Rays end Mets' 7-game winning streak with 5-4 victory
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Grady Sizemore helped Tampa Bay bounce back early, and the Rays' bullpen stymied the Mets late.
Sizemore and Kevin Kiermaier each drove in two runs to erase an early deficit as the Rays stopped New York's seven-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory Saturday night.
''Unbelievable comeback by the guys,'' Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. ''We talk about the character all the time - they prove it consistently.''
Tampa Bay relievers Xavier Cedeno, Steve Geltz, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger, who pitched the ninth for his 28th save, combined for four hitless innings. Rays starter Nathan Karns (7-5) allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.
''The bullpen came in after I came out and locked it down,'' Karns said.
Curtis Granderson homered twice for the NL East leaders, who blew a 3-0 first-inning lead. New York's cushion was shaved to 1 1/2 games over second-place Washington.
The Rays went ahead 5-4 in the fourth when John Jaso drew a walk from Noah Syndergaard (6-6), stole his first base of the season, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Evan Longoria's infield single.
Syndergaard, who was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his previous nine starts, gave up five runs, eight hits, two walks and had six strikeouts over four innings.
''It was a disappointing outing,'' said Syndergaard, who is 0-5 on the road. ''The offense did their part and I wasn't able to uphold my part of the bargain.''
After falling into the early three-run hole, the Rays responded with four runs and six hits in the bottom of the first. Jaso hit a leadoff double and scored on Sizemore's homer. Kiermaier made it 4-3 on a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded.
''It's a good feeling, obviously,'' Sizemore said. ''It was nice to get back on the board after giving up some runs early.''
Kiermaier jammed his thumb sliding while advancing to second base on a throw to third on the play, but remained in the game.
Granderson homered on the second pitch from Karns, and Lucas Duda had a two-run double as the Mets jumped out to a 3-0 advantage.
Granderson tied Jose Reyes (2006) for the team record in a single season with his sixth leadoff homer this year. Granderson has 34 in his career.
The outfielder tied it at 4 on a solo shot in the second. It was his 17th career multihomer game. He fouled a ball off his right ankle late in the game and will likely be the designated hitter in Sunday's series finale.
The announced crowd was 31,042, the Rays' second home sellout this season and first since opening day.
Mets: 3B David Wright (back) remains on schedule to start a minor league rehab assignment Monday. ... OF Michael Cuddyer (left knee) played nine innings in left field and went 0 for 4 with a walk and a run in his second rehab game with Class A St. Lucie. He should be back Monday.
Rays: C Curt Casali left after two innings with a head bruise after being hit one inning earlier by a back swing. Cash said the team is optimistic Casali is OK. ... OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) is 2 for 18 through his first six games with Triple-A Durham.
Syndergaard threw 38 pitches in the first inning and 98 overall. He had an 18-inning stretch of no walks that ended in the third. ... Sizemore has five homers in 21 games with the Rays. ... Tampa Bay SS Asdrubal Cabrera had two hits, giving him a career-best six consecutive multihit games. ... Duda has 10 RBIs in seven games this month. He tied his career high with his 27th double. ... Tampa Bay OF Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch for the fourth consecutive game.
Mets LHP Alex Torres, designated for assignment Tuesday, was sent outright to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Mets: Sunday starter Bartolo Colon (10-10) is 9-5 with a 4.00 ERA in 23 starts against Tampa Bay, including an 0-4 mark in his last seven.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (10-8) snapped a career-worst four-game skid by beating the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.