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Guardians try to rebound from deflating loss vs. Mets

May 19, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) celebrates his walkoff RBI single against the Cleveland Guardians with teammates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The only team that could have understood how the Guardians felt on Friday was probably the one responsible for delivering Cleveland a frustrating defeat.

The Guardians will look to bounce back from a 10-9, 10-inning defeat when they visit the New York Mets on Saturday in the middle game of a three-game series.

Rookie Tanner Bibee (1-1, 3.22 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Guardians against Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.88) in a battle of right-handers.

Former Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor capped a dramatic Mets comeback on Friday when he delivered the walk-off single in the 10th inning, capping a three-run inning.

The Guardians, who have scored the third-fewest runs in baseball, appeared headed for an easy win behind a much-needed offensive outburst when they raced out to a 5-0 lead as Cal Quantrill carried a one-hitter into the fifth inning.

However, Quantrill exited with two outs in the sixth and the Guardians’ lead down to 5-3 following solo homers by Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty and an RBI single by Jeff McNeil. Cleveland designated hitter Josh Naylor, who hit a three-run homer in the first, hit a two-run single in the top of the seventh.

The Mets stormed back in the bottom of the seventh by loading the bases with no outs against Sam Hentges before Pete Alonso hit a game-tying grand slam off James Karinchak. Gabriel Arias gave the Guardians a short-lived lead by hitting a two-run homer in the top of the 10th before New York rallied for the win against closer Emmanuel Clase.

The Guardians, who scored nine or more runs for just the third time this season, lost when scoring at least nine runs for the first time since they fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-10 on June 18, 2021.

“We haven’t played from ahead that much,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “Wasn’t enough tonight, but it’s still a better way to play.”

The Mets opened May by losing 11 of their first 16 games, a stretch in which they scored three or fewer runs nine times but also lost five games in which they scored at least five runs.

However, the New York bats have begun stirring during a three-game winning streak that began Wednesday, when Alonso capped a comeback from three multi-run deficits with a walk-off, three-run homer to give New York an 8-7, 10-inning win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Alonso has homered in each of the past four games, a span in which the Mets have gone deep 10 times. New York had just seven homers in an 12-game stretch ending Monday.

“For us, it’s not just one moment,” Alonso said. “It’s a buildup of a bunch of different things. It’s like dominoes — one thing has to fall into place and then once one falls, they all fall.”

Bibee didn’t factor into the decision on Sunday, when he allowed one run over a career-high 7 2/3 innings as the Guardians beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-3. He will be opposing the Mets for the first time.

Scherzer earned a win on Sunday after giving up one run over five innings as the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 8-2. In 20 career starts against Cleveland, Scherzer is 9-5 with a 4.25 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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