NEW YORK — Rhys Hoskins fired up the engines of an NL East rivalry by cooling down his jets after a memorable homer.
Jacob Rhame of the Mets delivers a pitch in the against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field in Queens, New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images)
A night after getting buzzed twice by high fastballs from Jacob Rhame, Hoskins got the ultimate revenge with a ninth-inning homer and taunted the New York Mets reliever with a slow jog around the bases in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 6-0 win Wednesday night.
“I was just enjoying the moment,” Hoskins said.
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 Wednesday and hooked a two-run homer down the left field line.
Hoskins dropped his bat, meandered out of the box and puttered from base to base. It took him 34.23 seconds to touch ’em all, the slowest trot in the majors this season.
“If a ball goes over your head the night before, the best way to get back at the pitcher is by putting the ball in the seats,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “So I thought it was worthy of him having that moment and really taking it all in, soaking it all in. He deserved that.”
Hoskins said the leisurely trip wasn’t about retaliation, but he didn’t mind giving a jolt to the struggling Phillies.
“A couple of guys kind of said the phrase, ‘Don’t poke the sleeping bear,’” he said. “Seemed to be the last couple innings was a pretty good indication that may have happened.”
Rhame didn’t take offense.
“He got me,” the right-hander said. “Make a better pitch, he doesn’t run the bases.”
Hoskins’ homer capped a breakout night for the Phillies, who avoided a three-game sweep and won for the second time on a seven-game trip. Bryce Harper doubled in a run but struck out three times, and Vince Velasquez pitched five innings for Philadelphia, which heads home to face Miami on Thursday.
“We didn’t play our best baseball on this trip,” Kapler said. “However, if we had not won tonight’s game, it would have been a much worse trip and we would really be licking our wounds right now.”
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.
Hoskins sparked a three-run eighth with his first career triple, and then made his statement against Rhame in the ninth.
Kapler said before the game he was “still fairly upset” over Rhame’s high-and-tight pitches to Hoskins, but said Philadelphia would not react by intentionally plunking any Mets.
Velasquez did hit Todd Frazier in the upper arm with a fastball leading off the fourth, but Frazier didn’t believe it was intentional and took his base calmly. Plate umpire Brian Gorman issued warnings to both dugouts.
“We did not want to put the leadoff runner on base in that particular case,” Kapler said.
Robinson Cano had three hits for New York.
Jason Vargas (1-1) allowed Harper’s RBI double in the first but was otherwise strong, dropping his ERA to 7.20 with 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Mets fans had been calling for the struggling left-hander to be bounced from the rotation, but he was applauded walking off.
“I think that he’s starting to feel some confidence,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
Phillies: Philadelphia called up INF Sean Rodríguez and RHP Enyel De Los Santos from Triple-A, optioned INF Mitch Walding and RHP Drew Anderson, and designated LHP James Pazos for assignment. … Quinn was visited by a trainer and replaced by Aaron Altherr on the bases in the eighth. Kapler said Quinn has a strained groin and will get an MRI.
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.
Phillies: Open a four-game home series against Miami, with RHP Aaron Nola (2-0, 6.84 ERA) facing Marlins LHP Caleb Smith (2-0, 2.35). Smith pitched six scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Philadelphia on April 13.
Mets: New York hopes deGrom is ready to go for the opener against Milwaukee, which will send out RHP Chase Anderson (2-0, 3.00).