By JAKE SEINER
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor lined a walk-off single in the 10th after a big stretch by Pete Alonso bailed out him and the Mets in the top of the inning, and New York beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 Tuesday to open a doubleheader.
Lindor ripped a clean single to center against Jarlín García (1-1), scoring automatic runner Brandon Nimmo from third. He was mobbed by teammates in the infield, with Alonso trying to rip off his uniform.
Alonso certainly earned the souvenir. A half-inning earlier, Lindor’s throw on Thairo Estrada’s grounder pulled the first baseman off the bag, apparently allowing Brandon Belt to score from third with two outs.
Replays showed Alonso just barely held the base with his right foot — Alonso jumped for joy when a freeze frame appeared on the video board — and umpires overruled the safe call. The grab kept Adam Ottavino (1-0) in line for the win.
Nimmo began the 10th as the Mets’ automatic runner after a late double switch in the top of the inning — a move allowed by umpires that drew an argument from Giants manager Gabe Kapler. If the swap hadn’t been granted, New York would’ve been stuck with backup catcher Tomás Nido at second.
Two of baseball’s best teams early this season, the Mets and Giants were each set to play at least 18 innings in one day for the first time since 2019. Pandemic-era seven-inning doubleheaders are gone, but automatic runners in extra innings remained.
The Mets nearly ended it in the ninth, when Giants closer Camilo Doval walked Eduardo Escobar and Robinson Canó leading off the ninth. Pinch-hitter Luis Guillorme — clean shaven after years with a long beard — sacrificed them to second and third, but Doval gathered himself and struck out Travis Jankowski and pinch-hitter Dominic Smith swinging to force extras.
Joc Pederson hit a solo homer and Brandon Crawford had two RBIs as the Giants pounced early against Mets starter Tylor Megill for a 4-1 lead. New York erased that in the fifth, when starter Alex Cobb left with an injury before Francisco Lindor’s tying RBI double off reliever Dominic Leone.
Neither Cobb nor Megill quite lived up to the standards set by their rotations this season.
Cobb became the first Giants starter in 10 games to allow more than two earned runs, ending the second-longest such streak to begin a season in the majors since 1901. He gave up run No. 3 on Jeff McNeil’s two-run double in the fifth, then promptly left with a right groin injury.
Megill ended a streak by Mets starters of eight straight games allowing one or zero earned runs, which matched a franchise record. The big right-hander had thrown 17 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings dating to last season before Pederson’s leadoff shot in the second.
He recovered and grinded through six innings, preserving a 4-4 tie with seven hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
Starling Marte put New York ahead 1-0 by himself in the first inning. He singled, stole second, took third on an overthrow, then scored on Cobb’s wild pitch.
New York didn’t announce a lineup until roughly 30 minutes before first pitch while waiting to see if outfielders Nimmo and Mark Canha would be cleared from COVID-19 protocols. Nimmo was activated but Canha was not. Neither was in the lineup. Nimmo wore a face mask on the bench.
Bench coach Glenn Sherlock is also away from the team, and manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday that Sherlock was “not close” to returning.
Giants: IF/OF Jason Vosler was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento for the opener. IF/OF Luke Williams was optioned to Triple-A, but remained with the Giants as their 29th man for the doubleheader.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (right shoulder) will have a new round of imaging taken next Monday. Showalter said he’s progressing as hoped. … RHP Taijuan Walker (right shoulder) will make a rehab start in extended spring training Wednesday.
A showdown of aces in the nightcap, with Giants RHP Logan Webb (1-0, 1.29 ERA) facing Mets RHP Max Scherzer (2-0, 3.27), making his first home start in Queens.
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