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Franco Homers, Doubles, Phillies Beat Mets 6-4

NEW YORK (AP) — Maikel Franco homered and doubled while breaking the longest hitless streak of his big league career, and the Philadelphia Phillies capitalized on an error by untested first baseman Jay Bruce to beat the short-handed New York Mets 6-4 Thursday night.

Mets closer Jeurys Familia struck out two and walked two in a hitless ninth inning of his season debut after serving a 15-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The home crowd cheered as he jogged in from the bullpen — Familia led the majors with a team-record 51 saves last year.

Philadelphia took two of three at Citi Field after losing six straight series to the Mets. New York made seven errors in the set.

Aaron Nola (2-0) labored through five innings, and Hector Neris earned his first save this season. Noah Syndergaard (1-1) struck out 10 in seven innings.

New York slugger Yoenis Cespedes limped off in the fifth inning with a left hamstring cramp. The Mets already were minus injured first baseman Lucas Duda, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and infielder Wilmer Flores.

Franco lined an RBI double over Cespedes in the third. That ended an 0-for-22 skid for the cleanup hitter, now in his third full big league season.

In the eighth, Franco hit the first pitch from reliever Fernando Salas barely over the wall in left-center.

Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead in the second, helped by Bruce’s misplay.

After Tommy Joseph grounded an RBI double just past the diving Bruce, Freddy Galvis hit a grounder wide of first base.

Bruce fielded it cleanly, then hesitated making an underhanded throw. Instead of flipping the ball to either Syndergaard or second baseman Neil Walker covering the bag, he tossed it between them and it rolled away. After the inning, Mets manager Terry Collins talked with Bruce in the dugout.

This was the 1,285th game in the majors for Bruce, normally an outfielder. But it was only his fourth time at first base and first since 2014 with Cincinnati — and his third error at the position. The Mets put him there because of their injuries.

Bruce showed his inexperience at the spot even before the first pitch. While throwing grounders to his infielders before the top of the first, he twice stopped when he wasn’t sure who got the next one.

Neil Walker hit a three-run homer in the third, closing the Mets to 5-4.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: OF Michael Saunders was feeling ill and scratched from the lineup. He flied out as a pinch hitter. … Reliever Pat Neshek (paternity list) and his wife had a baby girl. He could rejoin the team Friday.

Mets: Collins said he didn’t have any definitive word on how long Duda (hyperextended left elbow), Flores (infection) and d’Arnaud (bruised right wrist) would be out.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 0.82) and the Phils host Bartolo Colon (1-1, 4.24) and Atlanta.

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.89) and the Mets welcome NL East-leading Washington and RHP Tanner Roark (2-0, 3.50).

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