Neris falters again in ninth as Mets homer their way past Phillies

Hector Neris blown save costs Philadelphia in 3-1 loss
Hector Neris appears to be in a rut. The closer surrendered three hits, including a pair of homers in the ninth inning Friday night, allowing the Mets to skirt past the Phillies 3-1 in the opening game of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

It was the second blown save for Neris in the last six days and his third blown save this year.

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta pieced together another outstanding performance, surrendering just five hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings.

Neris surrendered a one-out single to Wilmer Flores in the ninth before Michael Conforto launched a 95 mph four-seamer out to the seats in right-center to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Devin Mesoraco then proceeded to drill Neris' next pitch, a slider over the middle of the plate, out to left to give the Mets another insurance run.

Despite the recent troubles, manager Gabe Kapler remains optimistic that Neris can still succeed as a closer, despite the fact is ERA has ballooned to 5.15.

"He is about as confident a pitcher as I've been around," Kapler said (see video below). "He believes in himself. This is difficult for him. Just like it is any competitor, just like it is any successful athlete ... It's a mental grind, and this is something that Hector will overcome, and once he gets through it, he's going to soar."



The Phillies lone run came via an Odubel Herrera solo-shot in the opening frame. The homer extended his on-base streak to 40 games, tying him with Willie Montanez who reached base in 40 straight contests during the 1974 season.

"Odubel, it doesn't matter who's on the mound, lefty, righty, doesn't matter what time of the game, he's going to give you a good at-bat right now and drive the ball out of the ballpark from time to time and walk, see pitches," Kapler said.

The two clubs resume the three-game set Saturday night with Zach Eflin opposing Noah Syndergaard.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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