Phillies, Mets to feature pitchers making first big-league starts

STATS/TSX

NEW YORK -- Enyel De Los Santos and Drew Gagnon were probably already in their hotel rooms Monday night when the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets played the second game of a doubleheader at Citi Field.

But if they were watching the nightcap on television, De Los Santos and Gagnon saw Aaron Nola and Corey Oswalt set a pretty high standard for a couple of rookies to meet Tuesday night.

De Los Santos and Gagnon will each make their major league debuts Tuesday night, when they take the mound in the third game of a four-game series between the Phillies and Mets.

The two teams split Monday's doubleheader. The Mets won the opener when Wilmer Flores hit his team record-tying fourth walk-off homer in the 10th inning of a 4-3 victory. Nola dominated the second game, when he struck out 10, allowed one hit -- a Flores first-inning single -- and produced all the Phillies' runs with a three-run double in the fifth inning of a 3-1 win.

The hit by the All-Star Game-bound Nola was the only one allowed by Oswalt, who was making his third big league start. Oswalt retired the first 12 batters he faced before issuing three walks (one intentional) prior to Nola's two-out double. Philadelphia and New York combined for just four hits in the game (two apiece).

The Phillies (50-39) and Mets (36-52) probably can't expect quite such dominance from De Los Santos and Gagnon, but their recent minor league track records suggest a pitcher's duel could be in the offing.

De Los Santos, 23, went 9-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His promotion to the majors means De Los Santos won't start as scheduled for the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. De Los Santos was also selected to the Futures Game, which is scheduled for Sunday.

"Tribute to De Los Santos to be named starter of that All-Star Game and great thing to get that nod in the Futures Game," Lehigh Valley pitching coach Dave Lundquist told The Morning Call last Friday.

Gagnon had to cancel plans too -- he and his fiancee planned to go to the Grand Canyon during the Triple-A All-Star break. The 28-year-old opened the season with Double-A Binghamton but was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas after he tossed six scoreless innings in his season debut. He was 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 17 starts for Las Vegas but impressed the Mets by issuing just 31 walks in 96 1/3 innings.

"He's very aggressive with his fastball, he throws it in the zone" Mets manager Mickey Callaway said prior to Monday's doubleheader. "These guys that come up here, they have to throw the ball over the plate. And if they can do that, they always have a chance. Now, you can't predict what's going to happen, but you have to give yourself a chance to succeed, and it seems like he's actually done that really well in Triple-A."

De Los Santos, who signed with the Seattle Mariners as an undrafted free agent in 2014, was acquired by the Phillies from the San Diego Padres for Freddy Galvis last Dec. 15. Gagnon was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the third round of the 2011 draft and signed with the Mets as a minor league free agent last Dec. 22.

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