Jose Bautista had never before experienced the euphoria of a game-ending home run during his 15-year big league career. He can add that to his list of accomplishments.
Bautista’s grand slam with two outs in theninth inning lifted the New York Mets over the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 on Friday night.
”I was aware of it Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey ,” Bautista of his first walk-off homer. ”I guess sometimes it just takes a while.”
Todd Frazier walked and Devin Mesoraco singled to open the ninth against Chaz Roe (1-2). Amed Rosario’s sacrifice advanced the runners, Roe retired pinch-hitter Dominic Smith on a comebacker and intentionally walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases.
Roe tried to come inside with a sinker on the first pitch to the slugger, who has 32 home runs in 157 games against Tampa Bay.
”Tried to get ahead early with the sinker and got too much of the plate,” Roe said. ”I knew he was swinging there.”
It was Bautista’s sixth homer of the season and gave the Mets their third win in their last 19 games at home.
Bautista remained unsigned through spring training, signed with Atlanta on April 18 and was promoted to the majors on May 4. He appeared at third base – a position he hadn’t played in years – and hit .143 (5 for 35) with a two homers and five RBIs in 12 games before he was released on May 20.
Lacking power after Yoenis Cespedes went on the disabled list, New York took a chance on Bautista two days later.
In 39 games with the Mets, the 37-year-old has hit .227 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. But over his last 17 games, Bautista is hitting .330 (15 for 50) with four homers and 15 RBIs.
And he’s certainly amazed Mets manager Mickey Callaway.
”I think that from what we’ve seen as a Met, it’s been outstanding,” Callaway said.” Top-tier production out of a guy that we got from Atlanta, who let him go. So that’s surprising. Now the guy himself, who has a body of a 25-year-old Gabe Jackson Jersey , stays in shape? Can never count those guys out.”
Tampa Bay had a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth against Jeurys Familia (4-4).
He Daniel Robertson with a pitch, loading the bases, and first baseman Wilmer Flores threw out pinch-runner Hunter Wood at the plate despite his high throw following Mallex Smith’s grounder. Umpires confirmed the call after Tampa Bay challenged.
Familia then struck out Willy Adames to end the threat.
Jacob deGrom was once again stellar for the Mets, allowing just one run and four hits while striking out eight and issuing one walk over eight innings.
It was the ninth no-decision for the staff ace.
”Like I said before, the goal is to win, whether I get the win or somebody else,” deGrom said. ”The goal is to win baseball games and we got a win tonight.”
Asdrubal Cabrera gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI single.
DeGrom, who has an 1.80 ERA in nine starts at Citi Field this season, gave up a tying solo homer to Adames in the fifth.
AN EYE FOR INTERNATIONAL TALENT
New York announced the signings of their top two targets in the new international free agent period. The Mets gave a franchise-record $2.7 million signing bonus to 16-year-old Francisco Alvarez from Venezuela. Alvarez was ranked No. 9 on Baseball America’s prospect list, and 13th on the MLB Pipeline list.
Freddy Valdez, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, received a $1.45 million signing bonus. Baseball America had him as the 29th best prospect Trey Hendrickson Jersey , MLB Pipeline ranked him at No. 25.
Tampa signed LHP Shane McClanahan, the 31st overall pick in the draft, for a $2,230,100 bonus, $5,700 above slot value. He was a compensation pick for the loss of Alex Cobb in free agency. RHP Matthew Liberatore, taken with the 16th pick, made his debut with the GCL Rays on Friday. He allowed one earned run, one hit, and two walks with one strikeout and a hit batter in 1 2/3 innings, getting the loss.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer will return to the rotation and start Monday against Detroit. The ace has been on the disabled list June 5 due to a left abdominal strain. Archer is 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA in 13 starts this season.
Mets: Manager Mickey Callaway said that it would be ”ideal” for RHP Noah Syndergaard to start July 13 vs against Washington if all goes well with his rehab start Sunday at Class A Brooklyn.
Rays: Tampa Bay recalled LHP Adam Kolarek from Triple-A Durham and designated OF Jerry Hazelbaker for assignment.
