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."

Best of MLB: Eric Thames hits league-leading 11th home run in Brewers' win vs. Reds

Best of MLB: Eric Thames hits league-leading 11th home run in Brewers' win vs. Reds

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames hit his major league-leading 11th home run -- his sixth against Cincinnati this season -- and the Milwaukee Brewers cruised to a 9-1 victory over the Reds on Tuesday night.

In his first season with the Brewers, Thames capped a five-run sixth with a two-run drive off reliever Robert Stephenson.

Hernan Perez had a pair of RBI triples, then homered off Stephenson leading off the sixth, and Jonathan Villar had a pair of two-run singles.

Zach Davies (2-2) allowed six hits in five scoreless innings, lowering his ERA from 8.24 to 6.57. He stranded a pair of runners in three innings (see full recap).

Keuchel tosses complete game in Astros' win over Indians
CLEVELAND -- Dallas Keuchel pitched a complete game to extend his promising start to the season and the Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 Tuesday night even though Jose Altuve and Teoscar Hernandez left following a frightening collision in the eighth inning.

Altuve and Hernandez were chasing a popup in right field and stayed down for a while after. Altuve appeared to get hit near his chin by Hernandez's arm, but he walked off the field under his own power. Hernandez, called up from the minors before the game, was carted off the field with an injury to his left leg.

Keuchel (4-0) gave up solo homers to Austin Jackson in the third and Michael Brantley in the ninth. The left-hander, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, held Cleveland to six hits and has a 1.22 ERA.

Josh Tomlin (1-3) allowed three runs -- all in the fifth -- in six innings (see full recap).

Tigers score 9 in 9th to rout Mariners, 19-9
DETROIT -- James McCann, Justin Upton and Alex Avila homered for Detroit -- and that was before the Tigers added nine runs in the fifth inning en route to a 19-9 rout of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Felix Hernandez (2-2) allowed four runs in two innings in his shortest outing since 2015, and Seattle's next two pitchers fared even worse. Detroit finished with 24 hits, 19 of which came in the first five innings. That was despite injuries that kept Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Jose Iglesias out of the lineup.

Jordan Zimmermann (2-1) allowed five runs in six innings. Jean Segura, Danny Valencia and Nelson Cruz hit solo homers for Seattle, but that wasn't nearly enough to keep up with Detroit's offensive onslaught.

Mikie Mahtook added another home run for the Tigers in the eighth. Ian Kinsler had four hits and four runs before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh (see full recap).

Nick Pivetta excited for big-league debut — even if rainout delays it a few days

Nick Pivetta excited for big-league debut — even if rainout delays it a few days

The Phillies' starting pitching rotation, for the time being, features four arms that were acquired in trades that have coincided with the team's rebuild, which started after the 2014 season.

Nick Pivetta will become the latest to join the group when he is officially activated. He was in the Phillies' clubhouse Tuesday afternoon and was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, but those plans changed when Tuesday night's game against the Miami Marlins was postponed because of rain.

No makeup date was announced.

The rainout means Pivetta's big-league debut will be pushed back. Vince Velasquez, Tuesday's scheduled starter, will pitch Wednesday night against the Marlins and Jeremy Hellickson will start the series finale Thursday. Jerad Eickhoff and Zach Eflin are likely to stay on turn and pitch Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles. That means Pivetta's debut will likely happen Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Not a bad venue for an unveiling. He does not have to be activated until that day. In the interim, the Phils are carrying an extra reliever in Mark Leiter Jr.

Even with the weather-related change in plans, Pivetta was thrilled to be in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

"I've achieved my goal of getting here eventually," the 24-year-old right-hander said. "I'm happy to be here. I want to get my feet on solid ground right now and just take it one step at a time."

Pivetta is a Canadian from Victoria, British Columbia, about 100 miles northwest of Seattle. As a kid, he watched Toronto Blue Jays' games on television and idolized Roy Halladay.

Victoria must now be Phillies territory. Michael Saunders, the team's rightfielder, also hails from the town.

"You see it more and more, more Canadians getting into the game of baseball, so it's always nice to see another one in the locker room," said Saunders, 30. "Clearly he's pitched well enough to earn his way up here and I'm looking forward to seeing him play."

Pivetta is 6-5, 225 pounds. He was originally selected by the Washington Nationals in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. The Phillies acquired him for Jonathan Papelbon and cash in July 2015.

Pivetta will take Aaron Nola's spot in the rotation. Nola is on the disabled list with tightness in his lower back. He could be back as soon as early next week.

Nola said he probably could have pushed himself and stayed in the rotation, but the team chose to be cautious.

"I don't think it's any big thing," Nola said.

With Pivetta on board, the Phillies now have four pitchers in their rotation that came over in "rebuild" trades.

Eflin arrived in the December 2014 deal that sent Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers.

Eickhoff came in the July 2015 deal that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers.

Velasquez came in the December 2015 trade that sent Ken Giles to the Astros.

Pivetta did not immediately pitch well upon joining the Phillies organization. He had a 7.31 ERA in seven starts for Double A Reading in the summer of 2015. In 28 1/3 innings, he struck out 25 and walked 19.

Pivetta was a different pitcher last season. He registered a 3.27 ERA in 148 2/3 innings between Double A and Triple A, struck out 138 and walked 51. That performance earned him a spot on the team's 40-man roster.

"In 2016, he showed us the potential to be a really good major-league pitcher," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development. "He was a little excitable after the trade in 2015, but he came back calm and confident last year. His stuff is legit — 93 to 96 (mph) with life on the fastball, good breaking ball and good feel for the changeup."

His control continued to improve this season as he got off to a 3-0 start at Triple A. He pitched 19 innings, gave up just two earned runs, walked just two and struck out 24.

"Just getting ahead with my fastball," said Pivetta, explaining the early-season success that put him in line for the promotion. "First-pitch strikes are big. Even if I get into that 0-1 count or that 1-1 count, getting back to that 1-2 count is big. So being able to even up those counts have been really big for me, as well, and being able to finish off with my off-speed later in the counts, too."

Pivetta pitched for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic in March. He made one start and took a no-decision in the team's 4-1 loss to Columbia. Pivetta worked four innings and allowed one run.

"That helped me," Pivetta said. "It was awesome. It was like having playoff baseball in March."

It's not clear how long Pivetta will stay in the big-league rotation. But he has more than put himself on the map, and if he continues to pitch well, he'll make more starts with the big club this season.

"I did not expect to be here this early in the season," he said. "I am happy to be here right now. I'll see how long I stay and just have fun while I am here."