Phillies 'change the trend' against Mets with 10-inning road win

Phillies 'change the trend' against Mets with 10-inning road win

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NEW YORK -- The New York Mets did not hit a home run against Phillies pitching on Tuesday night.

That almost qualifies as a stop-the-presses moment these days because it seems as if all the Mets do is take Phillies pitchers deep.

The Mets have out-homered the Phillies, 79-35, since the start of the 2015 season. They hit 10 of them in sweeping a three-game series from the Phillies last week at Citizens Bank Park. That sweep helped the Mets build a 29-12 record against the Phils since the start of 2015 entering Tuesday night's matchup at Citi Field.

Not only did the Phillies keep the Mets in the yard Tuesday, they out-homered them -- Odubel Herrera hit his first of the season in the first inning -- and beat them, 6-2, by scoring the tying run in the eighth inning and four more in the top of the 10th (see Instant Replay).

"It was really good to beat those guys," manager Pete Mackanin said. "We had to change the trend a little bit. Hopefully, it gives us some confidence playing them from here on out. You hold a team like that to two runs and you've done a good job."

The Phillies' pitching was a huge part of the win.

Zach Eflin made his season debut with the big club. He was shaky out of the gate, giving up three walks in the first inning. Two of them turned into runs.

But Eflin did not give up another run the remainder of his five innings of work and the bullpen was exceptional with Joely Rodriguez, Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris, Luis Garcia and Joaquin Benoit combining on five shutout innings.

Mackanin often talks about how this team does not quit and the proof is in the line score over the last three games. In that span, the team has scored five eighth-inning runs to either tie the game or take the lead.

In this game, the Phils pushed across one in the eighth. It started with Cameron Rupp drawing a two-out walk. The Mets were on their way to getting out of the frame when Freddy Galvis skied a pop up to third base. Third baseman Jose Reyes and catcher Travis d'Arnaud converged. The ball hit off Reyes' glove and fell to the ground for an error and a break the Phillies capitalized on when pinch-hitter Andres Blanco stroked a ground-rule double to score Rupp with the tying run. The Phillies might have gotten another run there if Galvis had run out the pop-up and been on second base.

"Freddy thought the ball was foul and he didn't run," Mackanin said. "It was so unlike Freddy to do that. It was disappointing. But Freddy knows he should have run. He thought it was foul and it drifted fair. He knows what he did."

Galvis owned up to the mistake.

"It was my fault," he said.

He added that he "felt bad" when he had to stay on third base because Blanco's double bounced over the wall.

Michael Saunders started the 10th-inning rally against reliever Rafael Montero with an infield hit and Tommy Joseph followed with a line-drive hit to right, sending Saunders to third.

With runners on the corners in a tie game in the 10th, the Mets played the infield back instead of up to cut the run. That seemed to indicate that they had little regard for the Phillies' offense and full confidence that they could rally against the bullpen in the bottom of the inning if the Phillies did score.

With the infield back, Rupp lifted a long fly ball to right to get the go-ahead run home. The Phils then scored three more times on hits by Aaron Altherr and Daniel Nava to take a four-run lead.

"We were talking about that," Mackanin said of the Mets' decision to play the infield back. "We couldn't figure it out. Maybe they thought with their offense they could give up one and get a double play. That's probably the most likely scenario."

Rupp saw the infield back.

"Maybe they thought if they gave up one they could get two," he said. "I don't know. I was just thinking about getting the ball in the air."

He did that.

The RBI was just Rupp's third of the season. He is one of several Phillies off to a slow start at the plate. Four regulars -- Rupp, Joseph, Galvis and Maikel Franco -- are all hitting under .200.

"It's still too early to do any panicking, but I'd like to see them get a few hits here and there," Mackanin said. "From four through seven, we're not swinging the bats like we're capable of. We're not this bad. These guys are better hitters than they're showing. It's time for them to get it going.

"Hopefully a win like this will give them some confidence. It's just good to beat these guys."

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

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The loudest noise made by the Phillies' offense on Monday night was the thud — clearly audible above the small crowd — that Odubel Herrera created when he smashed his batting helmet on the dirt infield after grounding out to third base to end the seventh inning.

Herrera's frustration spoke for an entire team. The Phillies were hammered, 8-1, by the Colorado Rockies (see Instant Replay). They were out-hit, 13-3. The loss was the Phils' 18th in the last 22 games and they have been outscored 126-89 over that span.

The loss left the Phils at 15-27 for the season, matching their worst 42-game start since 2000 when they finished 65-97 in front of tiny crowds at Veterans Stadium in Terry Francona's last season as skipper.

Over the last two games, both losses, the Phils have just six hits.

