SEATTLE – Coming here as a kid, Michael Conforto thought Safeco Field was huge. This is where Conforto watched his childhood baseball heroes and dreamed of becoming a major leaguer. Friday, when the Seattle native and now veteran of almost two full major league seasons went out to look around his childhood field of dreams before the series opener, he was surprised.
“When I played here in high school, it looked so big. I thought it was huge,” Conforto said. “Now, it looks kind of small.”
The Mets outfielder certainly made it look small Friday with his fourth career multi-home run regular season game. Conforto hammered two solo shots, sparking the Mets come-from-behind, 7-5 win over the Mariners.
“It’s a little more special here. It’s a dream come true for me to be able to play out here, let alone hit two home runs and get a comeback win,” Conforto said. “It was a really fun game just all around. Just a great experience for me.”
The Mets (48-53) snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the third time this season when trailing after seven innings. The Mariners (51-53) lost their second straight.
Conforto’s second homer of the night, an eighth-inning shot into the stands in right field off Mariners’ lefty Marc Rzepczynski, tied the game.
“He’s got a great fan base here, he had a lot of people tonight. It was exciting for him and a win for us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “It took a lot of people. Mike had a big night, but he had some help.”
Neil Walker’s single off David Phelps to left field, his first hit since his return from the DL later in the inning gave the Mets the lead. Curtis Granderson’s single off the glove of first baseman Danny Valencia gave the Mets an insurance run.
Paul Sewald worked in and out of a jam in the eighth to hold the lead and Addison Reed, who the Mets seemingly have already replaced with their in-game trade for Marlins closer A.J. Ramos, picked up his 19th save out of 21 chances this season.
The Mets needed the late-inning dramatics after Rafael Montero’s fifth-inning meltdown.
After holding the Mariners to one run on one hit in the first four innings, the Mets right-hander gave up five runs on two hits and three walks in the fifth.
He finished having allowed five runs on three hits and five walks. Montero struck out five and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch.
Jay Bruce, who is very aware that the Mets are shopping him around ahead of Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, is keeping up his end of the bargain. He homered in his first at-bat Friday night, his second in as many games and at-bats. The two-run shot gave him 27 homers on the season and 72 RBI.
Conforto also homered to lead off the third inning, something he could not even have imagined the last time he played here. As a 16-year old, Conforto got to taking batting practice here and play an abbreviated game.
“It’s a little surreal,” Conforto said. “Last time I was here on the field, I was 16 years old and taking batting practice and wasn’t getting anywhere close to hitting balls out of this park. Now it feels a little smaller. Definitely was surreal.”
PLAY OF THE GAME
After Neil Walker bobbled the ball on the first hitter of the inning, he started a critical double play to get Addison Reed and the Mets out of a jam in the ninth inning.
Walker’s first hit coming off the disabled list, an opposite field ground ball single, drove in the go-ahead run and highlighted the Mets ’three run eighth inning.
STAR OF THE GAME
Hometown boy Michael Conforto hammered two homers (both off lefthanders) in his first game back in Seattle as a professional.
STAT OF THE DAY
3. Friday was just the Mets’ third win when trailing after seven innings. The Mets are just 3-40 when down after seven this season.
Jay Bruce drove in two more runs with his first-inning homer, his 27th
Rafael Montero lost the strike zone, allowing five earned runs on three hits, five walks and a wild pitch. He struck out five.
Saturday at Seattle, 4:10 p.m.
RHP Jacob deGrom (12-3, 3.30) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (4-7, 5.58)