Lively’s arm, bat carry Phillies to 9-1 win over Mets
NEW YORK — Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin wasted no time cozying up to Ben Lively on Tuesday night.
Lively single-handedly lifted the Phillies to victory by throwing seven strong innings and delivering two hits — including a mammoth two-run homer — and four RBIs in a 9-1 rout of the New York Mets at Citi Field.
“I’ve said it over and over that Lively’s my favorite player,” Mackanin said as reporters filed into his office after the game. “He did it all today.”
Lively (3-5) allowed one run, four hits and three walks while striking out four in his longest start in the majors since June 13. He has won consecutive starts for the first time as a big leaguer.
But Lively was particularly impressive at the plate, where he capped a three-run second inning with a two-run single and sparked a six-run fourth with a long two-run homer to center field. The shot was measured at 392 feet.
“Right when I hit it, I was like, ooh, that’s hit pretty good,” Lively said.
The homer was the second in just 11 major league starts for Lively, who went deep against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 24. His eight RBIs are third-most among starting pitchers.
“In between my starts, I’m doing (work) every day,” Lively said with a grin. “I’m in the gym.”
Mackanin has taken notice Lively’s fervor, especially on the days he pitches. The 25-year-old, who is one of three rookies in the Phillies’ rotation, has a 3.92 ERA despite striking out just 38 batters in 66 2/3 innings.
“He’s a true competitor,” Mackanin said. “He wants to win. He wants to be good. And he goes right after hitters. He doesn’t screw around with them. He gives it his best shot, and he takes his chances.”
Lively actually put the Phillies in an early hole Tuesday night, when he gave up a one-out double to Nori Aoki in the first and a two-out RBI double to Travis d’Arnaud.
But the Phillies took the lead with three unearned runs in the second, when a throwing error by Mets first baseman Dominic Smith allowed Nick Williams to score from second on a potential double play grounder. Lively singled two batters later.
The Phillies chased Mets starter Jacob deGrom by scoring all six of their runs with two outs in the fourth. The last six batters to face deGrom all reached base. Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera all singled in succession following Lively’s homer, with Herrera’s hit scoring Hernandez.
DeGrom was lifted after walking Rhys Hoskins, and Williams greeted Josh Smoker with a three-run double.
“It certainly wasn’t a Jake deGrom kind of game,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
The nine runs allowed were a career-high for deGrom (14-9), while the 3 2/3 innings were a season-low. He gave up 10 hits and two walks while striking out five. The Mets were 10-0 in his previous 10 starts against the Phillies.
“No excuses,” deGrom said. “I was terrible tonight.”
All nine starters scored one run apiece and collected at least one hit for the Phillies (53-85), who have won four of six. Galvis and Jorge Alfaro had three hits apiece, and Williams, Hoskins and Hyun Soo Kim each added two hits.
Herrera’s hit extended his hitting streak to 19 games, which is tied for the longest streak in the majors this season.
Top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier in the day, went 1-for-5 in his major league debut. Crawford, who started at third base despite making just six minor league appearances at the hot corner, also started a nice 5-4-3 double play to end the eighth.
D’Arnaud had two doubles, while Asdrubal Cabrera had two hits for the Mets (59-79), who have lost five of six.
NOTES: The Mets recalled RHP Kevin McGowan from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Mets INF Wilmer Flores (broken nose) missed his third straight game, and SS Amed Rosario (bruised right index finger) sat for a second consecutive day. ... To make room for INF J.P. Crawford on the 40-man roster, the Phillies shifted INF Pedro Florimon (dislocated right ankle) to the 60-day disabled list. ... Phillies CF Odubel Herrera’s 19-game hitting streak is the longest by a Phillies player since former 2B Chase Utley had a 19-game streak in 2007.