EditorsNote: Tweaks in lede
Mets third baseman David Wright made his long-awaited return Friday night, when he grounded out as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning of New York’s 8-1 loss to the visiting Miami Marlins at Citi Field.
The Marlins (63-96) ended a three-game losing streak while the Mets (75-85) had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Wright’s at-bat marked his first appearance in a big league game since May 27, 2016 — an 853-day span in which he underwent neck, shoulder and back surgeries. Wright, who was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015, played in 12 minor league rehab games this summer but said at a press conference Sept. 13 it is “debilitating” for him to play baseball and that he would be unable to play beyond this season.
The Mets announced that day he would be active for the team’s last homestand and make his final big league start on the penultimate day of the season — Saturday night. Wright expressed an interest in pinch-hitting before his start, so manager Mickey Callaway said before Friday’s game Wright would be the first pinch hitter off the bench.
After a false alarm in the fourth — Wright was on deck when Kevin Plawecki, the No. 8 hitter, grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice — Wright sprung out of the dugout following the final out in the top of the fifth. The crowd of 27,045 stood and roared as Wright, batting for reliever Paul Sewald, took his practice swings before stepping into the batter’s box, where he exchanged greetings with Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Alas, the at-bat was over as soon as it began: Wright hit Jose Urena’s first pitch to third base, where Brian Anderson made a nice play on the sharp one-hopper and threw Wright out at first. Wright tipped his cap to the fans as he walked into the dugout.
As it turned out, Wright’s return provided the last bit of suspense Friday. The Marlins, who went ahead 3-1 in the top of the fifth on RBI doubles by Peter O’Brien and Lewis Brinson off Sewald (0-7), scored five runs over the next two innings, four of which were unearned because of errors by Todd Frazier and Amed Rosario.
Austin Dean, Miguel Rojas and Realmuto all had an RBI single apiece in the seventh. Rojas finished with four hits while O’Brien, Anderson and Dean had two hits each.
Urena (9-12) earned the win by allowing one run on five hits and four walks while striking out two over six innings.
Rosario had an RBI single in the first for the Mets while Brandon Nimmo finished with two hits.
Corey Oswalt allowed one run on four hits and three walks while striking out four over four innings.
—Field Level Media