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Mets closing in on division title


CINCINNATI—Daniel Murphy had three hits, including a tie-breaking triple in the seventh inning, as the N.Y. Mets closed in on their first playoff appearance in nine years by beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 last night.

The victory, combined with Washington’s 5-4 loss to Baltimore, reduced the Mets’ magic number for clinching the NL East to three.

Steven Matz tried to extend his record-setting start with the Mets but couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead.

He had allowed two or fewer runs in each of his first five starts—a club record—but gave up a pair of RBI singles by Brandon Phillips and left with the game tied 3-3 in the sixth.

Murphy’s two-out triple off left-hander Manny Parra (1-2) started a three-run rally in the seventh.

Yoenis Cespedes singled for another run, then Lucas Duda followed with his second RBI double of the game.

Jay Bruce hit a solo homer off Hansel Robles in the eighth, cutting it to 6-4.

But Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth for his 42nd save in 47 chances—one shy of Armando Benitez’s club record from 2001.

The Mets hoped to regroup on the road after going 3-6 on their first losing homestand of the season.

They’re 27-11 on the road since July 1 and have won eight-straight away from Citi Field—one shy of the team record.

Elsewhere in the NL, L.A. doubled Arizona 6-3, Pittsburgh topped Colorado 5-4, Miami nipped Philadelphia 1-0, St. Louis beat Milwaukee 7-3, and San Diego edged San Francisco 5-4.

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