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Tempers flared Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets and Phillies, two teams trying to establish themselves as the team to beat in the NL East, opened a three-game set with a game that featured the winning team scoring its two runs on a strikeout. Mets catcher James McCann couldn't corral a Marcus Stroman changeup and two runs scored on a strike three passed ball to give Philly the one-run victory (PHI 2, NYM 1).

Later in the game Phillies left-hander José Alvarado struck out Dominic Smith with runners on first and second to end the eighth inning. As he walked off the mound, Alvarado yelled something in Smith's direction, and the benches cleared as the two exchanged words. A half-inning later, Mets reliever Miguel Castro threw two pitches inside to Rhys Hoskins, and again things got heated.

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"I don't mind people pimping strikeouts, pimping stuff on the field. I've never been a player like that, but I don't mind it. I love it. " Smith told reporters after the game, including's Anthony DiComo. "But him pointing at me, coming after me, stuff like that? I'm a grown-ass man. Come meet me then if you really got a problem, and we can really handle it. So that's how I look at that issue. He waited for his team to grab him and stuff, but I'm right there. And he can meet me in the tunnel tomorrow if he really wants to get after it."

Alvarado and Smith have a bit of a history. Earlier this season Smith jawed at Alvarado from the dugout after Alvarado buzzed Michael Conforto up and in with a fastball, then hit him with the next pitch. Smith again said something to Alvarado from the dugout after Jeff McNeil was hit by a pitch Friday. Alvarado was not made available to reporters following Friday's game.

"Like their manager said, if you can't throw strikes, you shouldn't be in the big leagues. So I'm going to protect my guys. He's throwing 100 out there. It's not OK to just hit guys," Smith told DiComo, referring to Phillies manager Joe Girardi being upset Cardinals reliever Génesis Cabrera was not ejected after hitting Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius with consecutive pitches earlier this week.  

"I don't think we forget those types of things, right? If guys come at us, that's stuff that we don't forget," Hoskins told reporters, including's Todd Zolecki, referring to Alvarado hitting Conforto earlier this month. "... Emotions were high tonight obviously. We had just had the benches clear the inning before. That's how these division games are. It doesn't matter if it's April or September. It seems like we always have these dogfight games, especially against the Mets. Just another one tonight."

With Friday's win, the Phillies moved into sole possession of first place in the NL East at 13-13. The Mets have lost three straight games and seven of their last nine games to fall to 9-11 on the season. The two clubs will play again Saturday and Sunday, then they won't see each other again after that until June 25-27 in New York.