Sports Votto inches from HR record, Báez helps Mets rally past Reds
Báez hits bases-loaded single in 9th as Cubs top Reds 6-5
CHICAGO (AP) — Pinch-hitter Javier Báez hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. Anthony Rizzo homered in his second straight game for the Cubs, who opened what could be the final homestand for some of their stars. Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel and/or Báez could be on the move by Friday’s trade deadline. Joey Votto homered for the third time in three games and drove in three runs for Cincinnati, which dropped its second straight and lost for the seventh time in 10 games. Kyle Farmer added a homer as the Reds’ winning streak against Chicago ended at four.
NEW YORK (AP) — Joey Votto came oh-so-close to matching the major league record with a home run in eight consecutive games, but Javier Báez did clear the fence in his New York debut and the Mets rallied past the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in 10 innings Saturday night.
With the Mets down to their final strike, Dominic Smith hit a tying single off Sean Doolittle in the ninth. Brandon Drury opened the bottom of the 10th with an RBI single against Luis Cessa (3-2), driving in automatic runner Kevin Pillar from second base to win it.
Votto, riding a seven-game homer streak, laced a line drive that hit the orange padding atop the right-field wall in the eighth and bounced back into play — mere inches from sailing over near the 370-foot sign.
Riley homers again as Braves win series, inch closer to Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — Austin Riley concluded his big week at Citi Field by hitting a two-run homer and finishing with three RBIs, and the Atlanta Braves inched closer to the NL East-leading New York Mets with a 6-3 victory on Thursday. The Braves won three games in the unusual four-day, five game series to move within four games of the Mets. Atlanta gave up a combined three runs in the two losses. “These guys just kept getting after it,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We pitched really well this series. It’s big, obviously. You say that you come in and it’s five games against a team that you’re chasing, it’s good to win the series.
“Good swing,” Votto said. “I had a great time during this stretch because of how well we played as a unit.”
A foot higher and Votto would have tied Dale Long (1956 Pittsburgh Pirates), Don Mattingly (1987 New York Yankees) and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1993 Seattle Mariners), the only players to homer in eight straight games.
“It's been special and I've enjoyed it,” said the 37-year-old Votto, a six-time All-Star and the 2010 NL MVP. “I'll probably never do it again.”
The ball was hit so hard, Votto settled for a single that put runners at the corners with none out.
But then Seth Lugo struck out the next two batters and left-hander Aaron Loup picked off Votto at first base, leading to Kyle Farmer getting tagged out in a rundown between third and home.
Mets get Báez, Williams from Cubs for outfield prospect
NEW YORK (AP) — Javier Báez got his wish: He's headed to New York to play with longtime pal Francisco Lindor. But first, the Mets are counting on their big-name newcomer to hold down the fort at shortstop for a while. With the trade deadline fast approaching Friday, the Mets acquired Báez and pitcher Trevor Williams from the Chicago Cubs for outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. Báez, a two-time All-Star and 2020 Gold Glove winner, gives New York an immediate fill-in for Lindor. The star shortstop, obtained from Cleveland in a blockbuster deal last winter, is sidelined with a strained oblique and not expected back until at least mid-to-late August.
Cincinnati had another great chance in the 10th with runners at the corners and nobody out before Edwin Díaz (4-4) fanned Farmer and then whiffed Votto with a 99 mph fastball above the strike zone.
Tyler Naquin lined out to center field, and a fired-up Díaz headed for the dugout.
Farmer hit a solo homer and Eugenio Suárez had a three-run shot as the Reds built a 4-1 lead against 41-year-old lefty Rich Hill, who went five innings in his second start for the Mets since being traded from Tampa Bay.
Báez’s two-run homer in the sixth energized the Citi Field crowd of 26,477 and pulled New York within one.
The two-time All-Star launched a 1-2 cutter from starter Wade Miley to left field for his 23rd homer of the season. Báez took a long look at his drive at home plate and tossed his bat aside before circling the bases. With fans chanting “Ja-vy! Ja-vy!” he came out of the dugout for a curtain call and raised both arms to spur on the crowd.
