NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rhys Hoskins homered off reliever Jacob Rhame and taunted him with a slow jog around the bases a night after Rhame buzzed him with two fastballs, and the struggling Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 6-0 on Wednesday.
Hoskins was furious after Rhame sailed two pitches over his head with two outs in the ninth inning of New York’s 9-0 win Tuesday. The slugger faced Rhame again in the ninth Wednesday, flipping his bat emphatically after hooking a two-run shot over the wall in left.
It took Hoskins 34.23 seconds to touch ’em all, the slowest trot in the majors this season.
Bryce Harper doubled in a run but struck out three times, and Vince Velasquez pitched five innings for Philadelphia. The Phillies avoided a three-game sweep and won for the second time in seven games.
Velasquez (1-0) struck out six and allowed three hits, dropping his ERA to 1.99. Pat Neshek, Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan and Juan Nicasio pitched an inning each to close up shop.
Jason Vargas (1-1) allowed Harper’s RBI double in the first but was otherwise strong, dropping his ERA to 7.20. He allowed a run and three hits in 4 2/3 innings, walking off to applause after striking out Harper for the second time. Mets fans had been calling for the struggling left-hander to be bounced from the rotation.
Hoskins sparked a three-run eighth with his first career triple, and then made his statement against Rhame in the ninth.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said before the game he was “still fairly upset” over Rhame’s high-and-tight pitches to Hoskins, which Philadelphia took as retaliation for two Mets who got plunked Monday night.
Kapler didn’t sound eager to throw at the Mets, though.
“We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” he said before the game.
That message lasted about 90 minutes, when Velasquez plunked Todd Frazier right on the upper arm with a fastball leading off the fourth. Frazier was unfazed but took a hard stare at the Phillies starter on his way to first base.
Plate umpire Brian Gorman issued warnings to both dugouts and Kapler spoke with Gorman during the next inning break.
That was the end of the bean-ball war between the clubs for the night however, it’s safe to assume New York will remember who was drilled last in this increasingly bitter 2019 rivalry.
Harper’s double in the first ended the Phillies’ 14-inning scoreless streak. Vargas got out of the inning when right fielder Michael Conforto made a sliding catch and shortstop Amed Rosario picked a tough grounder.
Each of Harper’s strikeouts came with runners on, and he went 1-for-9 with seven punchouts in the series. He let out a frustrated yell after nearly colliding with second baseman César Hernández while catching a popup in the sixth.
Philadelphia’s only other run in the series was Hoskins’ homer in a 5-1 loss Monday.
Mets OF Brandon Nimmo was doing well a day after feeling a twinge in his left oblique. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and went 0-for-2.
NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (elbow soreness, strep throat) remains on track to start Friday’s series opener against Milwaukee, but that decision won’t be finalized until game day.
1B Pete Alonso was held out of the lineup to rest but pinch-hit in the eighth and struck out.
New York hopes deGrom is ready to go for the opener against Milwaukee, which will send out RHP Chase Anderson (2-0, 3.00).
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)