Lindor, Marte shine as Mets rout Diamondbacks in home opener

Apr 15, 2022, 1:54 AM | Updated: 5:16 pm
New York Mets' Starling Marte hits a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher C...

New York Mets' Starling Marte hits a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Caleb Smith in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

              New York Mets' Starling Marte runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Caleb Smith in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets' Starling Marte, center left, celebrates with Francisco Lindor, left, after hitting a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Caleb Smith in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets' Francisco Lindor runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Caleb Smith in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets' Francisco Lindor celebrates as he runs home to score on his two-run home run hit off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies while he wears the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets' Pete Alonso hits an RBI sacrifice fly off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies in the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies throws in the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              A memorial for fallen NYPD officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera is displayed during opening ceremonies before a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor wears the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson as he walks on the field before a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              The New York Mets wear the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson as the national anthem is played before a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets' Starling Marte hits a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Caleb Smith in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Opening day at Citi Field started with a salute to Tom Seaver and ended with cheers for Francisco Lindor.

The star shortstop homered from both sides of the plate to back another stingy outing from newcomer Chris Bassitt, and the New York Mets routed the sloppy Arizona Diamondbacks 10-3 in their home opener Friday.

Starling Marte launched a three-run shot, his first homer for the Mets in his first home game with the team. And on Jackie Robinson Day around the majors, Robinson Canó — named for the civil rights pioneer — connected for the first time since September 2020.

“Marte was unbelievable today. Lindor was unbelievable today. It was a good read of what this team can be for a lot of games this year,” Bassitt said.

Seaver’s widow Nancy and daughters Sarah and Anne spoke during a 40-minute pregame ceremony as the Mets unveiled a long-awaited statue of the Hall of Fame pitcher outside the ballpark. His grandsons, Thomas and Tobin, threw out ceremonial first pitches.

Hours later, Bassitt and three New York relievers limited the punchless Diamondbacks to three hits.

“It’s a good day for our fans. Get a chance to honor Tom and Jackie. It starts there,” new manager Buck Showalter said after winning his first home game with the Mets. “Regardless of what the outcome of the game was, it was the right thing to do. A lot of pressure on us to deliver.”

Lindor and Canó, who sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, both wore special cleats for Jackie Robinson Day.

Canó has four career home runs on the anniversary date, and was asked if it was especially meaningful to homer on this day.

“For sure. This is the day that myself and everybody is always going to remember,” he said. “You do something special on that day.”

Pete Alonso lofted a pair of early sacrifice flies for New York (6-2), which has the best record in the majors. Travis Jankowski, subbing in center after two Mets outfielders went on the COVID-19 injured list, had three hits.

“We got thrown a pretty good curveball,” Showalter said. “We got off script today and our guys responded well.”

Acquired from Oakland in a trade last month, Bassitt (2-0) allowed one run and two hits in six innings. He received a warm ovation from the sellout crowd of 43,820 as he walked off the mound at the end of his Citi Field debut.

The All-Star right-hander struck out six and walked two. He fanned eight over six innings of three-hit ball last Saturday in his initial outing for the Mets, a 5-0 win at Washington.

Daulton Varsho clocked his first homer of the season off Bassitt in the sixth.

“We’ve got to be better,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “This is a big stage for a young team. They’re learning on the job.

“They made some young mistakes, we know that. I don’t think anybody was overwhelmed. We just didn’t execute.”

Batting left-handed, Lindor chased Zach Davies (0-1) with a two-run drive into the second deck in right field that made it 5-0 in the fifth. The $341 million switch-hitter followed Marte’s three-run homer in the eighth with a shot to left off reliever Caleb Smith.

It was Lindor’s 14th career multi-homer game and the fourth time he’s gone deep from both sides of the plate.

“It’s a very lethal lineup,” Lovullo said.

Lindor also walked twice, stole a base and scored three times in an auspicious start to 2022 at Citi Field after he was often booed last year during a miserable first season with the Mets. He was cheered loudly Friday from the get-go during pregame introductions.

