By AARON BRACY
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper homered again off Max Scherzer and the Philadelphia Phillies became the first team to beat the new Mets ace, snapping a four-game skid by topping New York 3-2 Sunday to open a doubleheader.
Harper, using a pink bat for Mother’s Day, drove a 94 mph fastball from Scherzer (4-1) over the wall in right for a solo homer with two outs in the first. He screamed, “I love you, Mom!” into a TV camera before returning to the dugout.
Harper added an RBI single in the third. The reigning NL MVP also homered off Scherzer, his former Washington teammate, on May 1.
Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm and Jean Segura each had a pair of hits for the Phillies, who bounced back from Thursday’s 8-7 loss to the Mets in which New York rallied for seven runs in the ninth inning.
The single-admission doubleheader was part of a makeup after games between the teams were rained out Friday and Saturday.
Scherzer suffered his first loss since last May 30, ending a string of 24 straight starts without a defeat. The three-time Cy Young winner signed a three-year, $130 million free-agent deal with the Mets in the offseason. The Phillies recorded 10 hits against the right-hander, marking just the 14th time in 413 career games Scherzer has allowed double-digit hits.
Scherzer gave up three runs in six innings, striking out seven and walking none. He remained 18th all-time in strikeouts with 3,069 career K’s.
Kyle Gibson (3-1) gave up two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Corey Knebel, after blowing the save on Thursday, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.
Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte had two hits apiece for the NL East-leading Mets.
Bryson Stott’s RBI single in the fourth put the Phillies in front 3-0.
The Mets got a pair of runs back in the sixth and threatened in the seventh after reliever Seranthony Dominguez walked Pete Alonso and Eduardo Escobar to start the frame. But Dominguez recovered to strike out Dominic Smith, Marte and Luis Guillorme in order to keep Philadelphia in front.
The Mets released 2B Robinson Canó prior to the game. The move comes a week after the slumping Cano was designated for assignment despite nearly $45 million remaining on his contract. The Mets announced the news in their pregame notes and after manager Buck Showalter met with reporters.
The 39-year-old Canó sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He batted .195 (8 for 41) with one home run, three RBIs and a paltry .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances for the NL East-leading Mets. Canó has a .302 career batting average with 335 home runs, 1,305 RBIs and an .842 OPS in 17 seasons. He has 2,632 hits, including 571 doubles.
Phillies: Right-handed starters Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin were placed on the COVID-related IL.
Mets: After an off day, the Mets open a three-game series at Washington on Tuesday night.
Phillies: Begin a three-game series at Seattle on Monday night. Philadelphia LHP Ranger Suarez (2-1, 4.63) is scheduled to oppose Mariners RHP Chris Flexen (1-4, 3.10).
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