PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler pitched a two-hitter and struck out 11, Bryce Harper homered and the first-place Philadelphia Phillies finished off a three-game sweep for their eighth straight victory, 3-0 over the fading New York Mets on Sunday. Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto also homered for the Phillies, who moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Mets in the NL East.

The streak is Philadelphia’s longest since winning eight straight in July 2010.

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The Mets got a pregame pep talk in the clubhouse from owner Steve Cohen before losing for the seventh time in eight tries.

New York arrived at Citizens Bank Park this weekend leading the division.

Following an emotional ceremony to retire the jersey of Roy Halladay, Wheeler (10-6) pitched like the late Hall of Famer.

Wheeler gave up a double to Brandon Nimmo to start the game and then retired 22 consecutive batters until Michael Conforto walked in the eighth. Nimmo singled with one out in the ninth and Wheeler soon struck out slumping slugger Pete Alonso for his fourth career complete game, three of them shutouts.

Wheeler walked only one. He threw 80 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

The 31-year-old All-Star pitched for the Mets for five seasons before signing a five-year, $118 million free-agent deal with the Phillies prior to the 2020 season. He improved to 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA against his former club while reaching double-digit strikeouts for the 14th time overall and sixth this year.

Offense continued to be a struggle for the Mets, and they have 20 total runs in the last nine defeats. Alonso was hitless in four at-bats with a pair strikeouts to stretch his rut to 0 for 21.

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Taijuan Walker (7-7), a first-time All-Star this year, continued his second-half slump. The right-hander allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Three of the hits were homers, upping the staggering count to 10 longballs surrendered in the last four contests. Over that stretch, Walker is 0-4 with a 7.84 ERA and has given up 26 hits in 20 2/3 innings.

Harper stayed hot by hitting his fourth homer in six games, a solo drive in the sixth that made it 3-0 and gave the six-time All-Star a total of 20 home runs this season. He has reached base in 17 straight games and was greeted in right field by loud chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” by many among the 39,186 in attendance, marking Philadelphia’s largest home crowd of the season.

The Phillies jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first. Segura drove a 2-2, 94-mph fastball into the seats in left, and Realmuto hit an opposite-field drive.


On the same diamond where Halladay pitched himself into baseball history and the hearts of Philadelphia fans, the Phillies retired the late Hall of Famer’s No. 34 jersey in a touching tribute before the game.

Former teammates Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Raúl Ibañez as well as pitching coach Rich Dubee and manager Charlie Manuel were among those in attendance. Halladay’s wife and two children were unable to attend due to COVID-19 protocols, Ibañez said. Halladay died in a plane crash at 40 years old on Nov. 7, 2017.

Halladay spent four of his 16 seasons in Philadelphia from 2010-2013. He was twice an All-Star with the Phillies and won the second of his two Cy Young Awards following the 2010 season when he went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA.

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