NEW YORK — Wilmer Flores hit a game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the New York Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 on Sunday to improve the best start in team history to 12-2.
Noah Syndergaard struck out eight batters in a row, two shy of Tom Seaver’s major league record, and Brandon Nimmo finished a double shy of the cycle. Nimmo connected for a tying home run against Taylor Williams leading off the sixth on a cold, blustery afternoon at Citi Field.
“We’re all ready to get out of here,” a smiling Flores said during a postgame interview on the field, just before getting doused by a teammate.
Flores broke a 2-all tie with a drive over the left-centre wall against Matt Albers (2-1) for his second home run this year. New York has opened a season with five straight series wins for the first time.
Jeurys Familia (1-0) worked around a walk in a hitless ninth.
Syndergaard’s long, blond hair was flapping in the wind on a day when attendance appeared to be less than half the announced crowd of 26,036. It was 42 degrees at game time on Jackie Robinson Day, when all players wore Robinson’s No. 42.
Syndergaard allowed an unearned run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings, with 11 strikeouts and one walk.
Mets rookie manager Mickey Callaway faced second-guessing after Jay Bruce pinch hit for rookie catcher Tomas Nido and was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Syndergaard followed with an infield popup on the first pitch. Syndergaard had allowed one hit through five scoreless innings but had thrown 90 pitches.
Jesus Aguilar singled with one out in the sixth, and Robert Gsellman relieved. Milwaukee loaded when bases when third baseman Todd Frazier allowed Domingo Santana’s two-out grounder to roll under his glove for infield hit, and took a 2-1 lead when shortstop Amed Rosario bounced a throw for a two-run error after making a sliding stop on Hernan Perez’s grounder. Gsellman struck out Oswaldo Arcia, who slammed his bat.
Left-hander Jerry Blevins got Travis Shaw to hit an inning-ending grounder that left the bases loaded in the seventh.
Another player got hurt on the banged-up Brewers. Eric Thames winced after taking a 2-2 pitch in the first inning and limped back to the dugout. The first baseman was removed in the middle of the third after striking out twice, and the Brewers said he strained a left adductor muscle. Milwaukee’s starting lineup already was minus catcher Manny Pina and outfielders Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich.
Many players wore balaclavas, but Milwaukee second baseman Jonathan Villar made the odd decision to wear one while playing in short sleeves but with a sweat shirt under his jersey that had a pouch to …read more