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    Monday, July 15, 2024

    Nola fires four-hitter as MLB-best Phillies blank Mets 4-0

    Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola throws during the second inning Tuesday against the New York Mets in New York. (Adam Hunger/AP Photo)
    Pete Alonso of the New York Mets reacts after grounding into a double play during the seventh inning Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Adam Hunger/AP Photo)

    New York — Aaron Nola pitched a four-hitter for his fourth major league shutout and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the slumping New York Mets 4-0 on Tuesday to finish a two-game sweep.

    “He was fantastic. I mean, he had everything going. Located his fastball. The curveball was really good. He changed speeds, got soft contact,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “He was really efficient.”

    Philadelphia scored twice in the third inning against starter Jose Buttó on a hit by pitch and a bases-loaded walk. Bryson Stott had a run-scoring single in the ninth and Alec Bohm doubled home a run to finish with two RBI.

    Nola (5-2) did the rest, throwing 73 of 109 pitches for strikes in his sixth career complete game and first since a five-hit shutout against Cincinnati in August 2022. He struck out eight and walked none. It was the third time in nine starts this season he lasted at least eight innings.

    “I did feel like the fastball was coming out a little bit better than it has previous starts,” Nola said. “So that helped out a lot. I feel the command was better.”

    After giving up a bloop double and a single in the ninth, Nola retired Francisco Lindor on a routine fly ball with runners at the corners to end it. Philadelphia's sixth shutout tied Cleveland and Boston for most in the majors.

    “He executed. He moved the ball very well. His curveball was working,” Lindor said. “Whenever we got good swings on the baseball, they caught it.”

    The surging Phillies improved the top record in the majors to 30-13 and earned their first sweep at Citi Field since a three-game series in April 2013. Philadelphia has won or tied all 12 of its series since April 5, the team's best such streak since August 1994 to June 1995 (13 series).

    New York (19-22) finished a 1-4 homestand against two NL East rivals and fell to 10-14 at Citi Field after getting shut out for the fourth time overall.

    “It's part of the daily grind,” Lindor said. “It seems like we are in a month that the uphill fight is even harder.”

    The teams head to Philadelphia to begin another two-game series Wednesday night, the second leg of an unusual home-and-home scheduled to accommodate their two-game set in London from June 8-9.

    Nola retired his first 15 batters on 59 pitches — 15 coming in two plate appearances by leadoff man Brandon Nimmo.

    Tyrone Taylor lined a clean single on Nola's first pitch of the sixth, but the right-hander set down the next three batters. He gave up a leadoff single to Starling Marte in the seventh and still needed just three pitches to retire the side when Lindor lined out and Pete Alonso grounded sharply into a double play.

    “That was fun, actually,” Nola said with a grin.

    By contrast, it took 97 pitches for Buttó (1-3) to get through five innings — including 41 in the third. Johan Rojas singled leading off, and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs.

    Buttó plunked Bohm with a pitch to force in the first run, then walked Brandon Marsh to force in another.

    Buttó permitted only one hit against a depleted Phillies lineup but Mets pitchers walked eight. It was the seventh time this season New York has issued at least seven free passes. The staff began the day leading the majors in walks.

    Trainer’s room

    Phillies: 1B Bryce Harper was a late scratch because of a migraine but was available to pinch-hit, Thomson said. ... C J.T. Realmuto (right knee) sat out a third consecutive game, but threw and hit in the batting cage. Thomson said he expects Realmuto to play Wednesday night. ... DH Kyle Schwarber (back) returned to the lineup after missing three starts in a row, although he did pinch-hit Monday night. Schwarber doubled, walked twice and scored two runs from the leadoff spot. ... C Rafael Marchán (lower back pain) was set to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater.

    Mets: RHP Drew Smith (shoulder soreness) was expected to be reinstated from the injured list before the game, but manager Carlos Mendoza said the team decided to wait another day because it needed length available in the bullpen. ... LHP David Peterson (left hip surgery) was scheduled to make a rehab start Tuesday night for Double-A Binghamton.

    Up next

    Phillies: LHP Ranger Suárez (7-0, 1.50 ERA) leads the majors in wins and WHIP.

    Mets: Mendoza said he's not sure who will pitch Wednesday because he had scheduled starter Adrian Houser warming up in the ninth.

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