"Three hits today, three hits yesterday," manager Pete Mackanin said. "You're not going to win a lot of games getting three hits."

Aaron Altherr had two of the Phillies' hits, both doubles against Colorado rookie Jeff Hoffman, who was very impressive with seven walk-free innings and seven strikeouts.

Herrera went hitless in three at-bats and is hitting just .200 in the month of May and .232 overall — not what the front office expected when it signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension in the offseason.

"It's very frustrating because I feel like I am being selective and waiting for my pitch, but when I make contact things don't happen," Herrera said. "I feel like I'm swinging the bat well, but I'm just missing."

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff gave up nine hits, seven of which were singles, and four runs over six innings. Four of the hits that Eickhoff allowed came in the third inning when the Rockies scored three times. Two of the runs scored on a flare double and the other on a groundball through a drawn-in infield.

"I executed a lot of good pitches," Eickhoff said. "I got a lot of the contact I wanted. The ball just didn't land in the gloves."

Eickhoff did not walk a batter. He struck out four.

Despite being 0-5 with a 4.70 ERA in nine starts, the right-hander believes he has made strides his last two outings. He gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings in his previous outing at Texas. Prior to that start, he worked on fixing a mechanical flaw in his delivery.

"These past two have been night-and-day different," he said. "I felt great today and in Texas and I'm going to keep that positivity going."

Finding other things to be positive about with this team is becoming difficult.

This Phillies team was not expected to contend; it is still in a rebuild. But things weren't supposed to be this bad, either.

"I'll tell you what, I'm getting frustrated, too," general manager Matt Klentak said before the game. "This team is better … there is more talent on this team than we've shown in terms of our record.

"We'll pull out of it. We will. That's what talented players will do. I'm not going to tell the fans they shouldn't be frustrated. We've gone through a tough stretch.

"But I'm not ready to call it regression. I think there's been a lack of consistency on our team in general, with some players more than others. There's been a lack of consistency, but especially for young players, two months is a relatively small sample size to categorize it as regression."

At 29-17, the Rockies have the best record in the National League. They have 16 road wins, which is one more than the Phillies have overall. The Rockies are in town for three more days. This ugly start could get even uglier.

Best of MLB: Twins pound out 21 hits, storm back to beat Orioles

Best of MLB: Twins pound out 21 hits, storm back to beat Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Max Kepler homered and drove in four runs, Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco each had a career-high four hits and the Minnesota Twins roared back to beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-7 Monday night.

Minnesota trailed 5-0 in the second inning and 6-2 entering the fifth before cranking up the offense against Ubaldo Jimenez and an ineffective Baltimore bullpen.

A two-run double by Kepler helped the Twins knot the score in the fifth, Minnesota sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run sixth and Sano added a two-run homer in the ninth.

Joe Mauer had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice for the Twins, who reached season highs in runs and hits (21).

Adam Jones hit a three-run drive in the second inning off Kyle Gibson (1-4) for Baltimore (see full recap).

Peacock, Astros 1-hit Tigers
HOUSTON -- Brad Peacock and three relievers combined for a one-hitter and Jose Altuve provided the offense with an RBI double to lead the Houston Astros to 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

Peacock was solid moving out of the bullpen to make a spot start for injured ace Dallas Keuchel. In his first start since September, Peacock allowed the lone hit and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings. He was lifted after walking Tyler Collins with one out in the fifth inning.

Chris Devenski (3-2) took over and pitched 2 2/3 innings for the win before Will Harris pitched a scoreless eighth. Ken Giles struck out two in the ninth for his 12th save to allow the Astros to bounce back after being swept by the Indians over the weekend.

Detroit's only hit was a single by Mikie Mahtook with one out in the third on a night the Tigers tied a season high by striking out 14 times. The team's only baserunner after Collins was Victor Martinez, who was plunked with one out in the seventh. But Houston still faced the minimum in that inning when J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play to end the seventh.

The Astros struck early against Michael Fulmer (5-2) when George Springer drew a leadoff walk before scoring on the double by Altuve to make it 1-0 with one out in the first (see full recap).

Homers help Yankees top Royals
NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and Chris Carter homered, and the New York Yankees once again downed Jason Vargas by beating the Kansas City Royals 4-2 Monday night.

A reversed umpire's call in the seventh inning kept the Yankees ahead and enabled Michael Pineda (5-2) to top Vargas for the second time in a week. The Royals, with the worst record in the AL, have lost five of seven.

Vargas (5-3) began the day with a 2.03 ERA, tied for second-best in the majors. But the lefty fell to 0-7 lifetime against the Yankees when he was tagged by Gardner and Gregorius, the only left-handed hitters in the New York lineup (see full recap).