“It’s amazing to be welcomed to one of the greatest fan bases out there. It felt great to be able to hear the home crowd cheering me on and cheering the rest of the guys,” Lindor said. “Fantastic. Exactly what we expected.”

Marte, who signed a $78 million, four-year contract as a free agent in November, also stole a base and scored three times. He finished with three hits.

“I want kids to be able to come here and see how to play the game the right way,” Marte said through a translator.

NUMBERS GAME

New York starters are 6-0 with a 1.32 ERA this season, and the Mets improved to 40-21 in home openers — including 10-4 at Citi Field.

SNAKE SKINNED

New York has won 11 in a row against the Diamondbacks at Citi Field since the start of 2018, outscoring Arizona 61-21.

SPEED AND POWER

New York went deep four times in its home opener for the first time. The Mets also have seven steals through eight games — they didn’t reach seven stolen bases last year until their 29th game on May 8.

Lindor has three home runs. It took him 33 games to hit that many last season.

“I’m giving myself time to hit. I’m slowing the game down and I’m being consistent,” he said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: SS Nick Ahmed (right shoulder inflammation) got seven at-bats at the team’s spring training complex Thursday. … Arizona catcher Carson Kelly was rested after starting 0 for 15 this season. … SS Geraldo Perdomo was shaken up after getting hit just above the right elbow by a 92 mph fastball, but remained in the game.

Mets: Showalter said RHP Taijuan Walker (right shoulder bursitis) and reliever Trevor May (triceps) are doing well, and he thinks Walker has a chance to come off the 10-day injured list as soon as he’s eligible on April 22. Showalter said LHP David Peterson is a “solid option” to start Sunday in Walker’s place. … OFs Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha were placed on the injured list after a Mets coach tested positive for COVID-19. The team did not say whether Nimmo and Canha tested positive, and Showalter would not say whether either player is vaccinated.

UP NEXT

Arizona RHP Zac Gallen faces Mets RHP Carlos Carrasco on Saturday. Humberto Castellanos is scheduled to start Sunday for the Diamondbacks after Smith was moved to the bullpen.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Field hockey players of a local club attend a training session, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. ...
Associated Press

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen better days. The sign bearing the club’s name is worn. The floodlights are too costly to use, given high electricity prices and the paltry $135 total that the club earns in membership fees every month. […]
1 day ago
NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) poses for a photo with the championship trophy after...
Associated Press

Truex wins NASCAR’s sloppy return to Los Angeles Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. won NASCAR’s return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for its season-opening exhibition race — a sloppy Sunday night extravaganza in which the Wiz Khalifa halftime show might have been the most entertaining part of the event. Truex took the lead with 25 laps to go in the […]
1 day ago
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against ...
Associated Press

Morant says friend banned from arena over Pacers dispute

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant tweeted Sunday that a friend of his has been banned from games at FedExForum for a year as a result of a confrontation between his supporters and members of the Indiana Pacers organization a week earlier. The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals have been banned from […]
1 day ago
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NBA...
Associated Press

Timberwolves cruise to 128-98 win against Jokic-less Nuggets

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell had 14 of his 18 points in the first quarter and added 10 assists, Anthony Edwards scored 20 and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 128-98 win Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets, who were missing two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and three other starters on the second night of a […]
1 day ago
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green signals in the first half of an NBA basketball game ag...
Associated Press

Murphy scores season-high 30, Pelicans top Kings 136-104

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trey Murphy III highlighted his season-high 30-point performance with six 3-pointers — a couple from well behind the arc — and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of several starters to beat the Sacramento Kings 136-104 on Sunday night. “Just got to keep shooting, no matter if you hitting or […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton (18) drives against New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) ...
Associated Press

Knicks rally from 21 points down, beat 76ers 108-97

NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, Jalen Brunson scored 21 points and the New York Knicks overcame an early 21-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-97 on Sunday night. Evan Fournier came off the bench to add 17 points for the Knicks, who were playing a […]
1 day ago
Lindor, Marte shine as Mets rout Diamondbacks in home opener