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Rays beat Mets 3-1, spoiling strong MLB debut for New York’s Scott; Cash scores 755th win

Zack Littell delivers for Rays in win over Mets
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell delivers to the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game on Saturday, May 4, 2024 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Pinch hitter Austin Shenton’s bases-loaded walk scored a tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Saturday night.

Adam Ottavino (1-1) was about to get out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the eighth after shortstop Francisco Lindor made a throw home for a force out at the plate on Randy Arozarena’s high hopper.

However, Shenton drew a walk to complete a nine-pitch plate appearance before José Caballero got a free pass from Sean Reid-Foley to make it 3–1.

Jason Adam (2-0) worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth before Phil Maton scored the ninth for his first save.

Rays manager Kevin Cash won his 755th game, passing Joe Maddon for the most wins in team history.

“They were pretty excited,” Cash said. “We have some good guys. I’m grateful for all of them and guys from the past. It was a nice day.”

The players celebrated by throwing Cash into a cart and “spraying everything you can imagine on me,” the 46-year-old manager said. “Beer, champagne shaving cream…think baby powder.”

Mets righthander Christian Scott starred in his Major League debut, allowing one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Coconut Creek, Florida, native struck out six and walked one.

“It was great,” Scott said. “I had a lot of family here. I felt very comfortable there. I really trusted my stuff.”

Scott gave his first strikeout ball to his parents.

After the game, Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said Scott will remain in the rotation.

Scott’s first three batters in the first inning reached singles, including an RBI single by Isaac Paredes. The 24-year-old prevented further damage by striking out Randy Arozarena on a 3-2, 96 mph fastball, and getting a double play grounder from Harold Ramírez.

“He kept making pitches, got his ground ball and we turned the double play,” Mendoza said. “And then the lights went out.”

Scott retired 12 in a row before Ben Rortvedt hit a one-out single in the fifth. He ended the inning and stranded a runner on third base on a strikeout by Jose Siri.

Rortvedt singled past Scott on his 94th – and final – pitch with two outs in the seventh. Scott threw 67 strikes and received a standing ovation from the Mets fans in attendance as he left.

The Mets took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Nimmo doubled on Zack Littell’s first pitch and scored on Starling Marte’s single.

Littell gave up one run, six hits and struck out seven in six innings. The right-hander saw his ERA drop from 3.27 to 3.00.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Kevin Cash said there will be discussions about the return of RHP Taj Bradley (right pec) after his strong six-inning performance Friday for Triple-A Durham. Cash doesn’t expect to use a six-man rotation, meaning struggling RHP Aaron Civale or LHP Tyler Alexander could be cut. … RHP Shane Baz (Tommy John surgery) allowed three runs and three hits over three innings for Triple-A Durham in his first start since July 10, 2022.

NEXT ONE

Mets RHP Luis Severino (2-2, 2.31 ERA) and Rays RHP Ryan Pepiot (3-2, 3.12 ERA) are Sunday’s starters. Severino took a no-hitter in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB