- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Aaron Nola can only hope his next matchup with Matt Harvey is much more competitive.

The prized rookie was knocked around for nine hits in four innings Wednesday night, and the Philadelphia Phillies resumed losing to the New York Mets with a 9-4 defeat at Citi Field.

“My body and my arm felt good the first inning and things kind of just unraveled. I missed a couple spots and they really made me pay for it,” Nola said.

Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park homer and drove in four runs to back Harvey. Yoenis Cespedes and rookie Michael Conforto had conventional home runs for the NL East leaders.

New York won for the 14th time in 16 meetings this season with the last-place Phillies, who snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Mets with a 14-8 rout Tuesday.

Nola (5-2) was no match for Harvey in the first meeting between talented pitchers who could be squaring off for years to come. Both were drafted No. 7 overall, Harvey out of North Carolina in 2010 and Nola from LSU last year.

Making his ninth major league start, Nola gave up a career-high six runs in his shortest outing yet. The 22-year-old righty had won five straight decisions since a 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay in his debut.

“Wasn’t one of his better performances, but the defense wasn’t really the greatest today,” interim manager Pete Mackanin said. “Things just seem to happen when we play the Mets.”

With a runner on second and two outs in the second inning, Tejada hit a shallow pop fly down the right-field line. Domonic Brown charged in and reached down but could not make the catch, and the ball bounced by him as he flipped head over heels over a low retaining wall.

“You see guys slide after that ball or dive after it. I think possibly a slide might have been a good idea because that way you don’t worry about the wall,” Mackanin said.

Second baseman Cesar Hernandez finally chased down the ball in the corner, and Tejada slid home safely without a relay throw to the plate.

Mackanin said he was originally told Brown landed on his knee when he tumbled over the wall. The outfielder initially remained in the game, but was removed in the bottom of the fourth due to concerns about a possible concussion. He will see a specialist Thursday and is unlikely to play this weekend in Boston.

“Hopefully, he’ll be fine. He didn’t show any signs of any issues when he was in the dugout. He said he was fine to go back out,” Mackanin said. “I guess he took that test and didn’t score exceptionally well.”

Darnell Sweeney homered off Harvey, and pinch-hitter Erik Kratz had a two-run double for Philadelphia.

“I like his athleticism,” Mackanin said about Sweeney. “I like the way he looks at the plate. We’ll be seeing more of him.”

Handed a 6-0 lead, Harvey (12-7) pitched into the seventh inning in soupy weather and won his fourth straight decision. He was touched for nine hits, equaling a season high, and four runs but struck out nine and walked only one.

“I thought he threw the ball very well. He had a rough inning,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’ll be ready for his next start (at second-place Washington). That’s what counts.”

Harvey was unavailable to reporters because he was in the trainer’s room. He felt weak during the game and dehydrated, a Mets spokesman said, and wasn’t sure yet if he would travel with the team to Miami on Thursday night.

The right-hander improved to 6-1 in eight career starts versus the Phillies, who have lost 25 of 31 against the Mets and dropped nine consecutive series to them since May 2014.


Phillies: Rookie 3B Maikel Franco (broken left wrist) took 20 dry swings and felt soreness in the same spot where he was hit by a pitch Aug. 11. The team might not rush his rehab to get Franco back before the season ends, in part because he plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic and can make up missed at-bats there.

“He’s not any closer than he was before. It’s going to take more time than we thought originally, so if we go another week or so it probably doesn’t look good for him coming back,” Mackanin said. “He needs at-bats to get back in the lineup and it’s tough to do that if you only have two weeks left in the season.”


Phillies reliever Colton Murray gave up Cespedes’ solo homer in his major league debut. The right-hander struck out two in one inning of work.


New York has beaten Philadelphia 14 times in one season for the first time.


Phillies rookie LHP Adam Morgan (5-4) pitches Friday night at Fenway Park against RHP Joe Kelly (8-6).

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