OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Mark Canha homered leading off the seventh inning and Brandon Nimmo followed with an RBI double with two out that scored pinch-runner Tim Locastro as the New York Mets rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Saturday.
Pete Alonso hit his seventh home run for the Mets. The solo drive off A's starter Shintaro Fujinami in the fourth was the 153rd of Alonso’s career and his 87th in a road game.
A day after winning handily, the Mets showed they can persevere and win the close ones, too.
“You have to be able to win all different kinds of ballgames throughout the course of 162 games,” said Canha, who played for the A's from 2015-21. “For me personally, it does mean a little extra. I want to win these games. So it felt really good to get that one. I’ve hit a few here. It’s a ballpark that I love to play at. Running around those bases is a familiar feeling for sure.”
Outside of Alonso's homer, the Mets were kept in check for much of the game before getting to Fujinami (0-3) for a pair of runs in the seventh.
Canha, the former A's slugger, began the comeback with a leadoff home run that tied the game at 2. After Daniel Vogelbach walked and was replaced at first base by Locastro, Trevor May came in for Fujinami and retired the next two batters before Nimmo lined a 95.1 mph fastball from May down the right field line, scoring Locastro.
“It’s a game that’s not easy to win,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
Before that, Fujinami was crisp and in line for his first win in the majors. The Japanese right-hander allowed three runs and four hits with five strikeouts over six innings. lowering his ERA from 17.55 to 11.37.
“Going into the game, I wanted to attack the zone with the fastball and split,” Fujinami said through translator Issei Kamada. "Last outing, I kind of beat myself. Today, I wanted to attack the zone more. To be honest, I wanted to get through the seventh inning and get a win. But it was a little tough.”
Drew Smith (1-1) retired four batters and had two strikeouts to earn the win. Brooks Raley set down two, Adam Ottavino pitched a scoreless eighth and David Robertson worked the ninth for his third save, despite a pitcher's clock violation.
Both of the A's runs came off Mets starter Carlos Carrasco.
Ramón Laureano singled leading off the second and scored on Conner Capel's groundout. Esteury Ruiz later delivered a two-out single that scored Aledmys Diaz.
Oakland had two runners on with two outs in the eighth, but Ottavino struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Noda swinging.
Carrasco allowed four hits and hit three batters. He walked one and had three strikeouts.
“I was proud of him. He was in a little more attack mode,” Showalter said. “I thought he had a little better change-up, split. Better feel for the slider, got some counts in his favor and got us off the field.”
LOST TRACK OF COUNT
Mets No. 3 hitter Francisco Lindor thought he drew a walk off Fujinami in the sixth and trotted to first base, only to be called back by home plate umpire Scott Barry after A's manager Mark Kotsay came out to protest. Barry briefly conferred with two other umpires, corrected the count to 3-2 and had Lindor return to finish the at-bat. He ended up grounding out to second.
Mets: RHP Dennis Santana was designated for assignment. RHP José Butto and RHP Jimmy Yacabonis were called up from Triple-A Syracuse. Butto will start on Sunday after a 1.86 ERA in two starts with Syracuse. Yacabonis is likely to pitch out of the bullpen.
Athletics: LHP Richard Lovelady was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and will pitch out of the bullpen. To make room, Oakland optioned LHP Hogan Harris to Las Vegas.
Mets: RHP Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday due to back soreness. Showalter said it's likely Scherzer will return for the series finale in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Wednesday. ... RHP Stephen Nogosek was placed on the injured list with a right elbow injury. Nogosek was hurt after fielding a comebacker in Friday night’s game.
Athletics: Catcher Shea Langeliers was held out a day after working behind the plate for all nine innings of Friday’s 17-6 loss that took nearly 3½ hours. Langeliers entered Saturday's game as a pinch-runner in the ninth.
With Scherzer unavailable, Showalter said he will go with Butto to start on Sunday. It's his first since last August when he allowed seven runs in four innings against the Phillies. Athletics’ LHP JP Sears (0-1, 5.59) faces the Mets for the second time in his brief career. Sears lasted only 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs against New York last September.
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