Mets: RHP Paul Sewald was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and LHP Jerry Blevins was placed on the bereavement list.
Rays: Blake Snell (11-4 John Brown Jersey , 2.24 ERA) starts the second game of the series. Snell has won his last three outings, allowing just two runs and eight hits while striking out 26 despite 12 walks in 21 innings.
Mets: Steven Matz (4-5, 3.46) gets the nod in his first start against Tampa Bay. Opponents are hitting just .167 (17 for 102) with runners in scoring position against the New York lefty.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Coach Jason Garrett saw all he needed out of quarterback Dak Prescott on just one drive.
Prescott made the most of his brief appearance in the preseason opener for Dallas by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to rookie Michael Gallup on his only drive before the San Francisco 49ers rallied with two late touchdowns to beat the Cowboys 24-21 Thursday night.
“I thought it was a good drive by our offense, a good mix of run and pass,” Garrett said. “Dak made some good decisions. He made a really nice run too keep the drive alive. We got the one-on-one opportunity down the sideline. Michael made a really good release and it was a good throw and catch.”
Nick Mullens threw a 7-yard TD pass to Richie James Jr. with 18 seconds left to cap the comeback. Jeremy McNichols scored on a 1-yard run with 4:24 to go for San Francisco.
San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t fare as well as Prescott in his first game action since signing a $137.5 million, five-year contract this offseason. Garoppolo completed 3 of 6 passes on his one drive.
“We’re trying to do something different things and see what works and what doesn’t,” Garoppolo said. “We haven’t been in that situation in a year and you try to get things rolling.”
More concerning for the 49ers was the fact that six players left with injuries in the first half with the most concerning ones being shoulder injuries to tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida that could sideline them for “some time,” according to coach Kyle Shanahan.
“It’s what you scares you about training camp, it’s what scares you about the preseason,” Shanahan said. “You just want the game to end.”
Prescott sat out the first exhibition game last season but got one series of action against the 49ers this year and looked sharp. He completed all three of pass attempts and converted a third-and-9 with a 12-yard scramble.
He capped his night with the deep ball to Gallup, who beat Jimmie Ward down the sideline. Ward got the start at cornerback in place of Richard Sherman DeVante Parker Jersey , who is nursing a hamstring injury.
With the release of three-time Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant and the retirement of 15-year tight end Jason Witten, the Cowboys are searching for receiving threats this preseason. Gallup, a third-round pick out of Colorado State, has been impressive so far in camp.
“That’s a good feeling,” Gallup said. “Especially for me being so young and being a rookie and everything, I needed that boost of confidence. It was a good feeling.”
No players on either team kneeled during the national anthem, although 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin did raise his right fist throughout the song. The Niners have been at the center of the protests during national anthem ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling two years ago. Eric Reid protested last year but both players are no longer with the team. Linebacker Eli Harrold also kneeled during the anthem the past two years but stood to start this season.
The Niners had a parade of injuries early, starting with LB Malcolm Smith limping off with a hamstring issue on the opening drive. TE George Kittle and backup RB Matt Breida left with shoulder injuries. Thomas and backup tackle Garry Gilliam were sidelined by concussions and Harrold had a lower leg injury.
Cowboys OL Marcus Martin limped off the field in the second half with a toe injury, S Marqueston Huff left with a groin injury, and WR Marchie Murdock had an ankle injury.
Joe Thomas got the start at linebacker for Dallas in place of Sean Lee and delivered an interception against C.J. Beathard on a tipped pass by Kavon Frazier. … Cowboys rookie RB Bo Scarbrough had a 28-yard run and scored a 1-yard TD in the second quarter. … James had four catches for 46 yards and fellow rookie Dante Pettis caught a 53-yard pass .
There was one penalty under the new rule prohibiting players from leading with their helmets. San Francisco LB Elijah Lee was called for the infraction on a tackle against Scarbrough in the third quarter.
Cowboys: Host Cincinnati on Aug. 18.
49ers: Visit Houston on Aug. 18.
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