NEW YORK (AP) — Todd Frazier clobbered a tying, three-run homer and Michael Conforto then lined a game-ending single as the New York Mets stormed back in the ninth inning to stun the Washington Nationals 7-6 Friday night for their seventh straight win.
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Trailing 6-3, the Mets rallied against closer Sean Doolittle to win for the 14th time in 15 games at pulsating Citi Field. The Nationals hold the top spot in the NL wild-card race, the Mets are 1 ½ games behind them.
In what was once considered a lost season for each club at different points, a playoff atmosphere was palpable both in the stands and between the lines. It was arguably the biggest tilt at the ballpark since the 2016 NL wild-card game, with a near-sellout crowd seemingly hanging on every pitch.
Mets rookie Pete Alonso homered in his fourth straight game, hitting his 38th of the season off Stephen Strasburg. J.D. Davis also connected.
Davis and Wilson Ramos led off the ninth with hits off Doolittle and Frazier sent a drive into the second deck in left, sending the fans into a frenzy.
Newly signed Joe Panik followed with a single and was wiped out by a fielder’s choice. After Jeff McNeil was retired, Amed Rosario singled. Conforto followed with a hard liner over the head of right fielder Adam Eaton, scoring Juan Lagares for the victory with his first career walk-off hit.
Doolittle (6-4) blew his fifth save in 30 chances. He has allowed 19 runs this season — 10 against the Mets, allowing 16 hits and two walks in just six innings over seven games.
Acquired from Toronto for two minor leaguers on July 28, Mets starter Marcus Stroman struck out a season-high nine in his first home game since the trade. The All-Star righty from Long Island exited to a standing ovation after walked Trea Turner to begin the seventh.
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Washington temporarily silenced the raucous 39,602 in attendance when Anthony Rendon hit an RBI triple in the fourth. Juan Soto homered two pitches later, giving the Nationals a 3-0 lead with his 22nd homer.
Alonso launched a two-run homer in the bottom half and Davis followed with a drive that made it 3-all. Alonso bounded out of the dugout while Davis was rounding the bases and waved his hands in the air to encourage the fans to cheer even louder.
Rendon hit a two-run homer, his 25th, in the seventh for a 5-3 lead. Reliever Luis Avilan (3-0) allowed the speedy Turner to race home and score on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth for a three-run lead.
Signed by the Mets on Friday afternoon after his release from San Francisco, the Yonkers-born Panik manned second base and was 1 for 4.
2B Robinson Cano (torn left hamstring) hopes to play again at this season but noted that there is no timetable for his return, a sentiment echoed by manager Mickey Callaway and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
OF Brandon Nimmo (bulging cervical disc) is continuing baseball activities and “ramping up,” per Callaway. There is no date set for Nimmo to begin a rehab assignment.
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RHP Noah Syndergaard (8-5, 3.96 ERA) is 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break, striking out 39 over 35 1/3 innings. He has not allowed a homer since July 6.