Phillies top Mets 2-1 in bench-clearing, trash-talking opener

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Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado thumped his glove and gestured at Dominic Smith after a strikeout ended a rally. Smith pulled off his helmet and the Mets left fielder seemed ready to fight back against the jabbering pitcher until both teams spilled out of the dugout and broke up the dust up before punches were thrown.

Miguel Castro responded with a pair of inside heaters that had Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins momentarily steamed.

The Mets and Phillies turned the eighth inning into a bench-emptying, trash-talking, finger-pointing commotion that spiced up a routine game — and could ignite more sparks this weekend — in the Phillies’ 2-1 win on Friday night.

“He made a big pitch, he got me out and he wanted to express his emotions,” Smith said.

Mets manager Luis Rojas said Alvarado – who hit Michael Conforto and riled up Smith and the Mets with gestures earlier this month – was to blame.

“You could tell that it was instigating. he was trying to get his attention, trying to start things,” Rojas said. “That’s what got Dom turning back and walking toward him.”

Hoskins said emotions where high and he didn’t expect any carryover into Saturday.

“A couple of balls were a little close and nobody likes that. But it was nothing, man,” Hoskins said. “That’s how these division games are.”

The fireworks fizzled faster than a Mets’ rally: New York has scored an MLB-low 58 runs, including two or fewer in nine of 20 games this season.

Sam Coonrod worked a scoreless ninth for his first save.

Chase Anderson swung and missed at a passed ball on a third strike that let two runs score, and he tossed five solid innings to lead the Phillies.

Odubel Herrera received a smattering of boos in his first game in Philadelphia since his arrest on domestic violence charges two years ago. The former All-Star center fielder was recalled this week against St. Louis and played in his first major league game since May 26, 2019.

Herrera, who had last played on May 26, 2019, was suspended for the remainder of that season under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The charges against Herrera were dismissed, and he was assigned outright to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Jan. 16 last year and wasn’t part of the 60-player pool for the shortened season.

He hit eighth and was booed — not heavily among a crowd much lighter than the 10,914 fans announced on a chilly, blustery night — and walked to load the bases. Anderson swung on a pitch from Marcus Stroman (3-2) that darted away from catcher James McCann and sent two runners home. The Phillies had a second straight game decided by bad pitch: David Hale‘s game-ending wild pitch in the 10th inning cost them Thursday in a 4-3 loss against the Cardinals

Anderson (1-3) struck out six in five-plus innings and left after Pete Alonso‘s leadoff single in the sixth. Smith added an RBI single to make it 2-1.

Stroman left with a tight right hamstring after he struck out eight in five innings. In a sign of the times, Stroman’s injury was announced by new Mets owner Steven Cohen on Twitter. Stroman was optimistic he would make his next start.

SHORTHAND PHILLIES

Phillies manager Joe Girardi missed the game to attend his daughter’s college graduation. Bryce Harper missed a second straight game after he took a 97 mph fastball to the face in St. Louis; shortstop Didi Gregorius was placed on the COVID-related injury list; catcher JT Realmuto was a late scratch with soreness in his catching hand; and second baseman Jean Segura remained sidelined with a quad strain.

Bench coach Rob Thomson subbed for Girardi.

“I think it’s over and we’ll move on to tomorrow,” Thomson said of the yapping.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: Manager Luis Rojas said he could go with a bullpen game Monday in St. Louis and give ace RHP Jacob deGrom an extra day of rest. … INF Luis Guillorme was placed on the 10-Day IL with a right oblique strain. INF Jose Peraza was recalled from the team’s Alternate Training Site.

Phillies: Segura could return from the 10-day IL on Saturday. … Harper said he was thankful he wasn’t seriously hurt after he was beaned by Genesis Cabrera. Harper said he was in a lot of pain and replayed the hit in his mind. “You’re talking a couple of inches up or a couple of inches over on either side and we might be having a different conversation,” Harper said. Harper, who has six home runs, said he won’t rush back to the lineup. He did suffer a sore right wrist when the ball hit him. Harper said he had no ill will toward Cabrera and realized the beanball was not intentional. “It hit me and I’m just very lucky to be sitting here talking to you guys right now,” Harper said.

