Diamondbacks 6, Mets 5 (10 innings)
PHOENIX, June 1 — The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied from an early 4–0 deficit to tie the New York Mets in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday night. They fell behind again, 5–4, in the top of the 10th. But Josh Reddick belted a two-run walk-off double in the bottom of the 10th to give the Diamondbacks a dramatic 6–5 victory.
Early Pitchers’ Duel before Tempers Flare
Both starters — Diamondbacks lefty Caleb Smith and Mets righty Marcus Stroman — traded zeroes for the first three innings. Smith continued his streak into the fourth, last 3 2/3 innings without giving up a hit, until Pete Alonso singled. Dominic Smith followed with a blast to the home run porch in right-center. His third homer of the season resulted in a 2–0 lead for the visiting Mets.
At the end of the fifth, with the score still 2–0, Josh Rojas said something to Marcus Stroman after popping up to third. Both benches emptied, prompting warnings from the umpiring crew. The altercation seemed to spark both teams. In the top of the sixth, a leadoff single by Jonathan Villar and a follow-up triple by Francisco Lindor off new pitcher Joe Mantiply made the score 3–0. A drive to right by Dominic Smith was headed over the fence, but a leaping grab by Josh Reddick turned a two-run homer into a sacrifice fly.
The Diamondbacks made the score 4–3 in the bottom of the sixth. Consecutive singles by Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar set the table for the Pavin Smith, who launched a mammoth three-run homer to right field. The 435-foot blast extended his modest hitting streak to 12 games.
Diamondbacks Rally to Tie Mets
Neither team made a serious threat until the bottom of the ninth, when Nick Ahmed hit a one-out single to right off Mets closer Edwin Diaz and advanced to second on an error by right fielder Billy McKinney. A groundout to first by pinch-hitter Domingo Leyba — now 0-for-22 on the season — advanced Ahmed to third. With two out, Rojas came up as the last hope. The crowd exploded when he lined a sharp single to right, tying the game. Moments later, the PA announcer told the crowd that the NBA’s Phoenix Suns had defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 115–85, in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Upon this announcement, the crowd emitted the loudest cheer of the night.
It appeared that their cheer for the Suns victory would turn into a cheer for the Diamondbacks as well, as a single to right by Ketel Marte advanced the winning run — Rojas — into scoring position. The rally fizzled, however, when Escobar followed with a fly to center, retiring the side.
A Wild Tenth
Lefty Alex Young took the hill for the Diamondbacks in the top of the 10th as Jose Peraza started the inning on second. Peraza did not stay there for long, as a third-pitch double by pinch-hitter James McCann brought Peraza home with the go-ahead run. Young did not let that get to him, as he retired the next three hitters on a groundout and two balls in the air.
Escobar headed to second to begin the bottom of the 10th as Trevor May took the mound for the Mets. After Carson Kelly bounced to third — preventing Escobar from advancing — Pavin Smith drew a seven-pitch walk, fighting back from an 0–2 count.
Up came Reddick. He yanked the first pitch down the line. It landed inches fair and rolled to the corner. The crowd exploded. Escobar scored easily. Smith, having turned on the jets, rounded third and headed home, scoring standing up. In a wild, walk-off fashion, the Diamondbacks had joined their next-door-neighbor Suns in giving Phoenix fans something to celebrate.
Stroman would not elaborate on the on-field incident postgame. When asked if he felt whether it sparked the Diamondbacks, he said, “I couldn’t tell you. I have no idea. Why don’t you ask them?” Rojas admitted flat-out, “I was just trying to get the guys going. He (Stroman) was throwing well. I was trying to mix things up there, stir the pot a little bit, and get us going.” When asked how he thought it worked out, Rojas said, “I think it worked in our favor. We had a really good inning the next inning…I think the boys were going after that.”
When asked if he’s done something like this before, Rojas said, “I’ve always had a little bit of fire in me,” adding that bench-clearing incidents rarely result in punches being thrown. “I know that you just stir the pot a little bit. Benches clear. It’s a good time for both sides. Teams like to clear benches. I wasn’t trying to cause anything major.” He added that he was trying to “change the energy in our favor” and that Stroman did not do anything to anger him.
“(Josh) Reddick is awesome — both on the field and in the clubhouse. He was the spark this team needed,” Rojas said when asked about what Reddick means to the team. Reddick had come to the clubhouse with a red mohawk to try to spark the team.
Reddick said he was “trying to get the tying run over to third” in the tenth inning so he could “let a sac fly behind (him) do the job.” He was trying to go the other way against “the big shift,” but May started off-speed. Because he was trying to look the other way, Reddick was able to keep his hands back and hit a fair ball down the line.
The rest of the team loved his mohawk and that he did this to try to rally them. He hopes to see more mohawks on the team when they show up for Wednesday’s afternoon game. “That’s what everybody was screaming when we were on the field shouting and celebrating. (They were saying) that we need team mohawks. Hopefully, we see at least one guy walk in here. If he comes in here and starts hitting, we know we’ll see a couple more, because that’s contagious, and we all know how superstitious baseball players can be.”
Alex Young earned the win, while Trevor May took the loss, both in relief. The Diamondbacks (20–36) and Mets (26–21) will play the rubber match of their three-game series Wednesday afternoon. Lefties David Peterson (1–4, 4.91 ERA) and Madison Bumgarner (4–5, 5.15 ERA) will start on the mound for the Mets and Diamondbacks, respectively. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 pm Arizona Time (3:40 pm Eastern). The game will be broadcast exclusively on YouTube.
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Josh Reddick, Caleb Smith, Marcus Stroman, Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, Josh Rojas, Jonathan Villar, Francisco Lindor, Joe Mantiply, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, Pavin Smith, Nick Ahmed, Edwin Diaz, Billy McKinney, Domingo Leyba, Alex Young, Jose Peraza, James McCann, Trevor May, Carson Kelly, David Peterson, Madison Bumgarner