Mets Mash Four Homers, Hold on in Ninth; Mets 6, Indians 5
Bob Toth | On 15, Apr 2016
Cody Anderson allowed three long balls to what had been a dormant Mets lineup and New York held off a Cleveland rally in the bottom of the ninth to grab a 6-5 win in the series opener with the Indians on Friday night at Progressive Field.
Anderson could not escape the fifth inning as the Mets erupted for three homers and five runs to break a 1-1 tie. Alejandro De Aza, who has made an annoying habit of hurting Indians pitching throughout his career, homered to start the inning to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Anderson got a fly out from Curtis Granderson and worked back from a 3-0 count to strike out David Wright to come within an out of ending the inning, but Michael Conforto reached on an infield single. Yoenis Cespedes, another Mets outfielder with a strong track record against Cleveland, homered to center to blow the game open. After a single from Lucas Duda, Anderson exited for reliever Ross Detwiler, who served up a first pitch homer to Neil Walker and the Mets had a 6-1 lead.
The Indians cut into the Mets’ advantage with a solo run in the bottom of the frame as Rajai Davis singled to start the inning and Jason Kipnis doubled to center over De Aza’s head. New York starter Bartolo Colon then settled down, striking out Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli before a fly out to center by Carlos Santana to end the inning.
With the score still 6-2 in the ninth, Mets manager Terry Collins left Addison Reed on the mound for a second inning of work. As the Indians had done in the past when Reed pitched for Chicago, they put together a rally. Kipnis singled to right and scored on a two-out homer to center by Santana to make it 6-4. Closer Jeurys Familia relieved and gave up a single to Yan Gomes. Gomes advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a broken bat blooper to shallow right-center by Marlon Byrd to bring the winning run to the plate in Juan Uribe. Against his former club, Uribe drew a four-pitch walk, but Jose Ramirez flied out to left field to end it.
New York jumped out to the early lead in the first when Conforto hit his first homer of the year with two down. The Indians evened the score in the bottom half when Napoli singled home Kipnis, who had doubled, with a two-out single to left.
Colon (1-1, 2.13) gets his first win of the season. He pitched five and one-third innings, allowing two runs on eight hits on 97 pitches. He walked one and struck out five
“He throws strikes and you know what’s coming,” said Tribe skipper Terry Francona. “When he locates, he’s very tough. We had a couple chances and we got him out of there. I think we just ran out of innings.”
Anderson (0-1, 5.91) took the loss for Cleveland, allowing five runs on nine hits, including three homers, in four and two-thirds innings.
“He felt that he was having trouble driving the ball down in the zone,” said Francona, “maybe letting off a tick or two just to try to get it down there as opposed to trusting it and really coming after it. I think maybe let that last start in Chicago, when it was so cold, maybe get in the way a little bit. He’s at his best when he’s just being really aggressive with it and sometimes then, after you go down, then up elevated, it’ll be good. He’ll be fine. It was just hard for him to get the feel trying to drive it down hill.”
The Indians fall to 4-4 with the loss and 1-2 at home in Cleveland. The Mets improve to 4-5 on the year and 2-1 on the road.
The first inning solo home run by Conforto was his first of the season and just the third of the year for Mets, who were playing their ninth game on Friday. De Aza made it four with his home run to lead off the fifth inning to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The following shots from Cespedes and Walker doubled the output of the previous eight games for New York.
“They squared up a lot of balls,” said Francona. “I was kinda surprised the ball park didn’t play real big tonight. The first ball Conforto hit looked like he really hit it and he hit it through the wind. You don’t see a left-hander go that way very often in April.”
The last time the Mets hit three homers in one inning was last August 2nd against the Washington Nationals. Granderson and ex-Met Daniel Murphy went back-to-back with two outs and after a single from Cespedes, Duda did the damage with the third bomb of the inning, all against the Nats’ Jordan Zimmermann in a similar five-run inning for New York.
A two-run home run in the first inning by Santana was overturned on the field by the umpiring crew. Video of the hit down the right field line showed the ball crossing in front of the right field foul pole.
In the top of the second, Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera doubled into the right field corner. Byrd fielded it and threw a one-hopper to Kipnis, who relayed to home plate. Gomes slapped the tag on Walker in an extremely close play, originally ruled safe on the field. Francona challenged the play and upon replay review, the bang-bang play was overturned for an out, erasing a run from the scoreboard for the Mets.
ANDERSON PITCHING HOME RUN DERBY
The five runs allowed ended a streak of eight consecutive starts by the Tribe right-hander of allowing two runs or less in a start, dating back to August 7th of last season. The three home runs allowed were a career-high. He has now allowed four homers through his first two starts this season.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON MATINEE
Righty Josh Tomlin will make his first start of the season for the Tribe after his turn in the rotation was skipped by the inclement weather the Indians dealt with over their first week of the season. The Dark Knight of Gotham, Matt Harvey (0-2, 4.63), will oppose for the Mets in his third start of the year.
First pitch for game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 4:10 PM ET.
Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports