Phillies avoid sweep, Rhys Hoskins gets revenge in victory over Mets

Scott Lauber, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News on

Published in Baseball

NEW YORK -- On his second pitch of the fourth inning Wednesday night, Vince Velasquez reared back and fired a 92-mph fastball that hit Todd Frazier on the fleshy part of his upper left arm. Frazier dropped his bat and ran to first base, as home-plate umpire Brian Gorman issued warnings to both dugouts.

And that, as they say, was the end of that.

There was no beanbrawl between the Phillies and Mets in the finale of their three-game series at Citi Field. Still annoyed over Rhys Hoskins getting buzzed by two up-and-in fastballs in the ninth inning of a blowout loss the night before, the Phillies extracted their pound of flesh the old-fashioned way, without anybody getting ejected or injured as a consequence.

But they also accomplished something far more meaningful. They won.

Backed by another solid outing from Velasquez, their No. 5 starter, and good work from the bullpen, the Phillies escaped New York with a 6-0 victory, snapping a three-game losing streak and avoiding a sweep by their division rival.

Oh, Hoskins got his revenge, too. Facing Mets reliever Jacob Rhame in the ninth inning for a second consecutive game, he lifted a two-run homer into the first row of seats in left field and slowed his usual trot to almost a walk as he rounded the bases. It was comic relief for the Phillies, who had little to chuckle about during a 2-5 trip to Colorado and New York.

And if Hoskins made himself a few enemies among the Mets' pitching staff, well, the teams will play 13 more times this season.

Now, though, the Phillies are headed back to Citizens Bank Park to open a nine-game homestand that begins with four games against the last-place Miami Marlins and two interleague contests with the rebuilding Detroit Tigers. Moreover, they expect injured shortstop Jean Segura to return to the lineup possibly as soon as Saturday or Sunday.

In other words, relief might be on the way.


Back-to-back first-inning doubles by J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper gave the Phillies their first lead since the end of Saturday night's game in Colorado. Since that 8-5 victory, they had been outscored, 18-2, by the Rockies and Mets in three consecutive losses.

But the mini-rally was also the only offense the Phillies were able to sustain against Mets lefty Jason Vargas, who entered with a 9.58 ERA in three starts this season. They put the leadoff hitter on base in the second and third innings and failed to score before Vargas retired the side on 12 pitches in the fourth.

The biggest missed opportunity came in the fifth inning. With two on and one out, Harper struck out against Vargas before Hoskins flew out softly to left field against reliever Seth Lugo.

The Phillies broke open the game against the Mets' bullpen, scoring four runs in the eighth inning against reliever Robert Gsellman.

It was the culmination of a quiet road trip for an offense that flexed its muscles so impressively during the season's first two weeks, most of which was spent at homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park. In the seven games in Colorado and New York, the Phillies went 12 for 53 with runners in scoring position and left 61 men on base.


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