DETROIT (AP) — Neil Walker hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the top of the ninth, and the New York Mets avoided a sweep with a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
The Mets were victimized by some bad luck when the Tigers tied it with back-to-back infield singles in the seventh, but after escaping the eighth thanks to a Detroit baserunning blunder, New York retook the lead when Walker went deep off Francisco Rodriguez (1-2).
Anibal Sanchez pitched eight impressive innings for the Tigers, and Jacob deGrom was strong for the Mets in the finale of this three-game series. Addison Reed (3-2) got the win in relief, and Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 39th save in 41 chances.
Michael Conforto homered for the Mets in the seventh.
New York’s 1-0 lead didn’t last long after Conforto’s drive. With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Andrew Romine hit a dribbler toward third for an infield hit. That was it for deGrom, who was replaced by Jerry Blevins.
Pinch-hitter Ian Kinsler then hit a soft chopper that made it past the mound for another infield single, tying the game.
In the eighth, Detroit again had runners on first and second with two outs. Casey McGehee slapped a grounder that deflected off first baseman James Loney and into right field, but this time it was the Mets who caught a break when J.D. Martinez stopped at third instead of coming around to score.
Justin Upton, who had started the play on first, kept running toward third, leaving two Detroit runners in the vicinity of the same base. Right fielder Curtis Granderson patiently ran the ball all the way in, and Martinez was eventually tagged out in a rundown.
Rodriguez hit Alejandro De Aza with a pitch to start the ninth, and Walker followed with a drive to right-center.
Sanchez allowed a run and four hits, striking out 10 with no walks.
DeGrom gave up a run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.