NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Bautista’s grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the New York Mets to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Todd Frazier walked and Devin Mesoraco singled to open the ninth against Chaz Roe (1-2) before Amed Rosario’s sacrifice advanced the runners. Roe then got pinch-hitter Dominic Smith on a comebacker and intentionally walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases.
Bautista homered to left field on the first pitch he saw for his first career walk-off blast. It was his sixth homer of the season and gave the Mets their third win in their last 18 games at home.
Tampa Bay had a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth against New York closer Jeurys Familia (4-4) but came up short.
After Familia hit Daniel Robertson with a pitch to load the bases, first baseman Wilmer Flores got pinch-runner Hunter Wood out at home despite his high throw. 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.
Asdrubal Cabrera gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI single.
DeGrom, who has an 1.80 ERA in his nine starts at Citi Field this season, made his lone mistake of the night when he gave up a tying solo homer to Adames, his third of the season, in the fifth.
AN EYE FOR INTERNATIONAL TALENT
New York announced Friday the official signings of their top two targets once the international free agent period for 2018-19 opened July 2, awarding 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, was awarded a $1.45 million bonus. Baseball America had him as the 29th best prospect, MLB Pipeline ranked him at No. 25.
Tampa signed Shane McClanahan, their 31st overall pick in the 2018 June Draft, on Friday, hours before the official 5 p.m. deadline for teams to sign all of their selections.
McClanahan, a 21-year-old lefty from the University of South Florida, will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League Rays. He wasn’t too shabby to open his last collegiate season, and pitching 31.2 innings scoreless innings.
LHP Matthew Liberatore, the Rays’ other first-round pick, selected 16th overall, 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, picking up 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: Mets manager Mickey Callaway said that it would be “ideal” for RHP Noah Syndergaard to start June vs against Washington if all goes well with his rehab start Sunday at Single-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, 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.