Phils drop to six games under .500

Max Scherzer of the New York Mets pitches against the Phillies during the first inning Thursday in New York. (Bebeto Matthews-The Associated Press)

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Canha hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in his last pitch blitz for the Phillies, Max Scherzer calmed down after a shaky first inning to win his third straight decision and the New York Mets they completed a three-game sweep. the defending National League champions with a 4-2 victory Thursday at Citi Field.

New York trailed 2-0 before Jeff McNeil hit an RBI single in the third and Canha homered in the fourth off former Met Taijuan Walker (4-3).

Canha homered and drove in four runs last night and is 6-for-10 with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last three games against the Phillies dating back to last season.

While the Mets improved to 30-27, Philadelphia (25-31) fell to a season-worst six games below .500. The Phillies are in their fourth losing streak of four or more games.

Scherzer (5-2) fell behind 2-0 in the first after Trea Turner singled with one out and Bryce Harper walked. A double steal led to a run when catcher Francisco Álvarez’s throw jumped to left field on an error, and Nick Castellanos followed with a sacrifice fly.

Scherzer allowed two runs, one earned, and five hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. He threw 71 of 101 pitches for strikes.

With Adam Ottavino and David Robertson rested after pitching on back-to-back days, Jeff Brigham pitched a perfect eighth inning. Brooks Raley got two outs and Drew Smith retired pinch hitter Drew Ellis, making his Phillies debut, on a first-pitch flyout with a man for his second save.

Philadelphia managed just three runs and 17 hits in the series, just two for extra bases, with 33 strikeouts. Kyle Schwarber was 0-for-10.

Castellanos had three of the Phillies’ six hits in the finale.

Walker hit Starling Marte with a pitch before Canha blasted a thigh-high fastball for his fifth home run this season. New York has homered in 15 straight games, the second-longest streak in team history behind 21 in 1996.

Walker threw just 38 of 74 pitches for strikes, allowing three runs, two hits and three walks in four innings.

Rookie Mark Vientos added a sacrifice fly in the sixth off Matt Strahm.


Mets right-hander Kodai Senga could pitch on a normal four-day rest for the first time on Sunday. Senga, 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA, has made his first 10 starts on extra rest, similar to the schedule for pitchers in Japan.


Phillies: RHP Zack Wheeler (4-4, 3.60) starts Friday’s series opener at Washington, sending RHP Josiah Gray (4-5, 2.77) to the mound.

Mets: RHP Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.80) opens a three-game series against Toronto on Friday, opposed by former Met Chris Bassitt (5-4, 3.80).