By John Schweibacher
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The New York Mets bounced back after losing two of three to the Nationals with a three-game sweep of the Twins and moved into the lead for the first National League wild-card spot in the race for the postseason.
The Mets completed the sweep with a 3-2 win over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. Gabriel Ynoa made his first start for the Mets, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out eight in a no-decision. The Mets are now a combined 10-4 in games started by Ynoa (1-0), Seth Lugo (5-1), Robert Gsellman (2-2) and Rafael Montero (2-1).
The Mets rallied to beat the Twins, 3-2, in 12 innings Saturday night at Citi Field. Curtis Granderson led off the bottom of the 11th inning with an opposite-field, game-tying home run and homered again in the bottom of the 12th to give the Mets the victory.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Granderson became the first player in Mets history to homer twice in extra innings in the same game.
It was the fourth extra-inning, game-winning home run by a Mets player in an interleague game in club history:
• 9/17/16: Twins 2, Mets 3 (12 innings), Curtis Granderson
• 8/2/13: Royals 2 Mets 4 (11), Eric Young Jr.
• 6/11/05: Angels 3 Mets 5 (10), Cliff Floyd
• 6/8/00: Orioles 7 Mets 8 (10), Kurt Abbott
Granderson became just the eighth player overall in major league history to hit a pair of round-trippers in extra innings. One of those instances came in a game against the Mets, On May 17, 1971, Ralph Garr of the Atlanta Braves homered in the 10th and 12th innings in the Braves’ 4-3 victory over the Mets at Fulton-County Stadium.
On Friday night, the Mets beat the Twins 3-0 in the series opener against Minnesota. Bartolo Colon pitched seven scoreless inning for the victory and has now won 43 games in his three seasons with the Mets.
Only 11 starting pitchers in the majors have won more games than Colon over the past three seasons:
• Madison Bumgarner, SF, 50
• Max Scherzer, Det/Was, 49
• Jake Arrieta, ChC, 49
• David Price, Det/Tor/Bos, 49
• Zack Greinke, LA/Arz, 48
• Clayton Kershaw, LA, 48
• Johnny Cueto, Cin/KC/SF, 47
• Jon Lester Bos/Oak/Chi, 44
• Corey Kluber, Clv, 44
• Rick Porcello Det/Bos, 44
• Felix Hernandez Sea, 44
(totals through games of 9/18/16)
The Nationals won the rubber game of the three-game series against the Mets, 1-0, Wednesday afternoon in Washington. Wilson Ramos’ solo home run in the seventh inning was the game’s lone run.
The 1-0 loss was the Mets’ fifth all-time on the road against the Nationals/Expos franchise:
• 9/14/16: Ramos HR in seventh
• 9/16/08: Cristian Guzman RBI double in fifth
• 4/10/04: Peter Bergeron RBI single in seventh (played in Puerto Rico)
• 9/17/89: Tim Raines RBI single in fifth
• 9/30/86: Raines RBI groundout in first
On Tuesday night, T.J. Rivera’s first major league home run was the difference in the Mets’ 4-3, 10-inning win at Nationals Park.
The win was the Mets’ fifth in extra innings over the Nationals in Washington since the club moved to D.C. from Montreal for the 2005 season:
• 9/13/16: Mets 4, Nationals 3 (10), Rivera HR
• 6/5/09: Mets 3, Nationals 1 (10), David Wright 2-run double
• 4/28/07: Mets 6, Nationals 2 (12), Carlos Beltran 2-run double, Wright 2-run single
• 9/23/05: Mets 5, Nationals 2 (10), Beltran 3-run HR
• 7/7/05: Mets 3, Nationals 2 (11), Mike Piazza RBI single
On Monday night, the Mets dropped the opener of the three-game series to the Nationals, 8-1.
Daniel Murphy went 3-for-5 in the Nationals’ win. The ex-Met got a hit in all 19 games against his former team in 2016, hitting .413 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs overall vs. the Mets.
Entering this week, Murphy has 25 homers and 104 RBIs. Here are the other players who hit 25 or more home runs and/or drove in over 100 runs in their first full season after leaving the Mets:
• Jeff Kent, 1997, SF, 29 HRs, 121 RBIs
• Bobby Bonilla, 1996, Bal, 28 HRs, 116 RBIs
• Carlos Beltran, 2012, Stl, 32 HRs, 97 RBIs
• Dave Kingman, 1978, ChC, 28 HRs, 79 RBIs
• Darryl Strawberry, 1991, LA, 28 HRs, 99 RBIs
• Jay Payton, 2003, Col, 28 HRs, 89 RBIs
• Robin Ventura, 2002, NYY, 27 HRs, 93 RBIs
• John Olerud, 2000, Sea, 14 HRs, 103 RBIs
• Hubie Brooks, 1985, Mtl, 13 HRs, 100 RBIs
• Marlon Byrd, 2014, Phi, 25 HRs, 85 RBIs
Happy Recap: T.J. Rivera. Mets rookie went 2-for-4 with a home run in the Mets’ 3-2 victory over the Twins on Sunday. Elias notes that Rivera has a .365 batting average (19-for-52) in the 13 games that he has started, and in those 13 starts he has produced a four-hit game, two three-hit games and three two-hit games.
Nine Miles of Rough Road: Travis d’Arnaud. Mets catcher is hitting just .122 (6-for-49) with eight RBIs with runners in scoring position this season.