Jose Bautista crushed a home run on the first pitch he saw in the ninth inning to lift the Mets to a 5-1 win over the Rays Friday night. It was the first ever walk-off homer for Bautista.
The Rays loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but could not push the go-ahead run across. Devin Mesoraco made a fine play on a lollipop throw from Wilmer Flores for the second out of the inning and Jeurys Familia, who loaded the bases on a walk, a bloop just over the outstretched arm of Amed Rosario and a hit by pitch, got a strikeout to end the inning.
The bottom of the ninth started with a walk to Todd Frazier. Mesoraco was asked to bunt and fouled the first pitch off. After two balls that he was prepared to bunt, Mesoraco was given the hit sign and bounced a ball past the drawn in third baseman. Rosario delivered a sac bunt to put runners on second and third. Pinch hitter Dominic Smith grounded back to the pitcher for the second out.
The Rays then shot themselves in the foot looking for the platoon advantage. They gave the abracadabra walk to a struggling Brandon Nimmo to get the right on right matchup with Bautista. But Bautista has a higher average against righties than lefties this year and he delivered a no-doubt homer, the 337th of his career.
It was another great outing for Jacob deGrom, who allowed just one run in eight innings while fanning eight. But once again he failed to get the win. At least the Mets won this time, as they picked up their third win in their last four games.