Germantown’s Mickey Callaway wins in Mets debut as New York beats Cardinals on Opening Day
NEW YORK – Yoenis Cespedes drove in three runs and newcomer Adrian Gonzalez hit a go-ahead double to lead Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 in their opener Thursday.
Syndergaard (1-0) struck out 10 and walked none in six innings after missing most of last season with a torn lat muscle. Leadoff man Brandon Nimmo, subbing for injured All-Star Michael Conforto, reached safely four times and scored twice as the Mets chased a furious Carlos Martinez in the fifth inning to make Mickey Callaway a winner in his first game as a manager.
The 35-year-old Gonzalez also was on base four times with two hits and two walks in his New York debut. The five-time All-Star first baseman was signed for the major league minimum during the offseason after struggling with a bad back last year with the Dodgers.
Yadier Molina hit an early two-run homer for St. Louis that clanged off the left-field foul pole. Jose Martinez also went deep against Syndergaard and knocked in two but committed a run-scoring throwing error at first base.
New York got hitless relief from Robert Gsellman, newcomer Anthony Swarzak and closer Jeurys Familia to win an opener played only hours after the death of former Mets star Rusty Staub.
Todd Frazier, also making his Mets debut, drew a one-out walk from Martinez (0-1) in the fifth and scored from first on Gonzalez’s double into the right-field corner for a 4-3 lead.
Syndergaard, who threw his first three pitches 99 mph, helped himself with a sacrifice bunt, and young shortstopAmed Rosario _ batting ninth behind the pitcher _ delivered a two-run single.
Cespedes, who had a two-run single in the second, chased Martinez with an RBI single, and the two-time All-Star pitcher went wild once he got to the bench, knocking over a bucket of bubble gum.
Jay Bruce, back after the Mets traded him to Cleveland last August, added an RBI single off Matt Bowman to cap a five-run outburst.
New York catcher Kevin Plawecki also had two walks and two hits, including a late RBI single.