Yoenis Cespedes’ grand slam capped a nine-run eighth inning Wednesday night for the New York Mets, who stormed back for an 11-5 win over the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Juan Lagares laced a go-ahead pinch-hit two-run double three batters before Cespedes iced the game for the Mets, who salvaged the finale of a three-game series that began Monday with the Nationals mounting a six-run eighth-inning comeback in an 8-6 win.
The Mets were held to two hits over seven innings by Tanner Roark and trailed 4-2 before rallying against Ryan Madson (0-2).
Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera opened with singles before Jay Bruce popped out. Todd Frazier followed with a game-tying two-run single and Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked before Wilmer Flores, pinch-hitting for catcher Jose Lobaton, struck out.
Lagares, the last man on the bench with backup catcher Tomas Nido ready to enter for Lobaton, followed by hitting a 2-2 pitch just fair.
Sammy Solis walked both batters he faced before Cespedes evoked memories of Hall of Famer Mike Piazza by smoking a line drive well into the left field seats. Piazza hit a three-run homer to left field at Shea Stadium to cap a 10-run eighth inning comeback in an 11-8 win over the Atlanta Braves on June 30, 2000.
The rally made a winner out of AJ Ramos (1-1), who took the loss in Monday’s meltdown but tossed a perfect eighth inning Wednesday.
Ryan Zimmerman had a hand in all five Nationals runs by hitting a three-run homer in the first, tripling and scoring in the seventh on Moises Sierra’s sacrifice fly and homering again in the ninth. Washington had no runners left on base despite scoring five runs.
Roark didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, when Cabrera led off with a double. One out later, Frazier walked, after which Gonzalez singled home Cabrera. Frazier scored when Zimmerman threw wide of shortstop on Lobaton’s potential double play ball.
Mets left-hander Steven Matz allowed three runs on three hits and one walk while striking out six over four innings.
—Field Level Media