The Mets may now be regretting not making a serious run at Taijuan Walker in the offseason.
The veteran right-hander — who was part of a rotation on an Mets’ team that won 101 games and made the playoffs last season — won his sixth consecutive start for the Phillies on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia extended its road winning streak to 11 games with an 8-4 victory over the AL-leading Tampa Bay Rays.
It’s the third-longest road winning streak in Phillies history, trailing a 13-game run in 1976 and 12-game stretch that spanned the 1887 and ’88 seasons.
Walker has been a key part of the recent resurgence of the Phillies, who improved to 46-39 and are in third place in the NL East, 11¹/₂ games behind the division-leading Braves but 6¹/₂ games ahead of the fourth-place Mets.
Walker, who didn’t have his best stuff in this one, still grinded out a solid seven-inning outing after allowing four runs and five hits in the first three frames.
The right-hander, who is now 10-3 with a 4.02 ERA this season, walked five and struck out eight.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson, whose team is 21-7 in their last 28 games, said with a smile that Walker was “effectively wild.”
Walker had been on a dominant run in his five previous starts, allowing just three runs over 32 innings.
The 30-year-old veteran said he was proud he was able to get into a groove after a rough start of the game.
“It really could have been a lot worse,” Walker said. “Five walks, something I don’t want to do, especially against a team like that (can) score at will. Towards the end of the game I was able to put those shutdown innings up.”
Walker, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Phillies in December, told The Post during the Phillies recent road trip to Citi Field in early June that he had interest in returning to the Mets.
“We didn’t really have too much communication, and the Phillies showed interest from the beginning and they really wanted me,” Walker said. “For a team to really want you and really push hard for you, it makes you as a player feel good.”
Walker went 19-16 with a 3.98 ERA in his two season with the Mets, and he made his lone All-Star Game as a replacement in 2021.
Bryson Stott had four hits, and J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm each had three as Philadelphia finished with 17 hits overall to help lift Walker to his 10th victory.
Bryce Harper went 2 for 5 in his fifth consecutive game with two hits.
The Phillies will try to sweep the three-game series Thursday night after winning 3-1 behind Aaron Nola’s 7¹/₃ strong innings Tuesday night.
The Rays have lost a season-high four in a row and 10 of 16 overall.
After starting 30-6 at home, Tampa Bay has dropped six of 10, but still lead the Orioles by five games and the Yankees by eight in the AL East race.
— with AP
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