OAKLAND -- The Mets scored six runs on five walks and just one hit in the second inning of their series opener in Oakland. And as if that wasn't enough, they did it again -- six runs, this time on five walks, two hit batters and a knock -- three innings later.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets are the first team to score six or more runs on one or no hits in two separate innings in the same game since at least 1957. It's only happened twice in a season just once since '74, in two separate games by two different teams in '98.
That feat was more than enough to lift the Mets over the A's, 17-6 on Friday night, despite a subpar outing from Japanese rookie Kodai Senga in his third big league start. Though they were outhit 13-11, New York batters drew an astounding 17 free passes, setting the club’s single-game franchise record that had not been cracked since its inaugural season in 1962.
Per OptaStats, the Mets are the only team in the Modern Era (since 1901) to walk at least 17 times and score at least 17 runs on the road.
"When we're going well," manager Buck Showalter said, "we're real selective."
Francisco Lindor had both hits in New York's six-run innings, tying his single-game record with seven RBIs on a pair of knocks from both sides of the plate. He swatted a grand slam off A's starter James Kaprielian in the second while batting left-handed, then turned around and laced a three-run double to left field from the right-hand side in the fifth.
"Walks nowadays are like hits," Lindor said. "It was huge. We passed the baton. No one was trying to be the hero. We really focused on trying to get a good pitch, and if it wasn't there, we'll take it."
Though Lindor has had a somewhat slow start to the season, the 29-year-old switch-hitter has begun heating up in recent days, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games but getting most of his production from the right-hand side. Entering Friday, Lindor was batting 70 points higher right-handed (.261) as opposed to left-handed (.191).
Coming through twice with the bases loaded was rewarding, but getting some pop from both sides was even better.
"There's not too many days that my body aligns and feels good from both sides," Lindor said, "and today was one of those days."
Though the Mets' lineup thoroughly enjoyed getting their steps in, the long half-innings had an adverse effect on Senga. The 30-year-old righty struggled with command on Friday night, walking four batters and allowing seven hits, including a pair of home runs.
"I don't think I was able to pitch my own game," Senga said in Japanese through interpreter Hiro Fujiwara. "It kind of dragged on from the other side, and I let that bring me down a little bit."
The Mets sent nine batters to the plate in the second inning and batted around in the fifth, resulting in some lengthy gaps between ups for Senga. He went out to the bullpen to stay warmed up in the top of the fifth inning but was still thrown off by a combination of the chilly temperature and the extended innings.
"That's just something I need to prepare for next time," Senga said. "If I pitch here again in the coming years, I just need to make adjustments."
In his first two starts, both against the Marlins, Senga had allowed two earned runs on six hits across 11 1/3 innings. On Friday, he was charged with four earned runs and left the game one out shy of becoming the first Mets pitcher to win each of his first three career starts.
Though it wasn't his sharpest outing, Senga still wowed as he introduced A's batters to his "ghost fork," which was in fine working order. He got four of his seven strikeouts on his signature offering, which made quite the impression on the opposing side.
“I saw several of them," A's designated hitter Brent Rooker said. "One in the first at-bat that bounced about 43 feet, and I swung at it. I think I grounded out on it in my third at-bat. His stuff is electric. It’s what it’s advertised to have been."