The home run-happy Mets returned to action at Citi Field on Tuesday night, beating the Texas Rangers with the long ball 5-4. Chris Flexen made this third major league start, and he definitely showed improvement, going five-and-two-thirds innings while allowing three runs and striking out four.
Michael Conforto started the game with a bang, taking Rangers starter A.J. Griffin deep on an 0-1 count to give the Mets an early lead. That was Conforto’s twenty-third home run of the year. Never to be outdone, Yoenis Cespedes also took Griffin deep, his twelfth home run of the year.
The bottom of the second also netted the Mets a pair of runs, as Jose Reyes walked and Travis d’Arnaud hit a two-run home run. d’Arnaud’s tenth long ball of the year was coincidentally his first at Citi Field since August 12, 2016, just short of a full year ago.
After escaping a bases loaded situation in the second, Flexen cruised until the fifth inning, when Joey Gallo joined in on the home run fun and clubbed his thirty-first of the year, a solo shot to center field. Flexen collected his first major league hit in the fifth inning, as well, a line drive double left.
In the top of the sixth, Flexen allowed a solo home run to Beltre and a walk to Gomez before departing the game. Erik Goeddel entered in relief, and promptly allowed a Gallo RBI double to plate Gomez and cut the Mets’ lead to just one run.
The Mets got some insurance in the seventh, as Conforto led off the inning with a walk. Asdrubal Cabrera then doubled, which allowed Conforto to score from first base. Now in scoring position, Cabrera tried to steal third base while Jay Bruce was at bat and was caught stealing. Bruce struck out to end the inning.
A.J. Ramos entered the game in the ninth to protect the 5-3 lead, and get the opportunity for his first save in a Mets uniform. He struck out Gomez and Gallo, then allowed a solo home run to Robinson Chirinos to bring the Rangers within a run of tying the game. But he coaxed a ground out from Drew Robinson to end the game and get the save.
The Mets return to action today at 12:10 PM, as Rafael Montero will take on Martin Perez in the second and final game of the short series.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jerry Blevins +11.8% WPA, Michael Conforto +11.3%
Big losers: Erik Goeddel -3.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Travis d’Arnaud 2-run homer in the second +10.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jose Reyes fly out in the sixth -2.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +24% WPA
Total batter WPA: +26% WPA
GWRBI!: Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI double in the seventh inning