The night was supposed to belong to Dominic Smith. He didn't mind sharing the stage with fellow ballyhooed prospect Amed Rosario.
Highlighting a game in which Smith made his major league debut, Rosario -- a veteran of 11 days in the big leagues -- launched a tiebreaking, solo homer in the ninth inning as the Mets continued their dominance of the Phillies with a 7-6 win on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
"I've been seeing that stuff all year," Smith said about Rosario's decisive long ball.
It was Rosario's first major league homer. He had entered the game only 5-for-31 at the plate in his young career.
Smith, meanwhile, insisted he did not feel extra pressure to produce this month in Las Vegas after general manager Sandy Alderson went on the record saying the first-base prospect's promotion would occur soon -- and definitely before Sept. 1.
Smith went a modest 6-for-30 with the 51s in August, beginning with the day Rosario debuted in Colorado.
"I knew it would happen eventually, especially after he said it was not too far away," Smith said. "It just motivated me to want to go out every day and get better, so when I do come up here I'm prepared and I'm ready to play."
Smith went 1-for-3 with a strikeout before departing on a double-switch in the bottom of the sixth inning in his first game with the Mets. His first major-league hit came on a grounder up the middle against Phillies starter Nick Pivetta in the fourth inning.
Known for his glove, Smith did have one transgression in the field that arguably could have been scored an error. On Freddy Galvis' hard grounder to Smith's backhand in the sixth, the ball eluded him and scooted into right field. Galvis reached second base with what was ruled a double, placing two runners in scoring position against Josh Smoker with the Mets clinging to a two-run lead.
The next grounder also found its way to Smith, who couldn't handle the ball cleanly. Smith nonetheless recovered and beat Odubel Herrera to first base as Cesar Hernandez scored to pull the Phillies within 6-5. Philadelphia evened the score two innings later, setting up Rosario's meaningful first major league homer.
"First-game jitters," Keith Hernandez concluded on the SNY telecast about the normally sure-handed Smith's sixth-inning rockiness. Terry Collins agreed with that assessment of nerves.
"He doesn't miss those balls," Collins said.
Rosario, remember, also had a misplay in his debut back on Aug. 1.
As for hit hitting, Smith had a .330 average with 16 homers and 76 RBIs in 457 at-bats when he was promoted from Las Vegas. Half of the long balls came in July.
Smith believes the power surge has more to do with mechanical adjustments to his swing than inflated statistics playing in the Pacific Coast League. He recently has focused on using his legs more, with an aim toward elevating the baseball.
Now, he'll tell his MLB readiness with Rosario alongside him in the Mets' infield.
"More than a teammate, I feel like he's my brother," Rosario said through an interpreter about Smith. "The same excitement he's feeling, I'm feeling for him."
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.