PHILADELPHIA (AP) Yoenis Cespedes slowly circled the bases after each of his three homers, enjoying the results on a sweet night that began with an impressive power stroke in batting practice.
Cespedes became the first Mets player to hit three homers in a game twice and New York went deep seven times to back Matt Harvey in a 14-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
Cespedes’ home run trots each took almost 30 seconds. The slugger only connected once in the first seven games.
Article continues below ...
”Any player that hits three homers would have fun,” he said through an interpreter. ”I think I was seeing the ball well.”
Mets manager Terry Collins called Cespedes a ”special player” and said he wasn’t surprised by his performance.
”Did you see him in BP? He was hitting them out like a driving range,” Collins said.
Harvey (2-0) left with tightness in his left hamstring after allowing two runs and five hits and striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. He said it was just a cramp and expects to make his next start.
”It’s nothing serious,” Harvey said.
Phillies starter Clay Buchholz (0-1) also exited because of an injury, a strained right forearm. He gave up six runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Buchholz will have an MRI on Wednesday.
Lucas Duda hit two homers and Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud also went deep for New York, which has 46 homers in its last 21 games at Citizens Bank Park.
”They were excited to come here. They like to hit here,” Collins said.
Cespedes fell down on a wild swing on the first pitch he saw, then hit a three-run homer to straightaway center field off Buchholz in the first inning. He connected to deep left in the fourth off Adam Morgan and drove another one way out to left in the fifth against Morgan.
Cespedes hit three homers once before, at Colorado on Aug. 21, 2015. He hit a double and grounder in his last two at-bats.
The Mets entered with a .192 team batting average and eight homers in seven games. Every starter except Harvey had a hit, and they finished with 20. They had 14 extra-base hits, second-most in this ballpark to their 15 on Aug. 24, 2015.
”Another embarrassing game against the Mets,” Mackanin said.
Duda blasted one 448 feet over the towering, ivy-covered brick wall in center off Morgan. Cabrera, Duda and Cespedes each had four hits. Cabrera fell a triple shy of the cycle.
Maikel Franco hit his first homer for the Phillies in the second.
Harvey tweaked his leg covering first base on a grounder. He missed the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and made only 17 starts last year before surgery to relieve symptoms from thoracic outlet syndrome.
Jose Reyes was dropped from the leadoff spot to seventh after starting 1 for 27. He went 1 for 6 with a double. Curtis Granderson led off and was 1 for 4 with three strikeouts and two walks.
Philadelphia’s Odubel Herrera has a hit in all eight games.
BAT FLIP ETIQUETTE
Mackanin isn’t a fan of players flipping their bat after hitting homers.
”Fans might like to see it, but for me, it’s just unprofessional,” he said.
Tempers flared Monday night when Phillies reliever Edubray Ramos threw a 96 mph fastball over Cabrera’s head – perhaps a purpose pitch for Cabrera’s two-handed bat flip after hitting a game-ending homer against Ramos last Sept. 22 while the Mets were chasing a playoff berth.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1, 11.25 ERA) makes his second start of the season in the series finale Wednesday night. He’s 2-1, 2.97 in five starts against Philadelphia.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (0-1, 9.00) gets his second start. He’s 1-1, 1.76 in three starts vs. the Mets.
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi
More AP Baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball