NEW YORK -- In the National League, Asdrubal Cabrera says, "there's never a day off." Even when Cabrera arrived at Citi Field on Sunday and saw his name not listed on the lineup card for just the third time in 42 games, Cabrera knew there was a good chance he
NEW YORK -- In the National League, Asdrubal Cabrera says, "there's never a day off." Even when Cabrera arrived at Citi Field on Sunday and saw his name not listed on the lineup card for just the third time in 42 games, Cabrera knew there was a good chance he would play. By the middle innings, with the Mets locked in a tie game, Cabrera began warming for an opportunity he considered inevitable.
All season, the Mets have relied on Cabrera, their most consistent hitter, as others have slumped or succumbed to injuries. They did so again on Sunday, when Cabrera's pinch-hit, go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh lifted the Mets to a 4-1 win over the D-backs.
Amed Rosario also notched his first two homers this season for the Mets, who capped their first series sweep of at least three games at Citi Field since 2016.
"Those are the things that we were missing," manager Mickey Callaway said. "Today's game, for six or seven innings, looked like the games that we've been playing for the last six weeks. … We just hadn't been getting those timely hits that we need to win games. We've been getting those [kinds of hits] the last few days."
For the first five innings, the Mets accomplished little against Clay Buchholz, whom the D-backs recently signed to a Minor League deal. In his season debut, the former Red Sox All-Star kept the Mets scoreless, until Rosario led off the sixth with his first home run since last August.
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo did not let Buchholz face another batter, turning the game over to a bullpen that held the Mets scoreless until Cabrera came to the plate with a man on base and two outs in the seventh. Facing Jorge De La Rosa, Cabrera lifted a 2-2 cutter over the left-field fence for his seventh homer.
"We've got to keep fighting," said Cabrera, whose .321 average ranks fifth in the National League. "We've got to come every day to do our best to win the games."
Following Cabrera's home run with his second long ball of the game, Rosario helped make a winner out of Noah Syndergaard, who struck out seven over seven innings. The only blemish against Syndergaard came in the second inning, when the D-backs turned two hits and a groundout into a run-scoring rally.
"That was a huge sweep," Syndergaard said. "We had kind of been struggling a little bit. But just as easily as we were struggling, it's that easy to turn it around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bruce cuts down run at home: Arizona's best chance to extend its lead came after Jeff Mathis reached on an error to lead off the fifth inning, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter, David Peralta, laced a single to right field, where Jay Bruce scooped it up and fired a 91.3-mph strike to home plate, according to Statcast™ data. The throw gave plenty of time for catcher Tomas Nido to apply the tag, cutting down what would have been the game's second run.
Un-Familia closer: Disinclined to use closer Jeurys Familia for a third straight day, Callaway instead allowed Robert Gsellman to return to the mound for the ninth inning after retiring the final two batters of the eighth. Facing the heart of Arizona's batting order, including perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, Gsellman struck out the side on 15 pitches.
Rosario (22 years, 181 days old) became the youngest Mets player to homer at least twice in a game since Lastings Milledge (22 years, 177 days) on Sept. 29, 2007. He also became the fourth Met to homer twice from the ninth spot in the lineup, joining Curtis Granderson, Syndergaard and Walt Terrell.
HE SAID IT
"It's amazing that we won all three. This team has confidence." -- Rosario
The Mets skipped Jason Vargas' last turn through the rotation, trying to shake him out of the season-opening funk that saw him go 0-3 with a 13.86 ERA in three outings. He'll return to the Citi Field mound to open a three-game series Monday against the Marlins, who will counter with right-hander Elieser Hernandez in the 7:10 p.m. ET game.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.