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Escobar hits for cycle, drives in six as Mets beat Padres

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eduardo Escobar knew he needed a triple to complete his first cycle and he was going to do whatever it took to get it.

Sure enough, he did.

Escobar hit a two-run triple with two outs in the ninth inning, giving him six RBIs in boosting Carlos Carrasco and the New York Mets to an 11-5 win Monday night against the San Diego Padres.

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The switch-hitter sent an opposite-field drive off lefty reliever Tim Hill over the head of right fielder Nomar Mazara and off the wall. Escobar sped around the bases and pulled into third in front of his cheering teammates lining the dugout rail. He pumped his right arm, clapped his hands and blew a kiss skyward.

“This is a great moment. It’s unbelievable,” the 33-year-old third baseman said. “It’s hard hitting the cycle at this level. Today’s a special night for me. Most important is the win.”

The ball from the triple was perched in his locker.

Escobar came in batting just .227 but has three homers and 12 RBIs in his last nine games.

He credited hitting coach Eric Chavez and his teammates, “to everybody who helped me.” He said his teammates encouraged him to keep working hard “because your moment’s coming. … I’m so happy I started hitting now and now I help the team win. That’s the most important.”

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Escobar hit a two-run moonshot homer that sailed well over the party deck atop the right field wall off Craig Stammen with no outs in the eighth. It was his fifth.

Escobar also hit a two-run single in the first and a double in the fourth.

It was the 11th cycle in Mets history and the first since Scott Hairston on April 27, 2012.

It was also the first cycle at Petco Park, which opened in 2004.

“Any guy is fun to watch, especially him, what he means to his teammates,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s almost like they hit it.”

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The Mets, an NL-best 38-19, won their third straight and for the ninth time in 11 games. The Padres, who have the NL’s third-best record at 33-22, had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Carrasco (7-1) won his fourth straight start by holding the Padres to two runs and five hits in seven innings while striking out a season-high 10 and walking none. He limited the damage to two innings. Jorge Alfaro doubled leading off the third and scored on Jurickson Profar’s one-out single. Kim Ha-seong singled with two outs in the seventh and scored on Mazara’s double.

“Carrasco was the story of the game, I thought,” Showalter said. “He was sharp. Big out, the last one.”

Carrasco ended his night by striking out Alfaro with a runner on second.

“He was able to kind of get our bullpen back on their feet a little bit,” Showalter said.

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The Mets tagged Blake Snell (0-3) for three runs in a plodding first inning that took 27 minutes while the left-hander threw 43 pitches. He allowed Starling Marte’s one-out single, struck out Francisco Lindor and then issued three straight walks to force in a run. Escobar followed with a two-run single.

The Padres had Nabil Crismatt warming in the bullpen before Snell retired Jeff McNeil.

Escobar doubled leading off the fourth and scored on Brandon Nimmo’s two-out single. J.D. Davis hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Luke Voit hit a three-run homer for San Diego off Drew Smith with two outs in the eighth, his fifth. The ball bounced off the top off the wall in left-center and back onto the filed, and Voit paused at second. After an umpire review, it was ruled a homer.

STAR POWER

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Former Michigan and San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher threw out the ceremonial first pitch on behalf of the ALS Association. His son, Mark, was diagnosed with ALS several years ago and continues to work as an assistant hoops coach at SDSU. … Tennis great “Rocket” Rod Laver and Fred Lynn, the 1975 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, chatted up Padres manager Bob Melvin before the game and then shared a laugh with Fisher. Laver, Lynn and Fisher all live in northern San Diego County.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: SS Fernando Tatis Jr. is due to have another bone scan later this week on his surgically repaired left wrist, Melvin said. The Padres want to see enough improvement in the wrist before letting Tatis swing a bat. He has been running, taking grounders and throwing. He broke his wrist in the offseason, reportedly in a motorcycle accident in his native Dominican Republic.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Taijuan Walker (3-1, 2.88 ERA) and Padres RHP Yu Darvish (4-3, 4.03) are scheduled to start Tuesday night in the middle game of the series. Walker has a 1.97 ERA in six career starts against San Diego.

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José Ramírez and Josh Naylor homer in Guardians' 8-0 victory over Blue Jays

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José Ramírez and Josh Naylor both hit home runs in the Cleveland Guardians’ 8-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.



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Novak Djokovic withdraws from Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati due to COVID-19 vaccination status

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World No. 6 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati because of his COVID-19 vaccination status. The unvaccinated tennis star’s participation in the US Open, which begins on Aug. 29, is still uncertain.

The hard-court tournament in Cincinnati is set to take place Aug 13- 21. At this moment, unvaccinated foreigners are not allowed to travel to Canada or the United States. Earlier this month, Djokovic had to pull out from the Canadian Open in Montreal. He also had to miss the Australian Open in January after being deported from the country due to his unvaccinated status.

Djokovic has won the US Open three times and was the runner-up last year, falling to Daniil Medvedev in the title game. The Serbian star has registered 21 major championships and is still fresh off his seventh career Wimbledon title. He only needs one more Grand Slam title to tie Rafael Nadal for the men’s record, but he has already said publicly that he does not intend on getting the vaccine.

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“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic said after his Wimbledon win. “I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about.”

Djokovic doesn’t necessarily need to rule out the US Open yet, as the CDC could still change its guidelines to allow unvaccinated travelers into the country in the next few weeks.

“This updated guidance is intended to apply to community settings,” reads the CDC page. “In the coming weeks CDC will work to align stand-alone guidance documents, such as those for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel, with today’s update.”

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Phillies' OF Matt Vierling prevents Mets from winning in walk-off fashion after throwing out Starling Marte at home

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The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the New York Mets in extra innings after OF Matt Vierling threw out a tagging Starling Marte who would have been the winning run.



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