LEADING OFF: Votto can match HR mark, Tatis hurt again
A look at what’s happening around the majors today: ___ EIGHT IS ENOUGH Joey Votto has homered in seven straight games and the Cincinnati Reds slugger can match a major league record by going deep against the New York Mets. Votto connected for a solo shot off Mets reliever Drew Smith during Cincinnati's 6-2 victory Friday night at Citi Field. The six-time All-Star and 2010 NL MVP became the eighth player to homer in at least seven straight games and first since Kendrys Morales did it for the Toronto Blue Jays in August 2018. Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993) are the only players to go deep in eight consecutive games.
Video: Toronto Blue Jays play at home for 1st time since the pandemic (cbc.ca)
Báez was acquired Friday from the Chicago Cubs in a big deal just before baseball’s trade deadline. New York also received pitcher Trevor Williams and cash for outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong.
El Mago became the 30th player to homer in his Mets debut.
The flashy shortstop was greeted with several warm ovations Saturday, including during pregame introductions and even when he caught an easy popup for his first chance on defense.
In addition to his clutch hit, Smith charged in for a sprawling catch in left field to rob Miley of a hit that would have scored two runs in the fourth.
In a 40-minute pregame ceremony on the field, the Mets inducted left-hander Jon Matlack, right-hander Ron Darling and infielder Edgardo Alfonzo into the club’s Hall of Fame.
Al Jackson was posthumously honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award for contributions to the organization.
Former teammates on hand for the festivities included Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, Carlos Baerga, Rey Ordóñez, Mike Piazza and a white-haired Bobby Valentine.
Brinson's 1st-inning grand slam helps Marlins beat Mets 6-3
MIAMI (AP) — Lewis Brinson connected for a first-inning grand slam to back Jesús Luzardo in his Miami debut, and the last-place Marlins beat the NL East-leading New York Mets 6-3 Monday night. Miguel Rojas had two hits and scored twice for the Marlins, who ended a four-game losing streak after dropping all three games at home to the New York Yankees over the weekend. “All the credit goes to those guys out there,” Miami acting manager James Rowson said. “They played a great series against the Yankees, came up short in those games but didn’t let it get them down. We came right back first game of this series and got a big win.
“They finally found a way to get me out of the woods,” said the 71-year-old Matlack, who lives upstate. “It’s nice to see the city again.”
Reds: The plan is for reliever Lucas Sims (right elbow) to make a couple more minor league rehab appearances, including back-to-back outings, before potentially rejoining the Reds toward the end of next week. But manager David Bell said timeframes could be sped up for several rehabbing players, including INF Mike Moustakas (bruised right heel) and OF Nick Senzel (left knee), if they keep feeling this good.
Mets: OF Brandon Nimmo sat out after feeling a pinch in his hamstring making a diving catch in the eighth inning Friday night. New York manager Luis Rojas wasn’t sure before the game if Nimmo would be available off the bench.
The Mets formally optioned Williams to Triple-A Syracuse. LHP Anthony Banda was designated for assignment, and RHP Akeem Bostick was assigned outright to Syracuse.
Rookie RHP Vladimir Gutiérrez (5-3, 4.75 ERA) starts Sunday for Cincinnati in the series finale against RHP Marcus Stroman (7-9, 2.63).
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Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press
Mets rally past Nats 8-7 in suspended game, nightcap ppd .
NEW YORK (AP) — Between another round of rainouts, Pete Alonso and the New York Mets actually managed to get a game in Wednesday and pull one out. Pinch-hitter Brandon Drury delivered a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Mets rallied from a pair of three-run deficits to defeat the Washington Nationals 8-7, completing a game suspended by showers a night earlier. The teams were then supposed to play their regularly scheduled game Wednesday night, but it was postponed with a storm approaching and rescheduled as part of a single-admission doubleheader Thursday beginning at 12:10 p.m. Under pandemic rules, both games will be scheduled for seven innings.