NEW YORK (AP) — Phillies prospect Enyel De Los Santos was slated to be the International League’s starting pitcher in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. Instead, he joined the big club and made the most of an unexpected opportunity.
De Los Santos won his major league debut and Philadelphia got home runs from Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera in a 7-3 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
Franco drove in four runs as the Phillies won for the 10th time in 13 games and took over sole possession of first place in the NL East. Nick Williams had three hits and two RBIs, and Rhys Hoskins also got three hits.
De Los Santos allowed three runs and five hits over 6 1/3 effective innings. The 22-year-old right-hander was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he was 9-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 16 starts, and matched against another starter making his big league debut in Drew Gagnon of the Mets.
“I was going to start that Triple-A game but this is much better,” De Los Santos said through a translator. “This is a dream come true.”
Staked to an early lead and armed with an unorthodox and deceptive slingshot delivery that Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler dubbed a “crossfire,” De Los Santos (1-0) cruised for most of the night against a scuffling Mets lineup that’s managed only eight runs over the last five games.
“It’s kind of a short-arm stroke,” Kapler said. “Hides the ball with his body well and leads to uncomfortable swings.”
De Los Santos walked three and struck out six. He threw 94 pitches, 58 for strikes.
His girlfriend and a few winter ball teammates were in the crowd to cheer him on.
“A very, very poised, confident individual on the mound and in the dugout,” Kapler added. “The job he did was tremendous.”
Acquired from San Diego in December for shortstop Freddy Galvis, De Los Santos was also chosen to play for the World Team in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game.
It was the first time a Phillies starter made his debut against another starter in his first outing since Sept. 25, 1944, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Back then, Charlie Ripple faced Charlie Gassaway of the Chicago Cubs at Shibe Park.
Amed Rosario had three hits for the Mets, including two triples to left field. New York has dropped 19 of its last 23 home games.
Franco put the Phillies ahead with a three-run homer off Gagnon (0-1) in the second.
“The changeup was up. Anyone could have hit that out,” Gagnon said. “But hat’s off to him.”
Franco is batting .440 with two homers and seven RBIs over his last eight games. He added an RBI single in the sixth and made several nifty plays at third base on hard-hit grounders.
“I’m seeing the ball better,” Franco said.
Williams lined a two-run single in the third. Herrera clubbed a solo shot into the Phillies’ bullpen in the fifth for his career-high 16th home run.
The 28-year-old Gagnon was charged with six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He also hit two batters with pitches.
At the plate, Gagnon drove in Rosario with a sacrifice fly — giving his family in attendance something to cheer about.
“Surreal,” Gagnon said. “Finally here.”
BEEN A WHILE
The Phillies are alone in first place after July 1 for the first time since 2011.
Phillies: Hoskins crashed violently with his face into the padded left-field wall while chasing Rosario’s triple in the third. Hoskins, who broke his jaw in late May when he fouled a ball off his mouth, remained in the game after being checked by Kapler and a trainer. “After I hit the wall and I threw the ball in, that was the first thing I thought of,” Hoskins said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. Is my jaw OK?’ But yeah, I’m fine.”
Mets: 2B Asdrubal Cabrera exited in the seventh with a hyperextended left elbow but should be able to play Wednesday night, according to manager Mickey Callaway. … RHP Noah Syndergaard plans to throw a bullpen Wednesday. If all goes well, he will start Friday night against Washington. Syndergaard has been sidelined since late May with a strained ligament in his right index finger. … RF Jay Bruce felt discomfort in his hip when he began baseball activity. He has been shut down for a 10-day period that started Sunday, according to Callaway. After that, Bruce’s condition will be reassessed.
Phillies: Recovering from a bruised forearm, RHP Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.69 ERA) is expected to return from the 10-day disabled list to start Wednesday night’s series finale. Velasquez was hit just below the right elbow by a line drive on June 30. He retrieved the ball and threw it left-handed to first base to get the out, falling to the ground in pain immediately afterward.
Mets: All-Star RHP Jacob deGrom (5-4, 1.79 ERA) tied a season high with eight innings of one-run ball against Tampa Bay last Friday. He leads the majors in ERA.
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