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Phillies win seventh in a row and extend NL East lead: Phillies 5, Mets 3

The Philadelphia Phillies took the series against the New York Mets on Saturday night as they extended their NL East lead and improved to 58-53 on the season.

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies took on the New York Mets on Saturday afternoon in the second game of a three-game series. Ranger Suarez was the starter for the Phillies and he impressed. The plan for the day was for Suarez to pitch 60 pitches as he continues his process of stretching out to a starter’s workload.

He pitched 2.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts in 61 pitches. His three walks were the cause for the inflated pitch count, but overall Suarez looked great as he maintained velocity and kept the score-line at zero.

On the other side, Tylor Megill looked down to duel with the Phillies pitching staff as he tossed four scoreless innings against Philadelphia. However, Phillies first baseman Brad Miller decided to get the scoring started when he hit a solo blast in the bottom of the fifth.

At that point, Megill began to crack and the floodgates opened as he gave up a three-run home run to Odubel Herrera four batters later to make it 4-0. That rocket by Herrera is what prompted the Mets to call to the pen and bring in Castro.

JD Hammer and Hector Neris looked great in relief to keep the Mets scoreless through seven innings. Both looked comfortable and in control throughout their appearances. They were able to pitch through defensive incompetency on Alec Bohm’s part, which is an improvement on the season when the offense used to have to pick up the slack for the pitching staff and defense. Now, the bullpen, I daresay, looks to have turned a corner and is no longer a liability (Llovera withstanding). The same cannot be said for Bohm on defense.

Things got a little scary in the bottom of the seventh for Jean Segura when he was hit by a pitch that appeared to hit his hand, then his face. He appeared okay as he stayed in the game and took first base. Philadelphia however was unable to tack onto their four-run lead when Harper lined out to the Mets’ shortstop.

Segura did end up exiting the game, and we will keep you updated on his status entering Sunday’s game.

Alvarado had another solid inning of work in the eighth when he faced the heart of the Mets lineup and arrived on the other side unscathed. Again, the bullpen really looks to be turning a corner and it can’t be happening at a better time for this club.

The bottom of the eighth saw Brad Miller hit his twelfth home run of the season, and solidified another multi-home run game when he hit one to the opposite side of the park. That home run put the lead out of reach for the Mets at 5-0.

With the Phillies up five runs, Joe Girardi trotted out Mauricio Llovera to try and close things out (not in a save situation). Llovera immediately extinguished any hope of a shoutout as he gave up a home run to Conforto, the first batter of the inning. Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better. Llovera gave up another home run to the very next batter, as Villar punished a ball over the wall making it 5-2.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, Llovera gave up ANOTHER home run to James McCann to make for back-to-back-back home runs for the Mets to make it 5-3.

Needless to say, the decision to use Llovera in that situation, or any situation for that matter is still mind-boggling. Girardi then turned to his closer Ian Kennedy to shut down the game. Kennedy entered into a save situation, and immediately gave up a line drive single to Pillar that saw the tying run to the plate.

Kennedy wound up holding the line as he earned his second save as a Phillie, this time without giving up a run.

Philadelphia won despite Girardi insisting on using Llovera to kill every bit of momentum this team had in an attempt to lose this game despite being up 5-0. Kennedy had none of it as he stepped up for his new team.

Players not named Bryce Harper also stepped up on Saturday afternoon to help the Phillies extend their winning streak to seven and their divisional lead to 1.5 games. Zack Wheeler is slated to take the mound for Philadelphia on Sunday as they set their sights on the sweep.