Catcher Francisco Alvarez #4 of the Mets walks off the field...

Catcher Francisco Alvarez #4 of the Mets walks off the field after injuring his hand in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 24, 2023 in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 5-2.  Credit: Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA — Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez is having another scare.

He departed a 5-2 loss to the Phillies in the sixth inning on Sunday night after taking foul tips to the tip of his middle finger on his left (glove) hand three times, including on consecutive pitches.

Although he convinced manager Buck Showalter and an athletic trainer that he was OK enough to stay in the game after the middle of those pitches, Alvarez was in obvious pain again on the next, which deflected off the tip of his mitt. He left the field almost immediately.

X-rays were negative, according to Showalter, who said it was “just a finger” bruise.

“It’s just part of the game,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “Every single time we go out on that field, we run the risk of something happening. That’s just the way it goes.”

This sort of thing has happened periodically to Alvarez, though no foul tip or hit by pitch has resulted in a significant injury. Sunday marked his 100th start behind the plate, the most he’s had in a season in his career at any level.

The Mets largely were shut down by lefthander Cristopher Sanchez, who held the Mets to two runs and three hits in seven innings, none until the fifth. He struck out 10 and walked one. Ronny Mauricio tagged him for a two-run homer.

 

Handling the eighth for the Phillies was Orion Kerkering, a 22-year-old righthander making his major-league debut after opening the season in Low-A. He retired all three batters he faced, including two via strikeout, both on his signature slider.

Mets righthander Jose Butto, grinding through with a high pitch count, gave up four runs in four innings. He allowed as many runs in his final frame (four) as he had in his previous 20 1⁄3 innings since getting called up at the start of the month.

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