PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rhys Hoskins erased an ugly start with one big swing.
Hoskins hit a three-run homer, Scott Kingery had a solo shot and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 9-6 on Thursday night to split their doubleheader.
In the first game, Jose Bautista hit a grand slam and had a career-high seven RBIs as the Mets set a franchise record for runs, prompting the Phillies to use two position players to pitch the final three innings of a 24-4 rout.
Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler defended the decision to use Roman Quinn and Kingery on the mound in the opener and took plenty of heat from fans and media on social media.
His players backed him up.
“You trust Gabe,” Hoskins said. “It’s worked. We don’t see any madness in his method.”
The Phillies moved within 1 1/2 games of NL East-leading Atlanta.
The Mets began the nightcap with three straight doubles on Zach Eflin’s first four pitches. Michael Conforto’s two-run double made it 2-0.
But then Hoskins crushed one high off the foul pole to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the bottom half against Steven Matz (5-10), just activated from the disabled list. Hoskins, who went deep in both ends of the twinbill, has 11 of his 25 homers since the All-Star break — and three in the last four games.
“Rhys set the tone,” Kapler said. “We’re not down for long. We can take a punch and come out swinging.”
The Phillies added three runs in the second. Kingery homered, Wilson Ramos had an RBI single and Cesar Hernandez swiped home on a double steal.
Eflin (9-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Seranthony Dominguez got the last two outs.
“I was in a funk the whole night and didn’t have my best command, but my slider saved me,” Eflin said.
In the opener, Corey Oswalt (2-2) allowed four solo homers in six innings, Amed Rosario hit a leadoff homer and had three RBIs and the Mets took advantage of four errors to score 11 unearned runs.
Even reliever Jerry Blevins got his first career hit, a line-drive RBI single off Kingery.
“There’s nothing better,” Blevins said. “It’s something you dream about as a kid. When I tell the story, I’ll say I turned around a 95 (mph fastball). It’s pretty awesome.”
The Mets scored more than 15 runs in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. They beat Baltimore 16-5 Wednesday night.
Hoskins, Maikel Franco, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro went deep for the Phillies.
Quinn, the team’s fourth outfielder, gave up a homer to Conforto on his second pitch — a 79 mph fastball. Quinn got five outs, gave up seven runs and threw 42 pitches. Kingery went the final 1 1/3 innings and allowed two runs.
Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo left the game after injuring his left index finger hitting a grounder to third base with two outs and the bases loaded in the third. Nimmo fell to the ground as the ball rolled to Franco, who was late tagging third but threw to first to easily get the out.
X-rays on Nimmo’s finger were negative and he said he’ll have an MRI on Friday. Bautista replaced him.
“I just said, ‘Oh, crud,'” Nimmo said. “It hit my knuckle.”
Phillies starter Ranger Suarez (1-1) gave up eight runs — four earned — and 11 hits in four innings. Mark Leiter Jr. allowed seven unearned runs and four hits in one inning.
After Alfaro’s shot cut it to 5-4, the Mets broke loose for a 10-run fifth. Suarez balked in a run and exited after Bautista followed with an RBI single. Another run scored on Alfaro’s throwing error on Oswalt’s sacrifice, and Rosario drove one in on a fielder’s choice grounder.
Hoskins then dropped Austin Jackson’s two-out fly ball for an error, and another run scored. After Wilmer Flores’ RBI single, Bautista connected for his 10th homer. Bautista had a chance to hit another slam when he faced Quinn in the eighth but walked on a 3-2 pitch over his head. Bautista added an RBI double off Kingery.
The Mets’ previous record was 23 runs at the Cubs on Aug. 16, 2017.
The Mets are 42-19 over their past 61 games at Citizens Bank Park since 2012.
Bautista has 13 seasons of double-digit homers since 2005. Only Albert Pujols has more with 14.
Mets: David Wright went 0 for 3 in his latest rehab game for Class A St. Lucie. In six innings at third base, he had one assist and one putout.
Phillies: LHP Aaron Loup (left forearm strain) and lefty Austin Davis (low back tightness) were placed on the 10-day disabled list. Suarez and right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. were recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
RHP Noah Syndergaard (8-2, 3.22 ERA) goes for the Mets and RHP Aaron Nola (13-3, 2.28) starts for the Phillies in a marquee matchup Friday night.
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