PHILADELPHIA -- It was Amed Rosario's first, and he made it count. On the day Mets No. 2 prospect Dominic Smith debuted, it was Rosario, their No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, who stole the show. Just minutes after the Phillies climbed back to tie the game in the eighth, Rosario smacked his first career big league homer, a go-ahead shot in the ninth, to propel the Mets to a 7-6 win on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
"I've been seeing that stuff all year," Smith said of Rosario. "I'm finally glad that he can show everybody that stuff, playing on TV every day. I'm just extremely happy for him. He worked extremely hard to get to this point, and you all can see that."
Maybe it's the ivy-covered batter's eye in center, or the fresh cheesesteaks whipped up in the visiting clubhouse. But regardless of why, it's perfectly clear Cespedes has found a comfortable home away from home at Citizens Bank Park. Cespedes' shot in the third inning was his 13th homer of the season, with four of them coming in Philly. His nine career jacks in Philly are his most at any visiting ballpark.
The Mets have out-homered the Phillies, 17-4, in five games at Citizens Bank Park this season.
"As well as we handle Atlanta, we just have trouble with this team and just can't seem to outdo them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
The Mets are now 8-3 against the Phillies in 2017, with a shot at their sixth consecutive season of double-digit wins vs. Philadelphia.
In a reversal of Thursday's series opener, it was the Phillies this time that hit the ground running, jumping out to a 3-0 first-inning lead on a fielder's choice and a pair of RBI singles from Nick Williams and Tommy Joseph. After the Mets stormed in front, the Phils tied the game with runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but closer Hector Neris surrendered the deciding homer to Rosario.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bend but don't break: Mets starter Seth Lugo was on the ropes early. The scoreboard sported a 3-0 lead for the home club with two outs in the first, Phillies catching prospect Jorge Alfaro at the plate and two more potential runs on base. But Lugo buckled down, even after falling behind 2-0, with three straight strikes and a dandy of a curveball on the outside corner that Alfaro swung over.
"For how many pitches I threw in the first few innings, it ended with a positive being able to pitch into the sixth," Lugo said.
Hernandez homers: With one out in the eighth and the Phillies trailing, 6-5, Cesar Hernandez launched the second of two consecutive changeups from Mets reliever Jerry Blevins out to left to tie the game at 6. It was just the switch-hitting Hernandez's second career home run from the right side of the plate.
"Very surprising, but welcomed," Mackanin said of the rare right-handed blast from his second baseman.
"More than a teammate, I feel like he's my brother. The same excitement he's feeling, I'm feeling for him." -- Rosario, on Smith
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With his third-inning blast, Cespedes became the seventh Cuban-born big leaguer to reach 150 career home runs. Rafael Palmeiro (569), Jose Canseco (462), Tony Perez (379), Tony Oliva (220), Minnie Minoso (186) and Kendrys Morales (183) are the others.
Rosario became the first Met whose first career homer broke a tie in the ninth inning or later since Jordany Valdespin in 2012. That homer also came against the Phillies.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: Left-hander Steven Matz, who is 0-4 with an 11.03 ERA over his last six starts, will look to snap his losing streak when the Mets return to Citizens Bank Park for a 7:05 p.m. ET game Saturday. Matz has not won a decision since June 28.
Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Nola has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since late June. He is 5-2 with a 1.76 ERA in nine starts since June 22. It is the third-best ERA in the Major Leagues in that span. Only the Indians' Corey Kluber (1.74 ERA) and the Yankees' Sonny Gray (1.75 ERA) have been better.