The Mets snapped their three game winning streak with a 9-2 thumping of the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night.
The Rays looked like the Mets in the first inning, as some sloppy fielding allowed the Mets to score a run. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the game with a single up the middle. Jordany Valdespin, in the lineup as DH, hit a grounder to second that should have been a double play except the throw to second was a little low, messing up the timing, and Valdespin was able to beat the relay throw to first. Valdespin then stole second. David Wright hit an easy grounder to short that went under the fielder’s glove, and Valdespin was able to come all the way around on the error. Wright then stole second and went to third as the catcher’s throw went into center field for another error. Wright was stranded at third, but the Mets had the 1-0 lead.
The two stolen bases in the inning were significant, as the Mets have the fewest swipes in baseball. Maybe they are starting to get more aggressive on the basepaths.
The Rays got the run back in the bottom of the inning, and then some. With the bases loaded Hideki Matsui hit a rocket off the wall in right. Somehow only one run scored, so the score was tied at one. A sacrifice fly made it 2-1.
The Mets took the lead in the fifth when with two outs, Omar Quintanilla singled, Nieuwenhuis doubled and then Valdespin drove them both in with a single to make the score 3-2.
Chris Young lasted 5.2 innings in his second start back, allowing two runs, striking out four. Once again, his fastball blazed at 85 mph.
The Mets broke it open in the seventh, again with two outs. Nieuwenhuis walked and Valdespin drove him in with a double to make it 4-2. Wright was intentionally walked and a Lucas Duda infield hit loaded the bases. Daniel Murphy hit a bloop to center that dropped to extend the lead to 6-2. And then Ike Davis smashed a three-run home run to right to make it 9-2.
They added two more runs in the eighth, one of them on Valdespin’s fourth RBI on the night, as the Mets win 11-2.