NEW YORK (AP) — Drew Smyly pitched seven solid innings and the Philadelphia Phillies pounded down on Marcus Stroman and a porous Mets defense to beat New York 5-0 Saturday night and end a three-game skid. César Hernández led off the game with his ninth homer, and Philadelphia grinded away early even with star Bryce Harper out of the lineup a day after being hit in the right hand by a fastball.
The Mets played sloppily behind Stroman (7-13), and the right-hander left trailing 5-0 after four innings. He allowed 10 hits and struck out six without issuing a walk.
Both clubs entered the day four games back of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card.
Philadelphia’s bullpen lost the club’s previous two games via walk-offs, but Smyly (4-6) left the relievers an easy task. He worked around three errors by limiting New York to four hits and striking out six.
The 30-year-old Smyly returned to the majors this year for the first time since 2016 following Tommy John surgery, but he was released by Texas in June and opted out of a minor league deal with Milwaukee in July. He signed with Philadelphia and is 3-1 with a 3.93 ERA in nine starts since.
After Hernández’s leadoff shot, Philadelphia loaded the bases with one out on three softly hit singles — including a popup in shallow left that bounced out of third baseman Todd Frazier’s glove. Stroman escaped the jam but needed 31 pitches to end the first inning.
Mets left fielder J.D. Davis dropped Scott Kingery’s line drive leading off the fourth, and Kingery scored on Hernández’s single. Davis pounded his fist into his glove after Kingery crossed home.
J.T. Realmuto and Corey Dickerson followed with RBI hits to lead 5-0. The Phillies’ 1-2-3 hitters — Hernández, Realmuto and Dickerson — were 8 for 9 with five RBIs against Stroman.
Stroman dropped to 1-2 with a 5.05 ERA in seven starts since being acquired from Toronto. He has just one quality start in that span.
New York also loaded the bases in the first, but right fielder Adam Haseley sprinted into the gap and made a leaping catch on Frazier’s two-out drive to the warning track. New York only advanced one more runner past second base and went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Anthony Kay — shipped to the Blue Jays when New York acquired Stroman — matched a Toronto record by striking out eight in his major league debut Saturday against Tampa Bay. He pitched two-run ball over 5 2/3 innings.
Phillies third baseman Brad Miller made consecutive errors to start the fourth. Smyly pitched out of the inning cleanly, but Miller was lifted for pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez in the fifth.
Phillies: X-rays on Harper’s hand were negative and manager Gabe Kapler was confident there were no fractures. Kapler called the day off a “precautionary measure.”
Mets: INF Jed Lowrie was active for the first time this season after dealing with various lower body injuries. Lowrie signed a $20 million, two-year free agent deal in January. He struck out pinch-hitting for Stroman in the fourth. … 1B/OF Dominic Smith said he has a stress fracture in his left foot, not a stress fracture as initially diagnosed. He hopes he can return for the final week of the regular season. He was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room for Lowrie. … RHP Drew Gagnon was recalled from Triple-A.
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 3.97) dominated Washington in his previous start, throwing seven scoreless innings to rebound after allowing 10 runs to the Cubs. He’ll start Sunday’s series finale against Philadelphia RHP Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.80).
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