UP NEXT

The Phillies send RHP Zack Wheeler (2-2, 3.13 ERA to the mound against New York RHP Taijuan Walker (1-1, 2.14 ERA).

Yanks’ Judge heads on road still at 61 homers; 4 games left

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NEW YORK – Aaron Judge won’t break the American League home run record at Yankee Stadium, remaining at 61 as New York headed on the road for its final four regular-season games after a 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Judge struck out three times and walked once, disappointing a crowd of 44,332 that watched the Yankees regular-season home finale in rain for much of a chilly, blustery afternoon. New York finishes the regular season with four games at Texas, starting Monday night.

Judge took a called third strike from rookie Kyle Bradish leading off the first inning, then couldn’t check his swing and stranded the bases loaded when he struck out on a curveball in the second. He walked in the fifth and fanned against Bryan Baker in the seventh, dropping to 1 for 7 with six strikeouts, five walks and a hit batter since hitting No. 61 at Toronto on Wednesday night.

Trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012, Judge tops the AL with 130 RBIs. His batting average fell to .311, four points behind league leader Luis Arraez of Minnesota.

Baltimore (82-77) guaranteed its first winning season since 2016. The Orioles went 52-110 last year and became the first team since at least 1900 to have a winning record one season after losing 110 or more.

AL East champion New York (97-61) took another hit to an injury-ravaged bullpen when Ron Marinaccio left while pitching to Jorge Mateo in the eighth. The Yankees will be without Clay Holmes until the playoffs because of rotator cuff inflammation, and Aroldis Chapman (3-4) was once again wild, walking three, including rookie Gunnar Henderson with the bases loaded, as Baltimore surged ahead in the seventh.

Chi Chi Gonzalez, a 30-year-old right-hander, made his Yankees debut after pitching for Minnesota and Milwaukee in the majors earlier this season. He threw to Jose Trevino, his batterymate at Oral Roberts in 2012 and ’13.

Gonzalez allowed one run, four hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Bradish gave up one run – unearned – three hits and five walks in five-plus innings.

Logan Gillaspie (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth in his first big league decision, Baker struck out five while getting six straight outs, and Dillon Tate got three outs for his fifth save.

Ryan Mountcastle had an RBI double in the first. Aaron Hicks scored from second base in the fifth when Bradish bounced a wild pitch and catcher Adley Rutschman threw the ball into center for an error.

Cedric Mullins reached on an infield hit starting the seventh against Chapman, has walked 28 in 35 1/3 innings. After Chapman walked three of four batters, Austin Hays followed with a sacrifice fly off Marinaccio.

WEB GEMS

Yankees 3B Josh Donaldson made a backhand grab on Jorge Mateo’s bases-loaded grounder in the sixth and from foul territory made a strong throw for the inning-ending out. … Hicks saved two runs with a sprinting catch on Terrin Vavra‘s slicing liner near the left-field line in the seventh.

FOR THE BOOKS

New York went 57-24 at home, matching most wins at new Yankee Stadium. Baltimore was 38-43 on the road, up from 20-61.

IN THE SEATS

The Yankees drew 3,136,207 for 78 home dates, down from 3,304,404 in 2019, the last season before two years of COVID restrictions. They had 16 sellouts, up from 12 in 2019.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Felix Bautista may not pitch for the rest of the season because of the sore left knee he injured Friday.

Yankees: Matt Carpenter (broken left foot on Aug 8) will not work out initially in the outfield at the Somerset, New Jersey, training camp this week. He was moved to the 60-day IL on Sunday, ruling him out of the Texas series. … RHP Miguel Castro (strained shoulder) could be activated Monday. … LHP Wandy Peralta, sidelined since Sept. 18 with back tightness, threw a bullpen session and will face hitters at Somerset on Tuesday or Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (6-8, 3.17) starts Monday’s opener of a season-ending series against visiting Toronto and Jose Berrios (11-7, 5.37)

Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (6-3, 3.41) starts Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Texas and LHP Martin Perez (12-7, 2.93). After Wednesday, the Yankees have five off days before their Division Series opener at home on Oct. 11.