Michael Conforto delivered an improbable home run and the St. Lucie Mets hung on to beat the Palm Beach Cardinals 4-3 in one of the most exciting games of the season at Roger Dean Stadium.
Conforto hit an opposite field homer to left on an 0-2 count with two outs in the ninth to break a 3-3 tie. He hit it off of Josh Lucas, who hadn’t allowed a home run all year and had given up just one earned run in 22 innings.
The long ball was the first for Conforto since April 26. He now has seven on the season. The Mets hadn’t hit a home run since May 3, a span on 16 games.
The excitement didn’t end with Conforto’s home run. In the bottom of the ninth, Akeel Morris gave up a one-out hit to Juan Herrera with Robelys Reyes at second base. Reyes tried to score but was thrown out at home plate by center fielder Yeixon Ruiz.
Morris then got C.J. McElroy to ground out to end the game, stranding Herrera as the tying run at second base. It was the sixth save of the season for Morris and his third in four days.
The Mets scored a run in the first inning on a sac fly by Miakis De La Cruz, and Dominic Smith made it 2-0 in the third on an RBI double that plated Conforto.
Palm Beach rallied for all three of its runs in the bottom of the third against Logan Taylor. Bruce Caldwell drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single. Luke Voit followed with a fielders choice that brought in the go-ahead run to put the Cardinals up 3-2.
The Mets stranded eight base runners in their first four innings and looked like they were going to waste a leadoff double by Ruiz in the seventh. However, with two outs De La Cruz bailed out the offense with a single up the middle to score Ruiz and tie the game 3-3.
Taylor allowed a couple of two-out infield hits in the seventh and Kelly Secrest came in to retire Bruce Caldwell to keep the Cardinals off the board. Secrest also pitched a perfect eighth.
Taylor made his best start of the season. He gave up three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out seven.
Cardinals starter Luke Weaver did not factor into the decision. The Mets managed eight hits off him in five innings but he only allowed two to score.
Lucas took the loss.
The Mets ended up with 12 hits in the game. Only Phil Evans was held hitless.
Ruiz went 3 for 5 from the leadoff spot. Both Conforto and Jeff McNeil had two hits apiece.
Herrera went 4 for 4 from the ninth spot in the Cardinals order.
The Mets took two of three in the series and won back-to-back series for the first time this year.. Team press release