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Meet in a tunnel if you have a problem



The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phyllis turned the eighth inning of their game on Friday night into emptying benches, talking trash, pointing fingers, forging a routine game – and could ignite more sparks this weekend.

It started when Phyllis reliever Jose Alvarado hit a glove and signaled to Dominic Smith after hitting the Mets outfielder by tying third base in eighth. Smith took off his helmet and seemed ready to fight back against the pitcher as the two teams poured out of the dugout and did not break the hole before the blows were fired.

After the game – Phyllis’ 2-1 victory – Smith did not miss a word when asked about Alvarado.

“I don’t mind people striking and pitching things on the pitch. I’ve never been such a player, but I don’t mind; I love him,” Smith said. “But he points at me, he comes after me, things like that – I’m an old man. Come see me if you really have a problem and we can really handle it.

“That’s how I look at it. He waited for his team to grab him and other things. But I’m right there. He can meet me in the tunnel tomorrow if he really wants to do it.”

Mets manager Luis Rojas said Alvarado – who hit Michael Conforto and lifted Smith and Mets with gestures earlier this month – was to blame for the hole.

“You can say it’s inspiring. He was trying to get his attention, trying to get things started,” Rojas said. “That’s what made Dom turn back and walk toward him.”

The series between NL East’s rivals resumes on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Phyllis slow-moving Reese Hoskins said she did not expect the high voltage to boil.

“I don’t expect there to be a carryover tomorrow other than the fact that it’s Phyllis and the Mets, and that’s what it is,” he said.

This report uses information from the Associated Press.


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