Mets stars shine, NY saves season with 7-3 win over Padres

Oct 8, 2022, 8:59 AM | Updated: Oct 9, 2022, 2:10 pm
New York Mets Pete Alonso connects for a solo home run against the San Diego Padres during the fift...

New York Mets Pete Alonso connects for a solo home run against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

              San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) delivers against the New York Mets during the first inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
            
              San Diego Padres Juan Soto reacts to a strike against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
            
              New York Mets Pete Alonso (20) is congratulated by Mark Canha (19) after Alonso hit a solo home run against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) delivers against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
            
              New York Mets Jeff McNeil (1) connects for a two-run double against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets Jeff McNeil (1) reacts as he heads up the first base line after hitting a two-run double against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Mets Pete Alonso connects for a solo home run against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — With their season on the brink, the biggest stars for the New York Mets shined bright.

Pete Alonso launched a tiebreaking homer and Jacob deGrom pitched well enough to help save New York with a 7-3 victory over the San Diego Padres that evened their wild-card playoff series at one game apiece Saturday night.

“Win or go home,” deGrom said. “Love pitching here. Mets fans have been great to me. Didn’t want to disappoint.”

Francisco Lindor also went deep, Jeff McNeil laced a critical two-run double and All-Star closer Edwin Díaz entered much earlier than usual to protect a one-run lead in the seventh inning.

New York broke open the game by scoring four times in the bottom half, keyed by the bases-loaded double McNeil lined off Adrian Morejon through a drawn-in infield.

Seth Lugo retired cleanup batter Josh Bell on a grounder with the sacks full for the save, ending a game that took 4 hours, 13 minutes.

“It was a close game in the middle innings and then it got away from us there in the seventh,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said.

The teams play a decisive Game 3 on Sunday night at Citi Field, with the winner advancing to a best-of-five NL Division Series against the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers beginning Tuesday.

Joe Musgrove is scheduled to start for his hometown Padres against 15-game winner Chris Bassitt.

“Go out there and compete and leave it all on the field,” San Diego slugger Manny Machado said. “At this point it’s all about 27 outs.”

Leadoff batter Brandon Nimmo had three hits and a walk for the Mets, including a go-ahead single in the fourth that chased wild starter Blake Snell to the delight of a boisterous sellout crowd waving orange rally towels.

The left-hander walked four of his first 12 batters and six in all over 3 1/3 shaky innings in his first postseason start for San Diego.

In a matchup between the 2018 Cy Young Award winners, deGrom struck out eight in six innings of two-run ball for his fourth career postseason win.

It was deGrom’s first playoff start at home — the right-hander helped pitch the Mets into the 2015 World Series, but all four of his starts that postseason came on the road.

“I actually felt like I had my best stuff in the sixth inning,” he said.

One night after co-ace Max Scherzer gave up four homers and seven runs in a Game 1 flop, deGrom came out firing 100 mph fastballs and delivered with New York facing elimination.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner, who plans to opt out of his contract after this season, whiffed Machado three times and rebounded nicely after going 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his final four regular-season outings.

Trent Grisham homered for the second time in two games, and San Diego tied it 2-all on Jurickson Profar’s RBI single in the fifth.

But after a visit from pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, deGrom struck out Machado and Bell with runners at the corners to end the inning.

“He’s one of the best in the game,” Machado said. “He did what he does best. We weren’t able to open the floodgates.”

Alonso homered on the first pitch in the bottom half from reliever Nick Martinez, who went to college in New York City at Fordham. It was the first career postseason homer for Alonso, who had 40 during the regular season and tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs.

“This is why we play — for those moments,” Alonso said.

Díaz was summoned by manager Buck Showalter in the seventh — his earliest appearance since August 2020. The reliever made a tough defensive play covering first base and then retired slugger Juan Soto with a runner on second to end the inning.

Díaz went 46 minutes between pitches while the Mets rallied in the bottom half with the help of consecutive 10-pitch walks drawn by Alonso and Mark Canha against Morejon.

