|Cal Raleigh and Abraham Toro after scoring on Raleigh's home run in the sixth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets lost a heartbreaker to the Seattle Mariners, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. Seattle took two of three in the series, handing the Mets (23-13) their first series loss of the season.
The Mets came out with a bang, literally, against Mariners starter Robbie Ray, the reigning American League Cy Young winner.
After Ray got Brandon Nimmo to fly out to the warning track in center field and struck out Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor, who has been struggling recently and entered Sunday with a .231 average, stepped to the plate.
Lindor crushed one to left field, a no-doubter that landed in the second deck to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. It was his sixth home run on the season, and his 22nd RBI.
|Francisco Lindor about to touch the plate on his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Carlos Carrasco started out strong, retiring the first four Mariners hitters before allowing a one-out single down the right field line to Julio Rodriguez. Ex-Yankee Mike Ford was up next, and he flew out to right, and Rodrigues, who was attempting a steal, slid into second base, got up, and started running for third, so the Mets flew to first to complete the easy 9-9-3 double play to end the inning.
In the third, Seattle got a rally going, as Abraham Toro hit one down the first-base line, past Pete Alonso, for a double, and then Steven Souza, Jr., singled. Cal Raleigh hit into a perfect double play, which allowed Toro to come in and tie the game at 1.
Carrasco wasn't out of the woods yet, as he then gave up a double to Adam Frazier before getting Ty France to fly to left field to close out the frame.
In the bottom of the third, the Mets got a walk from Tomas Nido and then Marte laced a double to left field with two outs to set up Lindor for another possible big moment, but Ray struck him out.
Seattle came at Carrasco in the fourth, with J.P. Crawford and Winker opening the inning with singles, and Rodriguez drawing a walk to load the bases.
Ford was up next, and he drilled one to right to bring in Crawford and Winker, and Toro hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Rodriguez and make it 4-1 Mariners. That settled Carrasco down, and he got Souza, Jr., to pop up to first and Raleigh to ground back to him for the third out.
The Mets responded in the bottom of the fourth with one of their best innings of the season. Pete Alonso opened it with a single, then Mark Canha walked.
J.D. Davis, who entered the game with a .200 average and just one home run and four RBIs, took one down the right field line, and Souza, Jr., could not corral it, so it went into the corner, allowing Alonso and Canha to score easily, and Davis raced all the way to third base for a triple. After he was ruled safe, Davis could be seen pounding the dirt in excitement.
Eduardo Escobar then drew a walk after running the count to 3-2, and then Jeff McNeil hit a fly ball to left, which was too shallow for Davis to come in on, but Escobar alertly took second base on the throw.
With two outs, Brandon Nimmo hit a rocket down the right field line, and like Davis' hit, it went all the way into the corner, so Davis and Escobar scored easily, and Nimmo also had a triple, his second of the season, and the Mets were up 5-4.
|Brandon Nimmo lacing the triple down the right field line in the fifth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Carrasco got Frazier to fly out to left to open the fifth, and then he allowed a double to France, and that was all. This was the right-hander's second-shortest outing of the season (he went 3 2/3 innings in St. Louis on 4/27), as he went just 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk, with just two strikeouts.
Chasen Shreve, the veteran left-hander, came out of the Mets bullpen to face the lefties coming up in the order. He struck out Crawford, and got Winker to ground back to him to end the inning, which was a bit of redemption after Winker hit a game-tying three-run homer off Shreve to tie Saturday night's game.
That would not last for long, as Shreve stayed on for the sixth, and Rodriguez led off the inning with a bomb to left field for a solo homer to tie the game at 5. Shreve then got Ford to pop out to third, and then gave up a hit by Toro into the shift that McNeil could not corral, and that was all for the lefty.
Drew Smith came in, and the Seattle smashing continued, as Cal Raleigh hit a two-run shot off a stairway in right field by the Citi Pavilion to make it 7-5 Mariners.
Just as he did in the fifth, Ray retired the Mets in order in the sixth to preserve the lead they clawed back, and he ended his afternoon on a high. He went six innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks, and notching nine strikeouts, to earn the win to improve to 4-3 on the season.
Joely Rodriguez came on for the Mets in the seventh, and Winker (who else?) hit a double just inside the left field line, and he came in to score on a single by Rodriguez to make it 8-5.
Sergio Romo came on in the seventh, and retired the Mets in order, on three routine fly balls to center field. Ex-Met Paul Sewald game on and also sent down the Mets in order, and got a strikeout, as well.
Drew Steckenrider, who got the save in Seattle's win Friday night, got Davis to fly out to center to open the inning, and then allowed a triple to Escobar. That was the Mets' first hit since the four-run fourth inning, and it proved to be a spark.
McNeil singled to right field to bring in Escobar, and Patrick Mazeika, in his second at-bat of the day after pinch-hitting in the seventh, also singled. Nimmo then doubled home McNeil to make it 8-7, and that was all for Steckenrider.
Diego Castillo came on, and he struck out Marte before intentionally walking Lindor, and then he struck out Alonso to end the Mets' comeback effort.
It was Castillo's second save of the season, and Shreve took the loss for the Mets to fall to 1-1, and saw his ERA jump to 3.38.
The Mets host St. Louis in a four-game series starting Monday night at Citi Field.
Sunny Sunday At Citi Field: After the past couple of nights of rainy, foggy, and dreary conditions, the weather was a winner on Sunday.
|Carlos Carrasco pitching during the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|