Late-inning struggles doom Twins in loss to Mets
By Dave Campbell
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dominic Smith put the New York Mets in front with his pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh inning, and Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso added a 474-foot shot halfway up the third deck in a 14-4 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday that gave the Twins their first three-game losing streak this season.
Amed Rosario went 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs for the Mets, who overcame three one-run deficits, set a 2019 high for runs and matched a season best with their fourth consecutive victory. All of the wins have been on the road for New York, which at 21-32 still has the worst record away from home in the NL.
Though the Mets already had blown open the game against the Twins bullpen by that point, the eighth-inning drive to left by Alonso was the most remarkable of the humid afternoon, longer than any of the 57 he hit in the derby at Cleveland last week. It also was the first post-derby long ball by the rookie slugger.
Alonso emerged from the break in a 1-for-17 slide until his 31st homer, off Matt Magill. That was also his 54th extra-base hit of the season, setting a Mets rookie record.
The Twins took a five-game lead on Cleveland into the afternoon, their smallest advantage in the AL Central standings since May 19, and they turned in another sloppy performance. Left fielder Eddie Rosario dropped a routine fly ball at the warning track for a two-base, two-out, two-run error in the six-run eighth, giving the Twins six errors and 11 unearned runs in five games since the All-Star break. Seven of New York’s runs were unearned.
Reliever Trevor May (3-3) surrendered the homer on a 0-2 pitch to Smith, who was 0 for 16 with 11 strikeouts this season with an 0-2 count until that swing. May also gave up the go-ahead home run on Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the Indians.
Nelson Cruz and Mitch Garver, who gave the Twins a 3-2 lead with his 15th homer in the fifth, went deep for the Twins. The game got so out of hand that utility infielder Ehire Adrianza pitched the ninth, as the Mets improved to 5-0 at Target Field, where they won three games in 2013.
The fan in left field who caught Cruz’s homer was wearing a Mets cap. When the TV camera captured him later, he was wearing a Twins cap.
Mets: After being designated for assignment last week, RHP Wilmer Font was traded to Toronto for cash. Font was acquired in May in a deal with Tampa Bay.
Twins: 2B Jonathan Schoop was diagnosed with a mild abdominal muscle strain, after hurting himself during a swing in the eighth inning on Tuesday night. He was held out of the lineup.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (7-4, 4.55 ERA) pitches on Thursday night in San Francisco to start a four-game series against the Giants, who send LHP Madison Bumgarner (5-7, 3.86 ERA) to the mound.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03 ERA) starts on Thursday night against Oakland in the opener of a four-game series. RHP Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61 ERA) takes the mound for the Athletics.