A rainout Saturday meant the Cleveland Guardians had to wait almost 24 extra hours to try to bounce back from one of their most frustrating defeats. It also put a temporary pause on the biggest burst of momentum the New York Mets have experienced in weeks.
The Guardians and Mets are slated to complete their three-game interleague series Sunday, when Cleveland visits New York for a day-night doubleheader.
With rain expected to fall in New York well into Saturday evening, the middle game of the three-game set was postponed about five hours before the 4:10 p.m. first pitch.
Saturday’s scheduled starters — Guardians rookie Tanner Bibee (1-1, 3.22 ERA) and Mets veteran Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.88 ERA) — were pushed back to Sunday afternoon’s opener.
A pair of former Cy Young Award winners — the Guardians’ Shane Bieber (3-2, 3.20 ERA) and the Mets’ Justin Verlander (1-2, 4.76 ERA) — remain scheduled to start the Sunday night game.
Former Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor capped a dramatic Mets comeback Friday night, when he delivered the walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning to give New York a 10-9 victory.
The Guardians, who entered Saturday with the third-fewest runs in baseball, squandered leads of 5-0, 7-3 and 9-7 Friday night. Pete Alonso hit a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning for the Mets, who pieced together four singles in their 10th-inning rally against Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase.
Josh Naylor had five RBIs via a three-run homer in the first and a two-run single in the seventh for the Guardians, who scored nine or more runs for just the third time this season. Cleveland fell when scoring at least nine runs for the first time since an 11-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 18, 2021.
“We haven’t played from ahead like 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 but have won three straight dating to Wednesday night. Alonso’s three-run walk-off homer in the 10th inning capped a series of late-inning comebacks and lifted New York to a 9-8 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Alonso has homered in each of the last four games, a span in which the Mets have gone deep nine times. New York had just nine homers in an 11-game stretch ending Monday.
“For us, I think it’s not just one moment,” Alonso said. “I feel like it’s kind of 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 in his most recent start last Sunday, when he allowed one run over a career-high 7 2/3 innings as the Guardians beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-3. Bieber took the loss Tuesday after giving up six runs (five earned) over 4 2/3 innings as Cleveland fell to the Chicago White Sox 8-3.
Scherzer earned the win after giving up one run over five innings as the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 8-2 last Sunday. Verlander took the loss Tuesday, when he surrendered six runs over five innings as New York fell to the Rays 8-5.
Bibee has never opposed the Mets. Bieber took the defeat in his lone start against New York on Aug. 20, 2019, when he allowed four runs (two earned) over six innings in a 9-2 loss.
Scherzer is 9-5 with a 4.25 ERA in 20 career starts against Cleveland. Verlander is 22-24 with a 4.53 ERA in 54 starts against the Guardians.
–Field Level Media
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