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T.J. Rivera 3-Hits, 3-RBI, 1st MLB HR Puts Mets Over Nats In 10

Rookie has career night in Mets needed victory.

ALEX BRANDON/AP

ALEX BRANDON/AP

On a night when the New York Mets needed a victory to stay ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the last Wild Card spot, they received a career game from an unlikely hero. Rookie T.J. Rivera, who had not started a game in nearly three weeks, came through with three-hits and a home run in the top of the 10th inning to put the Mets up for good at 4-3, after the Washington Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

Rivera was penned into the starting role by manager Terry Collins and it was probably one of the best moves by the Mets skipper all season.

The Nationals took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after Wilson Ramos doubled off Noah Syndergaard scoring Bryce Harper, who walked to lead-off the inning.

But the Mets battled back in the top of the third, when T.J. Rivera singled home Asdrubal Cabrera to tie the game at 1-1.

In the top of the fifth, New York broke the 1-1 tie when Curtis Granderson tripled to drive in Yoenis Cespedes, then they add an insurance run on Rivera second RBI of the game, a sac fly to center scoring Granderson from third base.

The Mets summoned Jeurys Familia to close out the game, but the Nats had other plans, as four straight batters reached base, with RBI singles from Anthony Rendon and Ramos to tie the game at 3-3. Familia then worked out of trouble, getting Ryan Zimmerman to line out to first and Clint Robinson hit into an inning ending double play to send the game into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, Rivera came to the plate with one out against closer Mark Melancon, and on an 0-2 count, he calmly launched his first MLB home run over the left field fence to put the Mets up for good at 4-3. The Mets best minor league hitter over his minor league career, is finally where he belongs on the big stage and taking full advantage of the opportunity.

With the victory the Mets improve to 77-68, pull within nine games of first place Nationals and still hold a .5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card race. As for the Nats they drop to 86-59, with their magic number to clinch the NL East remaining at nine games.

Game Notes:

Mets

T.J. Rivera finished the game 3 for  4, with a runs scored, home run and three RBIs.

Starter Noah Syndergaard tossed seven innings, allowing one run on one hit, a walk and struck out 10 batters. Strike out #5 on the night was his 200th on the season.

Nationals

Daniel Murphy continued his hot hitting against his former teammates, as he recorded a hit in his 18th straight game against the Mets this season.

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David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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