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Kodai Senga gem, Brandon Nimmo defense propel Mets past Phillies

Kodai Senga kept the ball in the strike zone and kept it away from Phillies bats.

And on the rare occasion when the Mets starter actually allowed contact, Brandon Nimmo kept the ball in the park.

Senga threw seven scoreless, walk-less, one-hit innings and received a big assist from Nimmo, who brought back a would-be home run. The two, with help from strong bullpen work, conspired to shut down the Phillies in a 2-0 win at Citi Field in front of 36,236 on Tuesday night.

The Mets (28-27) snapped a two-game losing streak and opened a six-game homestand with a victory in which a Francisco Lindor homer and an Eduardo Escobar RBI single were the only offense they needed.

Senga was excellent in his longest start since coming to MLB and looked worth his $75 million contract against an NL East rival.

The righty, who had not pitched past the sixth inning previously, did not walk a batter for the first time and struck out nine over seven nearly perfect frames.

Kodai Senga celebrates after striking out Kyle Schwarber to end the seventh inning during the Mets' 2-0 win over the Phillies.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Kody Clemens singled into left field with one out in the third inning, and Senga proceeded to retire the next 14 batters he saw.

Senga got better as the game got longer, touched 98.5 mph with his fastball and struck out six in his final three innings with a ghost forkball that was particularly deadly: Philadelphia batters swung 14 times at the offering and missed eight.

Senga has been nearly untouchable at home, where he sports a 1.20 ERA in five starts. That number rises to 6.12 in five road starts.

Tuesday, Senga’s lone mistake was hammered an estimated 388 feet — but, significantly, not 389.

In the fourth inning of a scoreless game, Nick Castellanos blasted a down-the-middle cutter to left-center field, where Nimmo sprinted back and had a bead on the ball. He timed his leap and speared the ball just before it cleared the fence and landed with both the catch and a smile.

A pumped-up Nimmo pumped his fist, shouted with joy and fired the ball back in, as Senga lifted his arms in appreciation.

Brandon Nimmo robs Nick Castellanos of a home run during the fourth inning of the Mets' victory.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The Mets seized momentum and a lead just two pitches into the bottom of the inning.

Lindor smacked the second pitch he saw from lefty Ranger Suarez 403 feet to left, deep enough that no outfielder could bring it back. Lindor’s fourth homer in his past eight games was the only scoring the Mets saw until the seventh inning.

Starling Marte singled — one of just six hits for the Mets — and moved to second on a bunt from Jeff McNeil. With two outs, the Phillies pulled Suarez and turned to righty Connor Brogdon — but Mets manager Buck Showalter left Brett Baty on the bench and stuck with Escobar, who moved to the left side of the batters’ box.

Francisco Lindor celebrates as he rounds the bases after belting a solo home run in the fourth inning of the Mets' victory.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Po

Escobar stuck out his bat and grounded a single through the right side of the shaded infield to score Marte. Escobar, whose third-base spot had been taken over by Baty in April, has gone 13-for-33 (.394) with a pair of home runs in May.

Adam Ottavino pitched a scoreless eighth with some help from Francisco Alvarez, who threw out J.T. Realmuto trying to steal second.

David Robertson recorded his ninth save with a one-hit ninth, preserving a two-hitter that had as much to do with the Mets’ pitching as its defense.