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Despite added travel, Phillies enjoyed the experience of the London Series

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LONDON (AP) – Now that Major League Baseball has been to London three times, players have a few suggestions for future visits.

The New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on Sunday to split their two-game weekend series at London Stadium.

Both teams arrived Thursday morning and had two off days to get acclimated. They went sightseeing before getting back in game mode.

“I feel like we had too much time off,” Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor said before Sunday’s game. “I get it, there’s a process of you’ve got to sell the games and stuff like that. But to me … playing the next day (Friday) would have been a little bit more beneficial.”

Lindor still called the whole experience “fantastic” and important in spreading the game. A soccer-style knee slide by Phillies slugger Bryce Harper garnered some media coverage in Britain.

Mets infielder Jeff McNeil likes an idea floated by Harper — to have more teams come and hold a cup-style tournament.

“It would be cool if you had four teams here — you could get five, six games,” he said after New York’s win. “It is tough coming over here for two games and then flying back to the States. If you could get more teams over here, make it more of an event, it would be a lot of fun.”

This was MLB’s third trip to London in the past five years. There’s another series planned for 2026. A proposed series in Paris for next summer was shelved.

“I’d do it every year if we could,” said Phillies manager Rob Thomson, who visited a Philly-themed bar. “It’s been a great experience. Tough loss today, but it was a great ballgame for fans to watch.”

HIGH FLYERS

The Phillies will have crossed 18 different time zones in 17 days when they land in Boston. The team left May 23 for a road trip that included stops in Denver and San Francisco before the London trip.

“So now going back what we’re trying to do is if you want to sleep, sleep early in the flight, maybe for an hour or hour and a half, then get up and stay awake until we get there,” Thomson said.

NEW CRICKET FAN

MLB is here to expand its fan base, but another ball-and-bat game has picked up some fans, too.

“I watched a lot of cricket while I was here. It was on TV the whole time,” McNeil said. “My wife got into it, I got into it. I think I’d be a heck of a cricket player. Being able to put it in play and hit it anywhere, I think that would be a lot of fun.”

The TV coverage was of the cricket T20 World Cup being co-costed by the United States and West Indies. India was playing Pakistan in Westbury, New York, on Sunday. The United States scored a major upset over Pakistan on Thursday.

“I was going to try to see a match,” McNeil said. “I have no idea about the rules. I’d love to learn more, but it was pretty exciting to watch. I would love to try it. Hitting looks fun. You can hit it far and anywhere you want.”

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