PHILADELPHIA — Jake Arrieta looks like an ace again.
Arrieta pitched neatly into the ninth inning, Scott Kingery and Cesar Hernandez hit solo homers and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 3-2 Wednesday.
Hector Neris blew a 95 mph fastball past Keon Broxton with a 3-2 count and the bases loaded for the final out and his second save.
Arrieta (3-1) allowed two runs and six hits, inducing three double-play grounders. The veteran righty has pitched like the guy who won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Cubs. He’s thrown at least seven innings in three straight starts and has a 2.25 ERA after going 10-11 with a 3.96 ERA in his first season in Philadelphia last year.
“He has a different mindset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “He understands everybody is looking to him for leadership and he’s taken the bull by the horns.”
The Phillies, off to an 11-6 start, are counting on Arrieta, especially since All-Star Aaron Nola is struggling and Nick Pivetta was demoted to the minors after opening the season as the No. 2 starter.
“I feel good and I’ve been able to spin the ball well,” Arrieta said. “The timing of my delivery now is really good.”
Zack Wheeler (1-2) gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings.
Arrieta took the mound to start the ninth aiming for his first complete game since tossing a no-hitter on April 21, 2016, against Cincinnati. But he exited after Pete Alonso reached on an infield single that glanced off Arrieta to begin the inning.
Adam Morgan entered and hit Robinson Cano in the back with a fastball. After Morgan retired Michael Conforto on a fly to right, Neris struck out J.D. Davis. But Amed Rosario reached on an infield single that drove in a run and Neris hit pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos near his left elbow to load the bases.
With the crowd standing and cheering, Neris then struck out Broxton and pumped his fist jumping off the mound in celebration.
Maikel Franco’s sacrifice fly in the second gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
Kingery hit an opposite-field drive out to right-center for his second homer in two games to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Hernandez drove his second homer into the right-field seats in the sixth to make it 3-0.
Conforto connected in the seventh, launching his fifth homer inside the right-field foul pole to cut it to 3-1. He has 16 homers and 46 RBIs in only 51 career games against the Phillies.
“We had opportunities all game and didn’t come up with enough runs,” Conforto said. “We have to do more. We have to put it all together.”
The Phillies have lost the season series to the Mets seven straight seasons, but took two out of three to start this year. The teams meet again in New York next week.
Bryce Harper was 0 for 3 but also walked, extending his streak to 17 games reaching base safely.
Mets: RHP Jacob Rhame was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. RHP Drew Gagnon was optioned after tossing 5 1/3 innings in relief in Tuesday night’s 14-3 loss.
Phillies: INF Phil Gosselin was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Pivetta was optioned after posting an 8.35 ERA in four starts. Jerad Eickhoff will take Pivetta’s spot in the rotation.
Mets: INF Jed Lowrie will start taking live batting practice at the team’s spring complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Lowrie has been sidelined by a left knee sprain. ... OF Brandon Nimmo wasn’t in the lineup after leaving with neck stiffness Tuesday night. .... RHP Jacob deGrom, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, has strep throat and his next start will be pushed back from Friday to Saturday.
Phillies: CF Odubel Herrera left the game with a cramp in his left hamstring after making a running catch in the fifth inning. ... SS Jean Segura wasn’t in the lineup after exiting with left hamstring tightness Tuesday night. ... RHP Tommy Hunter was moved to the 60-day injury list. Hunter has been sidelined by right forearm strain since spring training.
Mets: After an off day, Jason Vargas (1-0, 14.21 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game set at St. Louis on Friday.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (2-1, 3.94) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Colorado on Thursday. Eflin has allowed 15 runs in 14 2/3 innings in three career starts against the Rockies.
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