DEMOTED HECTOR NERIS STILL FINDS A WAY TO BLOW A GAME FOR PHILS

By Sam Bush

The Phillies have shuffled their bullpen, as manager Joe Girardi announced that lefty Jose Alvarado will be first in line for save opportunities for now.

But it was too late to save the Phils yesterday against the Mets, as Hector Neris blew the save opportunity because Alvarado and Archie Bradley were unavailable.

Neris had been the team’s primary option in save opportunities this season, but he’s been tagged for six runs over his past five outings — a span of 4 1/3 frames. Neris blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s rollercoaster of a game between the Phillies and Nationals.

Alvarado had his first opportunity in the seventh inning of today’s twin bill against the division-leading Mets, but Francisco Lindor lined an RBI single up the middle to tie the game at one apiece. The Mets would go on to win in the bottom of the eighth — Ranger Suarez yielded an RBI single to Dominic Smith.

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