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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jacob deGrom got a scare when he was hit on his pitching arm by a line drive, but the New York Mets ace was so relieved to have escaped serious injury that he could even joke about what happened.
DeGrom pitched brilliantly until he was forced to exit in the seventh inning, and the Mets homered four times to rout the Philadelphia Phillies 10-0 on Thursday night.
DeGrom (13-5) was nailed in the back of the right arm, just above the elbow, by Nick Williams' liner. X-rays were negative, and the team said deGrom had a bruised triceps.
DeGrom sported a huge lump on the back of his right arm. The right-hander ended his postgame interview by joking that at least he now has a triceps.
"It didn't feel good when it hit me, but it's all right now," he said. "I was fortunate enough that it didn't hit me in the elbow."
The 29-year-old deGrom initially smiled when manager Terry Collins went out to check on him. But deGrom never threw a warmup pitch and didn't protest Collins' decision to take him out.
"Just a contusion, so we're very lucky," Collins said.
The manager said he is "hoping" deGrom will be able to make his next start.
DeGrom gave up four hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine without a walk. He improved to 9-2 with a 1.82 ERA in his last 11 starts while upping his career mark against Philadelphia to 6-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 starts.
"I was able to locate pretty well," deGrom said. "I had a pretty good feel for my slider and changeup. So I was getting ahead strike one and going from there."
The injury-ravaged Mets already are without starters Noah Snydergaard (right lat tear), Matt Harvey (stress injury to right shoulder) and Zack Wheeler (stress reaction in right arm), depleting their highly touted starting rotation.
It had been a feel-good night to that point for the Mets, who avoided falling 12 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2013 season with just their second win in the last seven games.
Wilmer Flores finished a triple shy of the cycle, Neil Walker had four hits including a homer, and Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson also went deep as the Mets continued their power surge at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets have hit 51 homers in their last 23 games in Philadelphia.
Flores hit a three-run shot to straightaway center in the first off Vince Velasquez (2-7). Velasquez didn't return after his shaky 32-pitch first inning due to numbness on the tip of his right middle finger. The right-hander was making his fifth start after being sidelined for 1 ½ months due to a right elbow flexor strain.
Manager Pete Mackanin said Velasquez will be evaluated further on Friday.
"It's not affecting my elbow and it's not affecting my shoulder; it's just that one specific spot," Velasquez said.
Mark Leiter Jr. replaced Velasquez and gave up a solo shot to Walker in the third before settling down to strike out seven in five strong innings of relief.
Conforto stayed hot and blew the game open in the seventh with an opposite-field, three-run homer off the foul pole in left. The home run extended Conforto's career high to 24 on the season while giving him 11 in his last 13 games.
Granderson hit a two-run drive in the ninth.
Odubel Herrera extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 consecutive games with a seventh-inning single for the Phillies.
Rhys Hoskins went 0-for-2 with a walk in his major-league debut. A natural first baseman, Hoskins started in left field after getting his first action there as a pro just this week at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did play the outfield in college.
Following a touching tribute on the video board, the Phillies held a pregame moment of silence for former star catcher Darren Daulton. This was the first time the Phillies had played at home since Daulton died on Sunday of brain cancer. Daulton's No. 10 was written in the dirt behind the catcher's box.
SMITH GETS CALL
Top Mets prospect, first baseman Dominic Smith will make his major league debut on Friday after batting .330 with 16 homers and 76 RBIs in 114 games at Triple-A Las Vegas.
"We're intrigued to see what kind of player he is," Collins said. "We're anxious to see how he swings the bat, how his discipline is at the plate, how he handles himself at first, how he handles himself in this atmosphere."
To make room for Smith, the Mets demoted right-hander Fernando Salas.
Mets: New York recalled OF Juan Lagares from Double-A Binghamton prior to the game. Lagares had been on the DL since June 16 with a fractured right thumb. Lagares replaced Jay Bruce, who was traded to Cleveland on Wednesday night.
Phillies: OF Aaron Altherr likely won't return until September, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said prior to the game. Altherr (strained right hamstring) went on the DL on Saturday.
Mets: RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.55) makes his first-ever start at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. Lugo has allowed multiple home runs in three straight starts.
Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (4-7, 5.89) will look to build on the success he had in his only other start against the Mets when he allowed one run on one hit in seven innings on July 10 in New York.
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