A pumped-up McNeil, the big league batting champion, pointed toward the New York dugout as he legged out his clutch double that made it 5-2. Eduardo Escobar added an RBI single off Pierce Johnson, and pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach had a sacrifice fly.

After getting two outs in the eighth, Díaz was lifted to a warm ovation and waved to the crowd of 42,156 as he walked off the mound.

With two on in the ninth, Profar hit a long drive that was caught just in front of the right-center fence. Adam Ottavino walked in a run before Showalter went to Lugo for the final out.

“We knew going into this game it was going to be tough,” Grisham said. “Any team that’s fighting for its life is going to come out guns blazing. We’re gonna be in the same situation tomorrow.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker replaced left-handed reliever Joely Rodríguez (shoulder) on the series roster before the game, an injury substitution that needed to be approved by Major League Baseball. Rodríguez won’t be eligible to return unless the Mets reach the NL Championship Series. He did not pitch in Friday night’s 7-1 loss. … Slumping DH Darin Ruf returned from a neck strain and played his first game since Sept. 25. Ruf struck out, walked and was hit by a pitch.

UP NEXT

Musgrove (10-7, 2.93 ERA) grew up a Padres fan in the San Diego suburbs and signed a $100 million, five-year contract with his hometown team this season.

Bassitt went 15-9 with a 3.42 ERA in his first season with the Mets after coming over in a trade with Oakland, where he pitched for Melvin.

___

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

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) is defended by Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23...
Associated Press

What LeBron passing Kareem means to NBA, greatest debate

It’s about to happen. LeBron James is finally on the brink of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s career scoring record, the torch getting passed from one member of the Los Angeles Lakers to another. James is 35 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 38,387. The record-breaker could come as early as Tuesday when the […]
1 day ago
The Philadelphia Eagles plane lands ahead of Super Bowl 57 NFL football game, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023,...
Associated Press

Super Bowl draws epic air show of private planes to Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) — Former NFL player Jim Bob Morris is heading to the Super Bowl in Phoenix from Bloomington, Illinois, in a newly refurbished set of wheels. His ride has new paint, new seating and even a new bathroom. Morris, who played for the Green Bay Packers, Houston Oilers and was even with the Kansas […]
1 day ago
Leeds United's head coach Jesse Marsch looks on prior to the English Premier League soccer match be...
Associated Press

Jesse Marsch fired by Leeds after nearly a year in charge

LEEDS, England (AP) — American coach Jesse Marsch was fired by Leeds on Monday after nearly a year in charge of the relegation-threatened Premier League team. Leeds hasn’t won any of its last seven games in the league and has dropped into 17th place in the 20-team division, only out of the relegation zone on […]
1 day ago
FILE - Jaromir Jagr smiles during a press conference at the Kladno Knights hockey club in Kladno, C...
Associated Press

Jaromír Jágr scores his record 1,099th goal at almost 51

PRAGUE (AP) — Jaromír Jágr celebrated his 51st birthday about a week early by scoring his 1,099th goal to overtake Wayne Gretzky at the top of the chart. Jágr, who will turn 51 on Feb. 15, scored for the Kladno Knights on Sunday in 5-4 loss at Trinec in the Czech league. The winger, who […]
1 day ago
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin fails to complete the slalom portion of an alpine ski, women's Worl...
Associated Press

American skier Shiffrin fails to finish 1st race at worlds

MERIBEL, France (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin missed what looked like a certain gold medal Monday on the opening day of the world championships, skiing out of the women’s combined race with the finish in sight. Shiffrin straddled the third-to-last gate in her slalom run while appearing to be close to beating first-run leader […]
1 day ago
This photo provided by Budweiser shows a scene from Budweiser's 2023 Super Bowl NFL football ad. Br...
Associated Press

For Super Bowl ads this year, crypto is out, booze is in

NEW YORK (AP) — The hottest ticket in town for advertisers is officially sold out. Fox said Monday that in-game ads for Super Bowl LVII have all been sold. The big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place on Sunday. The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, with advertisers jockeying […]
1 day ago
Mets stars shine, NY saves season with 7-3 win over Padres