Cespedes homers 3 times in Mets' 14-9 win over Rockies
DENVER (AP) Yoenis Cespedes put on quite a show at Coors Field.
Cespedes hit three home runs, including a grand slam, and had a career-high seven RBIs and the New York Mets overpowered the Colorado Rockies 14-9 on Friday night.
''Good hitters find a night where they can lock themselves in and they won't miss a ball,'' Cespedes said through an interpreter. ''They will hit it hard. I had that kind of night. This was the best night I have ever had.''
Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto also had home runs in the seventh inning in the Mets' first five-homer game since Sept. 5, 2014, against Cincinnati.
The Mets have won nine in a row against the Rockies going back to May 4, 2014.
Cespedes led off the eighth with a chance to tie the major league record for most home runs in a game. He singled off reliever Tommy Kahnle for his fifth hit of the game, a career best.
He came up again with two outs in the ninth to face Rafael Betancourt and hit a drive to right-center field that Carlos Gonzalez had to chase down near the warning track, making a running catch.
''He is a special talent,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said of Cespedes. ''I thought the last ball had a shot. Now you want to see what he will do tomorrow.''
In all, there were eight home runs in the game. Colorado's Gonzalez, Ben Paulsen and Nolan Arenado also homered on a night when the ball was flying out of Coors Field.
Arenado's three-run homer off Bartolo Colon in the fourth was his 30th of the season. Nick Hundley finished a homer shy of the cycle.
''We scored nine runs,'' Arenado said. ''We did a good job today. It just didn't work out.''
Cespedes was the biggest reason why.
Acquired by New York from Detroit in a trade deadline deal July 31, Cespedes began the power display with a slam off rookie Jon Gray in the Mets' six-run second inning, helping New York take a 7-1 lead. It was the second slam of his career. His first came on April 19th for Detroit against the Chicago White Sox.
He led off the fourth with his second homer, this one off reliever Christian Bergman and his third, a two-run shot off Christian Friedrich, snapped an 8-8 tie in the sixth.
''Tough to keep him down for long,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''He's got big-time power. We saw it on display tonight. It's just a matter of time before he gets rolling over there and he certainly did tonight.''
Cespedes has hit five home runs since joining the Mets and has 23 home runs overall.
It was the third time this season a Mets player has hit three home runs in a game. Lucas Duda was the last to accomplish the feat on July 29 against San Diego.
Both starters had a rough night. Colon was hit by a pitch on his right hand in the second when he squared to bunt. He was checked by team trainers and remained in the game but went just 3 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs and nine hits, including all three of Colorado's home runs.
Jon Gray, who held the Mets to one run in a six-inning outing that resulted in a no-decision on Aug. 10, couldn't get out of the second this time around. He gave up seven runs and eight hits in 1 2-3 innings.
''There was no command of the fastball at all today,'' Gray said. ''And it's a little tough to get outs when that's what you pitch off of. It was just bad.''
Sean Gilmartin (2-1) picked up the win with 2 1-3 innings of solid relief. Friedrich (0-4), who gave up the tiebreaking shot to Cespedes, took the loss.
Mets: LHP Stephen Matz, who went on the 15-day disabled list in early July because of a partially torn lat muscle, was scheduled to make a minor league rehab start on Tuesday. ... Manager Terry Collins said that INF David Wright, who has missed much of the season with a back injury, was expected to rejoin the Mets on Monday. ... RHP Logan Verrett will start Sunday in place of Matt Harvey, whom the team pushed back to give a brief respite in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Collins said holding out Harvey is a ''one-time thing.'' ... Collins said after the game that Duda experienced pain in his lower back. The team will evaluate him Saturday before making a determination on his status.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (right shoulder inflammation) pitched five scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque and the team will decide in the coming days whether to give him one more rehab start or bring him back up to rejoin the Rockies, manager Walt Weiss said. ''I think at this point it's just a matter of if he's built up enough to go out in a major league game and give us length,'' Weiss said.
Mets: LHP Jonathon Niese (7-9) is slated to start the second of a three-game set against the Rockies.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (4-5) takes the mound for the Rockies after pitching his first career shutout in his previous start.