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Howard, Franco lead Phillies to 4-2 win over Mets

17 July 2016

Neil Walker hit a three-run opposite-field home run in the sixth and Juan Lagares homered for the first time since May 28 and manufactured a run as the Mets overcame the absence of Cespedes, who sat out his third straight game with a right quad strain.

With the tying and go ahead runs on base, Mets' manager Terry Collins yanked Colon in favor of Hansel Robles. Patience and any ability to grind out at-bats, a staple of the hot-hitting lineup that averaged 8.9 runs per game in the three weeks before the break, were absent early against Bartolo Colon and the Mets. The 43-year-old right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits for the Mets, who opened the second half of the season by snapping a three-game losing streak. Then Eickhoff got a comebacker on which he had Travis D'Arnaud hung up off second base, but made a poor throw that allowed the runner to get back. Eickhoff charged d'Arnaud but fired to second wide and late, allowing the catcher to slide back safely (after NY challenged the play initially ruled an out).

Team officials say that's the priority as the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, if for no other reason than to avoid burning out Reed and Familia.

He needed just four pitches to dispose of the Phillies in the first inning, and just 36 pitches to retire the first 13 batters in order. The Philadelphia Phillies got on a bit of a roll to end the first half, but they are still a mediocre baseball team that plays in a hitter friendly park.

Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless ninth for his 32nd save while extending his club record for consecutive saves to 48, dating back to last August 1.

Colon allowed three unearned runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings, and tossed just 78 pitches. Peter Bourjos reached on a one-out error, moved to second on Asche's walk and scored on Maikel Franco's bloop single.

The Mets have lost right-hander Matt Harvey for the season following surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome, and fellow righty Noah Syndergaard departed his July 8 start against Washington after 4 2/3 innings with what has been described by the team as "arm fatigue".

MINNEAPOLIS - Mike Napoli had three hits, including his 19th home run, Carlos Carrasco pitched into the seventh inning and Cleveland beat Minnesota.

"Everything worked out", he said. Verrett (3-6, 4.34 ERA) opposes right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (6-10, 3.80) on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET. "He's not the guy I wanted to see, coming out of the break, because he's such a good pitcher". Juan Lagares jumped on a first-pitch fastball to leadoff the second resulting in a solo homer.

"I think it's still day to day", Collins said.

He threw high to Cameron Rupp, the Philadelphia catcher, and Lagares slid under the tag to give NY a 5-3 cushion. "Like I've said all along, I love it here and would love to be here the rest of the year, but obviously I've been through it before and know that side of the game".

Howard put Philadelphia in front 1-0 by leading off the second with a 428-foot drive to right-center off Mets starter Logan Verrett.

"When I was doing drills out in the outfield, kind of playing catch and catching some balls it was fine", Cespedes said through the team translator.