Jay Bruce lifts Phillies to win over Mets
The Phillies are in a position entering Thursday to sweep a four-game set from the New York Mets. Jay Bruce put the club in this position last night, crushing a 10th-inning walk-off double on Wednesday night to give the Phillies a 5-4 win over the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils were down by three in the seventh, but Jean Segura highlighted the frame with a two-run single to even the score. The Phillies bullpen tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit.

Rhys Hoskins opened the 10th with a walk and J.T. Realmuto followed with a single up the middle. Jay Bruce then proceeded to hit a Stephen Nogosek pitch over the head of Juan Lagares in center to plate the winning run.

Since joining the Phils via trade, Bruce has played in 19 games and is hitting .294 with seven homers and 20 RBIs. He's proven to be a solid addition to a club that desperately needed another proven bat.

"I don't think there's any way I could actually express it in words, how important he's been to the club," manager Gabe Kapler said of Bruce afterward (see video below). "He spent a tremendous amount of time in the clubhouse getting to know our players very quickly. You guys have seen how many big hits he's gotten for us and how clutch he's been."

"I talked to him this morning about the possibility of maybe giving him a day. We have some [right-handed starting pitching opponents] coming up. I thought maybe it might be a good time to get him off his feet. It wasn't a push or anything. It was an open conversation between two grown-ups. He said, 'I'm in there. Not only am I in there, but I give the Phillies the best chance to win a baseball game.' And as he was coming off the field right there, he said, 'I told you.' And I believe him.

"Everything he has said has been true — from the time he got to the Phillies, from the time he walked into my office in San Diego and said he was still a strong enough defender to put out there every day, that his body was capable of bouncing back. He's proven that to be true. That he can hit left-handed pitching. He's proven that to be true. I'll never doubt another word that Jay Bruce says."

The Mets are awful right now, but that doesn't matter when it comes to putting games in the win column.

Even with the win, the Phillies sit 5 1/2 games behind the Braves in the division. Following Thursday's matinee, the club heads to Miami for a weekend set with the last-place Marlins.

Today's Pitching Matchup
Aaron Nola has not been spectacular this year, but he pieced together an outstanding performance his last time out - tossing eight innings while collecting 10 strikeouts in a loss to the Marlins. He'll hope to do something similar on Thursday as the Mets counter with Zach Wheeler who allowed one run over seven innings in a win over the Cubs in his last time out.

Today's Lineup
Kingery 8
Segura 6
Harper 9
Hoskins 3
Bruce 7
Hernandez 4
Franco 5
Knapp 2
Nola 1

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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