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Rosario launches first two homers of season

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- For most of this season, the Mets have penciled in Amed Rosario at the bottom of their lineup, hitting him ninth in a role that manager Mickey Callaway has described as "training wheels" for the former top prospect.

It hasn't always yielded the results the team hoped. Rosario entered Sunday's game in an 0-for-11 funk, with just three extra-base hits in his last 21 games. But he broke out with solo homers in the sixth and seventh innings of the Mets' 4-1 win over the D-backs, his first home runs since last August.

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NEW YORK -- For most of this season, the Mets have penciled in Amed Rosario at the bottom of their lineup, hitting him ninth in a role that manager Mickey Callaway has described as "training wheels" for the former top prospect.

It hasn't always yielded the results the team hoped. Rosario entered Sunday's game in an 0-for-11 funk, with just three extra-base hits in his last 21 games. But he broke out with solo homers in the sixth and seventh innings of the Mets' 4-1 win over the D-backs, his first home runs since last August.

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"For me, it was amazing," Rosario said. "I'm feeling great."

Looking for a fastball when he came to the plate to lead off the sixth inning, Rosario adjusted on the fly when D-backs starter Clay Buchholz threw him a curve, hitting it a projected 396 feet to left, according to Statcast™. An inning later, he followed Asdrubal Cabrera's go-ahead homer with a long ball of his own, capping the first multi-homer game of his career.

Video: ARI@NYM: Rosario belts his 1st home run of 2018

In its own niche, that was historic; at 22 years, 181 days old, Rosario became the youngest Mets player with a multi-homer game since Lastings Milledge in 2007. The other Mets to accomplish the feat at that age or younger were Jose Reyes, David Wright, Gregg Jefferies, Darryl Strawberry, Ed Kranepool and Ron Swoboda.

"I feel really good about him," Cabrera said. "He's the kid who comes every day to try to learn and to try to get better."

Considering Rosario has been in the Majors for almost a year, it is easy to forget that he remains one of the 10 youngest players in Major League Baseball. (For comparison's sake, fourth-ranked Mets prospect Peter Alonso, who has garnered rave reviews at Double-A Binghamton, is 11 months older than him.) Early in Rosario's tenure, the Mets have done their best to shelter him: batting him ninth, surrounding him with veteran influences such as Cabrera and Reyes and offering him extra work and tutelage. Before most games, Rosario comes out to the field early for one-on-one sessions with a member of the training staff, or for early batting practice with hitting coach Pat Roessler.

The inconsistent results have been notable more because of what fellow youngsters Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Gleyber Torres and others have accomplished in short times as big leaguers. Rosario has been slower to find success at the Major League level.

But it doesn't mean he's doomed to never find it.

"Obviously, Rosie's still a very young player, and needs further development," Callaway said. "We know he has the raw potential, but he'll continue to develop. I think something like this today, two homers, can really kind of get him into a spot where he gets a lot of confidence going, and kind of rides that for a while."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Amed Rosario