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Hoskins breaks it open; Nola silences Mets

@ladsonbill24
August 15, 2020

Right-hander Aaron Nola was in command against the Mets on Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Bark in Philadelphia. When it was over, he pitched seven shutout innings as the Phillies won the game, 6-2. Philadelphia has won two straight games and improved its record to 7-9. • Box score “It

Right-hander Aaron Nola was in command against the Mets on Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Bark in Philadelphia. When it was over, he pitched seven shutout innings as the Phillies won the game, 6-2. Philadelphia has won two straight games and improved its record to 7-9.

Box score

“It was a big series win against the Mets. They are a good team,” Nola said. “There are not too many breezes any more, especially in the NL East. They are tough games. You take it game by game.”

Nola was at his best with his secondary pitches; his curveball and changeup were superb. Nola finished with eight strikeouts, often getting the Mets to chase balls in the dirt.

The Mets had Nola on the ropes in two of the first three innings, but Nola was able to get out of each jam. In the first inning, Nola struck out the first two hitters he faced, but then J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith reached base on a single and double, respectively. But Nola was able to get out of the jam by striking out Pete Alonso.

Two innings later, New York had runners on first and second with nobody out. But Michael Conforto hit into a double play. Davis walked to again put two runners on, but Smith struck out to end the threat.

After the walk to Davis, Nola retired the next 13 hitters he faced. He was pleased to give the bullpen a break. The ‘pen has been overused in the last week.

“I always try to pitch deep in the game,” Nola said. “I wanted to go at least seven innings to save the bullpen. As starters, we want to put that on our backs.”

Nola finished the night with an active scoreless streak of 13 innings, dating back to the third inning of his last start, the longest by a Phillies starter since his own 22-inning streak from June 21-July 7, 2019.

“I had command of all three of my pitches, getting ahead of guys, finishing guys off,” Nola said. “I really wasn’t on top of the ball tonight, but I battled through the first five innings. I didn’t feel the best, but battled through that to get the guys out anyway I could.”

The Phillies had a 1-0 lead by the second inning on a Jean Segura homer, and they broke it open three innings later by scoring five runs off left-hander Steven Matz. Rhys Hoskins highlighted the scoring with a three-run double to right-center field.

“It felt great,” Hoskins said. “It kind of blew the game open. It’s always good, especially with Nola on the mound. After that, we felt we had a pretty good chance to win that game and the series.”

Hoskins was ice cold prior to the game. He had only one RBI and was 9-for-45 (.200). Manager Joe Girardi said he was not worried about Hoskins.

“I’ve said his at-bats have been good,” Girardi said. “He continues to get on base. Sometimes, it’s not always by the hit. I like his at-bats. He has worked really, really hard every day. Today, it paid off big. That was a big inning for us.”

Hoskins said he felt pretty good all year at the plate. He likes his decision-making and admitted he sometimes chases the ball with two strikes. But his swing felt free and easy when he hit the double.

“I’m not getting the results that everyone wants, but that’s what makes this game hard,” Hoskins said. “You do everything right and not get the results, you have to continue to work and hope it comes.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.