Cespedes spearheads Mets’ HR spree

The Associated Press

The New York Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes watches his third home run of the night, in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Yoenis Cespedes slowly circled the bases after each of his three homers, enjoying the results on a sweet night that began with an impressive power stroke in batting practice.

Cespedes became the first Mets player to hit three homers in a game twice and New York went deep seven times to back Matt Harvey in a 14-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Cespedes’ home run trots each took almost 30 seconds. The slugger only connected once in the first seven games.

“Any player that hits three homers would have fun,” he said through an interpreter. “I think I was seeing the ball well.”

Mets manager Terry Collins called Cespedes a “special player” and said he wasn’t surprised by his performance.

“Did you see him in BP? He was hitting them out like a driving range,” Collins said.

Harvey (2-0) left with tightness in his left hamstring after allowing two runs and five hits and striking out six in 5⅔ innings. He said it was just a cramp and expects to make his next start.

“It’s nothing serious,” Harvey said.

Phillies starter Clay Buchholz (0-1) also exited because of an injury, a strained right forearm. He gave up six runs and eight hits in 2⅓ innings. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Buchholz will have an MRI on Wednesday.

Lucas Duda hit two homers and Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud also went deep for New York, which has 46 homers in its last 21 games at Citizens Bank Park.

“They were excited to come here. They like to hit here,” Collins said.

Cespedes fell down on a wild swing on the first pitch he saw, then hit a three-run homer to straightaway center field off Buchholz in the first inning. He connected to deep left in the fourth off Adam Morgan and drove another one way out to left in the fifth against Morgan.

Cespedes hit three homers once before, at Colorado on Aug. 21, 2015. He hit a double and grounder in his last two at-bats.

The Mets entered with a .192 team batting average and eight homers in seven games. Every starter except Harvey had a hit, and they finished with 20. They had 14 extra-base hits, second-most in this ballpark to their 15 on Aug. 24, 2015.

“Another embarrassing game against the Mets,” Mackanin said.


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