Cespedes homers in return as Mets beat Yankees, 7-5

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Yoenis Cespedes homered in his return from the disabled list, Noah Syndergaard won his second straight start since coming back from an injury but left after a drop in velocity, and the New York Mets beat the Yankees 7-5 Friday night in a Subway Series opener.

Robert Gsellman pitched two innings for his fifth save as Mets closer Jeurys Familia sat in the bullpen, a sign a trade could be forthcoming. Familia has been the subject of trade speculation.

Cespedes had been out since May 13 with a strained right hip flexor, the latest in a string of lower body injuries that have limited him to 119 games in 1 ¢ seasons since signing a $110 million, four-year contract.

He homered off an again ineffective Domingo German (2-6) to put the Mets ahead 4-0 in the third, sending a 3-0 pitch off the left-field foul pole. Cespedes is 8 for 10 with a pair of homers in his big league career on 3-0 counts. He also singled in the sixth — it would have driven in a run had Brandon Nimmo not been thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple.

German was optioned to the minors after the game. He’ll be replaced in the rotation by Luis Cessa.

Syndergaard (6-1) returned just before the All-Star break after seven weeks on the disabled list caused by a strained right index finger. He allowed one run and eight hits in five innings, leaving after a velocity drop of about 2 mph in his final inning. Mets manager Mickey Callaway and a trainer came to the mound with one out in the fifth and looked at the finger, and Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland had a lengthy discussion with Syndergaard in the dugout after the inning.

Syndergaard has not had a 1-2-3 inning in any of his 10 innings since returning. His four strikeouts increased his total to 501 in 438 2/3 innings, and he bettered Dwight Gooden (445 1/3 innings) as the fastest Mets pitcher to 500 strikeouts.

Michael Conforto had three RBIs for the Mets, including an insurance run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly off A.J. Cole.

Every Yankees starter had a hit, and they had a runner on in every inning but went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14.

The Yankees dropped 5 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston, their biggest deficit since mid-April.

“I expect us to go out and be great,” manager Aaron Boone said before the game. “That’s kind of our expectation when we embarked on this season and that continues to be the expectation. And I think it’s a realistic expectation.”

Dodgers 6, Brewers 4

MILWAUKEE — Manny Machado singled twice and walked twice in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who used a tiebreaking RBI single by Chris Taylor to beat the sliding Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 on Friday night.

NL West-leading Los Angeles was held in check by Wade Miley before going ahead to stay in the seventh. Moments after Yasmani Grandal was cut down at the plate on a nice pickup by catcher Manny Pina, Taylor singled in Chase Utley to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Machado’s second hit then set up Max Muncy’s run-scoring double off Taylor Williams (0-3).

Enrique Hernandez added a three-run homer in the ninth as Los Angeles celebrated the trade for Machado with its fifth win in six games. Rich Hill (3-4) struck out nine in six innings, and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his 28th save.

Milwaukee returned from the break to an emotional apology from reliever Josh Hader for years-old racist and homophobic tweets that surfaced during the All-Star Game. Miley tossed six effective innings in his 200th career start and Jesus Aguilar hit his NL-best 25th homer in the eighth, but the Brewers dropped their seventh straight game.

Christian Yelich hit a two-run triple in the ninth, but Jansen struck out Aguilar swinging for the final out.

With his teammates standing behind him during a news conference, the 24-year-old Hader said the tweets — which included a slur used to disparage African-Americans — “were never my beliefs. I was young. I was saying stuff out of just ignorance and that’s just not what I meant.”

Hader is going to participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives in addition to sensitivity training, according to Major League Baseball. The hard-throwing lefty did not get into the game against Los Angeles.

Machado joined the Dodgers after he was acquired in a blockbuster trade with Baltimore on Wednesday. The Brewers also were in the mix for the All-Star slugger, but the Dodgers reeled him in with a package of five prospects headed by slugger Yusniel Diaz.

Cardinals 18, Cubs 5

CHICAGO — Matt Carpenter hit three home runs and two doubles in just six innings, tying the major league record for extra-base hits in a game, and the St. Louis Cardinals hammered the Chicago Cubs 18-5 Friday.

Carpenter went 5 for 5 and drove in seven runs at Wrigley Field. He led off the game with a home run and was pulled after adding a three-run drive in the sixth.

Carpenter became the 14th player with five extra-base hits in a game, and the first to do it for the Cardinals.

The NL Central-leading Cubs lost for just the fourth time in their last 17 games.

Carpenter has homered in four straight games.

Braves 8, Nationals 5

WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg was batted around by the Atlanta Braves, then engaged in a heated spat with Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the dugout during Washington’s 8-5 loss Friday night.

It was unclear what prompted the exchange between the star pitchers in their first game after the All-Star break.

The dispute occurred after Strasburg (6-7), activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier in the day and throwing on his 30th birthday, gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked into the dugout, got a pat on the back from Scherzer and sat down on the bench. They began barking at each other, then both quickly went off-camera by leaving the dugout.

The Braves lost All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies in the third inning, and the team said he was lifted as a precaution because of right hamstring tightness. He had an RBI double and stole a base in a two-run first inning.

Anibal Sanchez (5-2) allowed three runs over six innings for the Braves, who started the second half near the top of the NL East.

Phillies 11, Padres 5

PHILADELPHIA — Carlos Santana homered and drove in four, Cesar Hernandez had a two-run double and the Philadelphia Phillies overcame a four-run first-inning deficit to beat the San Diego Padres 11-5 on Friday night.

Odubel Herrera added two RBIs for the surprising Phillies, who remained a half-game ahead of Atlanta for first in the NL East with their 13th win in 19 games.

Red Sox 1, Tigers 0

DETROIT — David Price took a shutout into the seventh inning, and the Boston Red Sox kept right on rolling in their first game after the All-Star break, beating the Detroit Tigers 1-0 on Friday night.

The Red Sox (69-30) have won 13 of their last 14, and on this night, one run in the first inning was enough for the team with baseball’s best record. Price (11-6) allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out five.

Detroit has lost seven of eight.

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 7, 10 innings

TORONTO — Aledmys Diaz singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays recovered after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 on Friday night.

Diaz had four hits, including a solo homer, and scored twice as the Blue Jays improved to 7-1 against Baltimore.

Russell Martin hit a two-out single off left-hander Paul Fry (0-1) in the 10th and advanced to second when Randal Gruck walked. Diaz followed with a grounder that ticked off the glove of third baseman Renato Nunez and eluded shortstop Tim Beckham, allowing Martin to score.

Marlins 6, Rays 5

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Derek Dietrich homered twice, including a three-run shot in the seventh inning that broke a tie, to lead Dan Straily and the Miami Marlins over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Friday night.

Dietrich’s 13th homer came off left-hander Hoby Milner after two walks by Diego Castillo (1-1). Miami added two more runs in the inning with the help of a couple of errors to take a 6-1 lead.

Mallex Smith’s bases-loaded triple helped the Rays score four runs in the ninth before Adam Conley struck out Daniel Robertson to end it with two runners on.

Straily (4-4) pitched seven innings, giving up one run and four hits. Conley, the fourth Marlins reliever, earned his first career save.

It was the sixth win in eight games for the Marlins.

By Paul Wager

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