Álvarez 3-run HR in 9th, Alonso 3-run HR in 10th give Mets 8-7 comeback win over Tampa Bay Rays
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Francisco Álvarez hit a tying three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning and Pete Alonso hit a game-ending three-run shot in the 10th, giving the New York Mets an improbable 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.
New York trailed 2-0 before Mark Vientos, a rookie brought up from the minors for his season debut, tied the score with a two-run homer in the seventh off Ryan Thompson.
Brandon Lowe put the Rays back ahead with a two-run homer off Adam Ottavino in the eighth. Randy Arozarena added an RBI single in the ninth for a 5-2 lead.
Álvarez homered on a sweeper from Jason Adam, a 426-foot shot off the facing of the left-field second deck, to send the game into extra innings. The Rays opened a 7-5 lead when pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez and Josh Lowe had run-scoring singles in the 10th against David Robertson (1-0).
Jeff McNeil singled against Pete Fairbanks (0-1) leading off the bottom half, advancing automatic runner Brandon Nimmo from second to third. Alonso pulled a fastball into the left-field second deck for his major league-leading 15th home run, giving the Mets their first walk-off win this season.
Expected to be a power with a record $355 million payroll, the Mets ran onto the field to celebrate their first walk-off win this season. A tying two-run homer in the seventh by Mark Vientos, brought up from the minors for his season debut, was only the third-most memorable long ball of the night.
"It’s painful to watch people you care about go through some of the things, and they'll be the first to tell you it's self-inflicted," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "So tonight they refused to roll over."
New York (21-23) has a chance to avoid a seventh straight series loss if its wins Thursday's rubber game against the Rays, a big league-best 32-12.
Alonso, his voice raspy, never thought about not playing.
"Yesterday, I felt horrible, too. Even though it sucks being sick, it’s always nice to be able to hit homers," Alonso said.
Alonso leads the major leagues with 15 home runs. His 416-foot drive on a fastball from Pete Fairbanks (0-1) left the bat at 112 mph and landed in the left-field second deck.
"A very unfortunate time to be the lesser Pete," said Fairbanks, making his first appearance since April 28 after recovering from right wrist inflammation. "I went in the cage and hit something as hard as that one was hit and processed it. Now it's time to get ready for tomorrow."
Kodai Senga, his family at Citi Field to watch him for the first time with the Mets, struck out a season-high 12 in six innings.
Vientos, a 23-year-old infielder, made his major league debut last September and had a hot start at Triple-A Syracuse this year to earn the call-up.
"Go! Go! Go! Go!" Vientos remembered telling the ball. "Maybe it listened to me. Maybe it didn't. But who knows?"
Jason Adam blew a save for the third time in eight chances after walking Daniel Vogelbach leading off the bottom half and hitting Starling Marte with a pitch. The next three batters were pinch-hitter Brett Baty, Vientos and Álvarez, who as recently as April 4 were hitting next to each other in Syracuse's batting order.
Baty struck out, Vientos flied out and Álvarez launched a sweeper 426 feet off the facing of the left-field second deck.
"Back then, it was if one guy doesn't do it, the next guy can," Álvarez recalled through a translator. "I said, `If they can't do it, I want the opportunity to be able to do it."
Pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez and Josh Lowe had run-scoring singles in the 10th against David Robertson (1-0) that opened a 7-5 lead.
With Brandon Nimmo on second as the automatic runner, Jeff McNeil singled leading off the bottom half. Francisco Lindor struck out and Alonso hit his fourth career walk-off homer. The Mets won for the first time this year after trailing by three runs.
After the celebration, Vientos looked forward to getting to his hotel near Citi Field.
"I'm actually going to get some sleep now," he said. "Last night, not too much."
Wander Franco and Taylor Walls stole two bases each, and Arozarena, Luke Raley and Josh Lowe one apiece.
Senga had the most strikeouts by a Mets rookie since Noah Syndergaard in 2015. Fans in the left-field seats hung 12 ghost posters, a nod to his ghost forkball.
RHP Yonny Chirinos was optioned to Triple-A Durham and the Rays selected the contract of RHP Zack Burdi from the Bulls. RHP Javier Guerra cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Durham.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (left oblique) probably will get one more minor league rehabilitation start before he's activated from the IL. ... 1B Yandy Díaz (left groin) likely will return for Friday’s homestand opener against Milwaukee.
Tampa Bay will bring up RHP Taj Bradley (3-0, 3.52 ERA) from Durham to start Thursday afternoon. He beat Boston, Houston and Cincinnati in April. RHP Tylor Megill (4-2, 4.02) pitches for the Mets.