NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — On a night where New York and the country honored the memories of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, the Mets took the field again just like they did 18 years earlier to help a city heal.
Todd Frazier and Jeff McNeil each homered twice, helping the surging New York Mets stun Diamondbacks ace Robbie Ray and beat Arizona 9-0 Wednesday night.
In a stunning coincidence, the Mets finished the victory with 9 runs on 11 hits on the anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks.
FINAL: #Mets 9 – Arizona 0
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 12, 2019
The Mets (75-70) have won the first three games of the pivotal four-game series to move past the Diamondbacks (75-71) in the race for the second NL wild card. New York entered Wednesday three games behind the Chicago Cubs, who played later Wednesday at San Diego.
Arizona has lost four straight since going 11-1 to rush back into the crowded NL playoff picture.
Steven Matz (10-8) tossed six scoreless innings for the Mets, who jumped on Ray (12-8) for five runs before chasing him with two outs in the first. Wilson Ramos (groundout) and J.D. Davis (single) had RBIs before Frazier and Brandon Nimmo homered on consecutive pitches.
McNeil hit a solo homer in the second, and Frazier hit his 20th homer of the season, a solo shot, in the third. McNeil then joined Frazier in the 20-homer club with a two-run drive in the sixth.
The Mets have four players with 20 homers for the fourth time in franchise history. Pete Alonso leads the majors with 47, and Michael Conforto has 29.
Matz allowed four hits and three walks while striking out seven. He issued all three walks to open the second before striking Carson Kelly and inducing a double play grounder from Kevin Cron.
Ray gave up five hits and struck out one.
Alonso coordinated the purchase and production of custom 9/11 cleats for Mets players on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The shoes were painted red, white and blue and included “We will never forget” and lettering for first responder units. After winning the All-Star Home Run Derby in July, Alonso donated $50,000 of his $1 million prize to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation.
“I want it to be a day of remembrance,” Alonso said after the game. “It’s not just a New York thing, it’s a United States thing.”
The rookie phenom added that he was happy MLB officials didn’t “get their hands on” his custom cleats, fearing the league would have cracked own on the personalized wardrobe. The moved echoed back to 2001, when Mets players wore the caps of first responders onto the field against the wishes of MLB.
Pete Alonso orchestrated the Mets’ wearing of commemorative 9/11-themed cleats tonight.
He planned it for weeks, ordered & paid for everybody’s shoes and enlisted other clubhouse leaders (including Jacob deGrom) to get everyone on board. pic.twitter.com/fiJbYCU8mq
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 12, 2019
On Wednesday, the clubs also wore first responder hats during batting practice, then lined up on their respective baselines alongside firefighters, police and EMTs prior to the national anthem.
Prior to first pitch, children who lost parents or grandparents to 9/11-related illnesses ran to each position before being joined by the Mets’ starters. Alonso gave baseballs to the two children at first base while Amed Rosario went to one knee at shortstop to talk to the children there.
RHP Robert Gsellman (lat) played long toss Wednesday and holds out hope he can return this season.
RHP Marcus Stroman (7-13, 3.42 ERA) has recorded just one quality start in seven tries for the Mets, who acquired him from Toronto on July 28.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)