New York (AFP) – For Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, there was no better way to honor Roberto Clemente than by playing well in the win.
On a particularly meaningful night for both, Lindor and Carrasco pushed the New York Mets past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Thursday to continue their slim lead in the NL East as Major League Baseball celebrated Roberto Clemente Day at Citi Field.
“It was a special day. There was a lot of noise around the building, a lot of happy energy in the building,” Lindor said. “But it was still tough. I’m still tired, and I’ll be tired tomorrow. I am happy that so many players were able to contribute to today’s victory, including myself.”
Lindor launched his 24th home run to set a Mets season-record for short stoppage games, and Carrasco (15-6) had a season-best 11 in six impressive innings as New York advanced with a game against idle Atlanta.
“It was really special for me,” said Carrasco, a former winner of the Roberto Clemente Baseball Award for Community Service and Excellence in Play.
Designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach led the slack in three rounds against his former team, and discus hitter Mark Ventus earned an RBI hit for his first major league hit.
Vientos’ parents were present and he was planning to give them a souvenir ball.
“Definitely unforgettable. It felt really good getting the first one out of the way,” he said. “Now take a deep breath and play baseball.”
The Mets broke early from the plate in the opening game of a four-game streak, halting a five-game losing streak and rebounding from a three-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field.
New York (90-55), unbeaten four times in a row all year, improved to 6-7 in 16 games against Washington, Pittsburgh, Miami and Chicago — more than 20 games under 0.500 this season.
Michael Chavis earned an RBI double for the second-placed Pirates. JT Brubaker (3-12) was tagged for five runs and seven strokes over three rounds before leaving with discomfort in his right biceps. It’s daily and he’s expected to have an MRI.
“It’s a strange feeling. I’ve never really felt anything in this area, so it’s kind of hard to describe.
Carrasco was playing catch on the field to lose as more than a dozen other Roberto Clemente award winners were presented during the pre-match gala. Carrasco, a leukemia survivor, won the cherished award in 2019 with Cleveland.
Major League Baseball was celebrating its 21st annual Roberto Clemente Day, with celebrations centered at Citi Field as all players and coaches wore the No. 21 Clemente to honor the Pirates Hall of Fame player who died in a plane crash at the age of 38 while trying to deliver relief supplies . For the victims of the earthquake in Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve 1972.
Lindor, like Clemente, a proud native of Puerto Rico, hit Homer two stages in the second set on the right field to make it 4-0 in the third set and establishes a career high for the RBIs with 94.
Buck Showalter, the Mets manager, said he initially considered giving Lindor a short break as a DH, but the shortstop star wanted to play on the field – especially on this day.
“I knew what a big night it was for him with Roberto Clemente,” Showalter said. “I know it meant a lot to him. But he was just a rock for us in many ways.”
Jeff McNeill followed him with a double, and Vogelbach, acquired from Pittsburgh on the July trade, added an RBI single.
Vogelbach made the Mets go in the first half with a two-time win over Brubaker.
The 35-year-old has mostly kicked off and improved to 7-2 with 2.12 ERAs in his past 11 starts. He became the Mets’ first 15-match winner since Jacob Degrom in 2017.
After sweeping four games in Cincinnati, the Pirates began a six-game winning streak in New York including two games at Yankee Stadium next Tuesday and Wednesday. They hit 16 times and get 10-4 as they have been denied their first five consecutive games since April 2019.
Mets ace RHP Max Scherzer (left oblique irritability) is expected to be off the injured list and begin Monday in Milwaukee. … Showalter said catcher Thomas Nido was sore after being hit by a few foul balls on Wednesday. Showalter said… RHP Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain) and RHP Drew Smith (right length strain) aren’t too far behind. … bats coach Eric Chavez left the team for a few days to go home and take care of family affairs. Showalter said he will likely be back next week in Milwaukee.
Pittsburgh recalls LHP Eric Stout of Triple-A Indianapolis. One run over two rounds was allowed to clear Brubaker. RHP Tyler Beede and LHP Dillon Peters are up for appointment.
Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (5-10, 4.01 ERA) starts Friday night against Taijuan Walker (11-4, 3.48).
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