 million deal prior to the season.
"I thought he'd be back to his normal self, and this is pretty close, if not better," Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said.
He earned his second trip to the All-Star game this season, and his 28 homers are six shy of his career high set in 2021 with Cincinnati.
"Just getting back to my foundation, the things I do every day, the mind set of control what I can control, believe that it's going to be good in the end if I just stay consistent," Castellanos said of the key to the season.
Philadelphia left-hander Ranger Suárez (4-6) gave up four runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
José Alvarado tossed a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.
The Mets pulled within a run in the fourth on Francisco Alvarez's sacrifice fly and tied it at 4 in the sixth on Vientos' leadoff drive to left.
New York threatened in the eighth, putting runners on first and third with one out. But Craig Kimbrel got Alvarez to pop out foul to first base and struck out Brett Baty.
"We just couldn't get that last one," Mets manager Buck Showalter said of the tying run. "We gave ourselves opportunities."
Mets starter David Peterson struck out seven but allowed four runs on five hits in four innings.
The Mets and Phillies will face off in six of the final nine contests, with three more scheduled in Philly this weekend before they close out the regular season Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in New York. The Phillies improved to 3-4 against the Mets this season.
Schwarber walked to lead off the contest, upping his season total to 123 to pull within six walks of tying the club record set by Lenny Dykstra in 1993. Schwarber is second in MLB in walks, trailing only San Diego's Juan Soto.
RHP Tylor Megill (8-8, 4.94) takes the mound for the Mets against Philadelphia RHP Taijuan Walker (15-5, 4.40) on Friday night.
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