BOSTON (AP)J.D. Davis banged a two-run homer off the Pesky Pole, and left-hander David Peterson pitched 5 2/3 innings to win his major league debut and lead the New York Mets to an 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
The Mets swept the two-game series and sent the Red Sox to their fourth consecutive loss. The teams now move to New York for another two games at Citi Field.
Peterson allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out three on the day he was called up from the team’s alternate training site. He allowed a hard-hit ball off the Green Monster to leadoff batter Jose Peraza, but Davis threw Peraza out trying to stretch it into a double.
The 2017 first-round draft pick then struck out J.D. Martinez – getting the ball as a souvenir – and retired Rafael Devers on a groundout to end the inning.
”This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid,” said Peterson, who was first drafted by the Red Sox before opting to play college ball at Oregon. ”I couldn’t ask for much more. It all came together. One of the best days of my life and I’ll never forget this.”
The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the second when Matt Hall, making his 2020 debut, gave up an RBI double to Robinson Cano and a two-run single to Amed Rosario. In all, Hall allowed three runs on three hits and two walks, striking out three in 2 2/3 innings.
Davis hit his two-run shot in the fifth to make it 5-1.
”I got the baseball and it has a little bit of the Pesky Pole paint on that,” Davis said. ”I’m going to give it to my dad. So it’s pretty cool.”
The Mets added three more in the eighth when Brandon Nimmo doubled in one run and Jeff McNeil doubled in two more to make it 8-2.
Peterson pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third – with a lot of help from some bad Boston baserunning.
Boston had already cost itself a potential run when Peraza hit a deep fly ball to right-center that bounced out of Nimmo’s glove for a single. Kevin Plawecki, who had been on second, returned to the bag to tag up, and was only able to advance to third.
One out later, Rafael Devers lined the ball to second baseman Cano, who was ruled to catch it on a short hop by umpire Chad Whitson. Cano flipped it to second for the force out. Andrew Benintendi, who had been on second, then left the base and was tagged out after a brief rundown for the third out.
Because of the rundown, Plawecki was able to score and make it 3-1.
”We had a big opportunity,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said. ”And then I think, the feeling, the momentum changes.”
”We need to get some big hits when we had the runners out there, and teams are just doing it to us. We think we’re one out away from keeping the game close and the next thing you know today we had a home run off the foul pole. We need to have things change around, no question.”
Peterson became the first Mets starting pitcher to win his major league debut since Steven Matz in 2015.
”Bases loaded, no out, you’re facing that tough lineup, and that kid (Peterson) was not shying away,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. ”That’s his first outing. He handled himself like it was one of many.”
A day after lamenting his inability to enter the Green Monster during his first visit to Fenway Park, Pete Alonso was able to get inside.
Alonso said after Monday night’s game that he wasn’t allowed into the cramped area where the scoreboard keeper sits during games because of COVID-19 restrictions. It’s always a highlight for visiting players, especially rookies and those in the NL who rarely get to visit Boston.
”I was really upset that this year we’re not able to do it,” he said after the Mets won the series opener. ”Hopefully, I can finagle my way in there tomorrow.”
On Tuesday, Alonso posted a picture on Instagram of his signature on a splotch of green paint with the caption: ”Forever on the green monster!!! One of many names and a part of baseball history.”
Alonso’s homer on Monday was clocked at 116.3 mph – the third hardest-hit homer for the Mets since the start of the 2019 season. (He also hit the other two.) The ball hit hard off the wall in the seating area, missing the cutouts taking the place of fans in the Monster Seats this season.
Alonso didn’t homer on Tuesday, but he did endanger some imaginary fans when he threw his bat into the third-base box seats in the first inning.
Mets: Jacob deGrom (0-0) starts as the series moves to New York. The Mets righty has not allowed a run in 28 innings, including an opening day no-decision in which he shut out the Braves for five innings, striking out eight and allowing just one hit and one walk.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) has earned Boston’s only win this season, allowing one run in six innings against Baltimore in the opener.
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