Milestone night for Reyes, Collins as Mets hold off Angels
NEW YORK (AP) — A milestone night for the New York Mets nearly turned into a miserable one.
Jose Reyes had three instrumental hits, including the 2,000th of his career, and manager Terry Collins made just the right moves as the Mets held off the Los Angeles Angels 7-5 on Saturday.
New York gave up three runs in a nervous ninth inning before substitute closer Addison Reed struck out pinch-hitter Danny Espinosa on a full-count fastball with the bases loaded for his sixth save.
“Definitely, to get that win was the last piece,” leadoff man Michael Conforto said. “To be able to celebrate that the right way was great.”
Collins massaged an unreliable bullpen through four innings after starter Zack Wheeler (3-2) unraveled in the sixth with a 4-0 lead.
The oldest skipper in the majors, seven days shy of his 68th birthday, also became the longest-tenured manager in team history, passing Davey Johnson (1984-90) by reaching 1,013 games with the Mets.
“It’s unbelievable to think that I’ve been here that long,” said Collins , who is 499-514 in seven seasons with the Mets. “It’s a humbling experience and it’s been a tremendous honor.”
Conforto scored three times, all after Reyes reached base right behind him. Neil Walker had two RBIs, and Reyes added a two-run single in a three-run eighth that featured a two-out RBI double by pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores .
Those insurance runs became crucial when reliever Neil Ramirez failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in his Mets debut. A leadoff walk and two soft singles brought on Reed, who walked Cameron Maybin to force in a run.
Kole Calhoun hit an RBI single and Mike Trout’s sacrifice fly trimmed it to 7-5 before Reed escaped . He got cleanup hitter Luis Valbuena, in an 0-for-21 slump, to foul out and then issued another walk before Espinosa whiffed.
“I had faith in Reeder to shut it down,” Conforto said. “It was definitely interesting.”
After the final pitch, Reed exhaled a sigh of relief and cocked his cap high on his forehead with sort of a sheepish smile on his face.
Angels rookie Alex Meyer (2-2) allowed four runs — three earned — and three hits in four-plus innings. The 6-foot-9 righty also singled on an 0-2 slider from Wheeler in his first plate appearance since high school.
“That’s just a poor ballgame on the defensive end. We let too many things get away from us,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’ve got to tighten that up. That’s the major reason we lost.”
SAVOR THE MOMENT
Reyes singled in the first to become the eighth active major leaguer with 2,000 hits . His achievement was noted on the large videoboard and Reyes doffed his helmet at first base as fans and teammates gave him a standing ovation. The souvenir ball was tossed into New York’s dugout, and Reyes said he probably will give it to his father. “I feel very grateful to be part of that club,” he said.
The only other active bench bosses who have managed the most games in the history of their franchises are Kansas City skipper Ned Yost (1,141 games) and Scioscia (2,799), the full-time replacement for Collins with the Angels following the 1999 season.
BUILDING A BRIDGE
Before the game, Collins acknowledged he “wore out” struggling reliever Fernando Salas early this season. Salas replaced Wheeler with the bases loaded and nobody out in a 4-1 game and retired all three hitters he faced, allowing only one more run to score in the sixth. Collins then went to rookie Robert Gsellman, skipped in the rotation this time through. Gsellman threw two scoreless innings .
Angels: Albert Pujols missed his second consecutive game because of tendinitis in his right hamstring. He planned to take pregame batting practice on the field, Scioscia said, but wasn’t available to pinch hit. “He’s feeling much better, but not quite enough to get out there,” Scioscia explained.
Mets: C Travis d’Arnaud (bruised right wrist) had his rehab assignment moved to Triple-A Las Vegas and flied out as a pinch hitter at New Orleans. He is still expected to catch another nine innings in a minor league game before rejoining the Mets, but it sounds as though he could be back for the upcoming series against San Diego, which begins Tuesday. ... Collins said LHP Steven Matz (left elbow) and RHP Seth Lugo (right elbow) probably need at least two more rehab outings each — against some better competition — before returning to the Mets. Both pitchers made their first rehab appearances Thursday with Class A St. Lucie. ... Collins said LF Yoenis Cespedes (strained left hamstring) has reached the “back half” of his extended running program, but no definitive target date has been determined for his return.
LHP Tommy Milone (1-1, 6.25 ERA) makes his third start for the Mets in the series finale Sunday against RHP Jesse Chavez (3-5, 4.22). Milone is 6-2 with a 4.68 ERA in 12 career starts vs. the Angels.
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