PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies are doing their best to make sure that Pete Mackanin’s managerial tenure ends on a high note.
Maikel Franco, Jorge Alfaro and Cesar Hernandez all homered to support six strong innings from starter Ben Lively as the Phillies defeated the New York Mets 6-2 on Friday night.
Earlier in the day, the Phillies (65-95) announced that Mackanin would not return to the dugout in 2018. Mackanin was given a role as a senior advisor to general manager Matt Klentak.
“It has been difficult,” Franco said. “He gave everything he had out there. He’s a good person and a good manager.”
Franco, who has been the subject of criticism for most of the season and has been benched in recent weeks to give converted shortstop J.P. Crawford a chance at third base, connected on a two-run homer off Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (5-7) in the second inning to give Philadelphia a lead they would never relinquish.
“I’m always feeling confident,” Franco said. “Every time I see that I’m not in the lineup, I try to get mentally ready and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.”
“He needs to make an adjustment,” Mackanin said. “When he does, he’s going to be good.”
Alfaro and Hernandez added solo homers in the sixth inning to extend Philadelphia’s lead.
Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera and Alfaro all had two hits for the Phillies.
Lively allowed six hits and two runs, on homers by Jose Reyes and Dominic Smith.
“There’s still a lot of room to get better,” Lively (4-7) said. “I had some successful games and successful outings. But I have to get better.”
Philadelphia’s bullpen received scoreless innings from Adam Morgan, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris to secure the win. Since Aug. 27 the Phillies’ bullpen has posted a 2.44 ERA.
Harvey struggled in what was his final start of a disappointing season. In addition to the two runs allowed on Franco’s home run, he allowed two more runs in the third inning — including one on a balk when his attempted pitch to Franco slipped out of his hand.
Harvey ends the season with a 5-7 record and a 6.70 ERA.
“The positive is that this nightmare of a season is over for me,” Harvey said.
Philadelphia guaranteed its first winning record against the National League East since 2011 on Friday night. The Phillies are 38-36 against their own division with two games left and 27-59 against the rest of Major League Baseball. . The two home runs by the Mets give them 22 in eight games at Citizens Bank Park this season. It is the most of visiting team against the Phillies in a season.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom was scratched from his final start of the season on Saturday night because of stomach illness symptoms, according to Mets manager Terry Collins.
“He wasn’t feeling well earlier in the week and he said he still wasn’t feeling well,” Collins said. “He said he could make the start, but we just decided to skip him.”
The next-to-last game of the season sees the Mets turning to Seth Lugo (7-5, 4.72) against Phillies RHP Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 3.60). Lugo was originally scheduled to start in Sunday’s season finale for New York, but was pushed up after deGrom was scratched due to illness. On Sunday, the Mets will start Noah Syndergaard (1-2, 3.68) against Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta (7-10, 6.26).