Mets beat Marlins 3-2 on disputed hit by pitch in 9th

·2 min read

NEW YORK — Jeff McNeil launched a tying homer in the bottom of the ninth inning on his 29th birthday and the New York Mets were handed the winning run on a disputed hit by pitch for a bizarre 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins in their home opener Thursday.

With the bases loaded and one out, a scuffling Michael Conforto appeared to stick out his right elbow pad just enough to get it grazed by a 1-2 breaking ball from closer Anthony Bass that looked to be in the strike zone.

Plate umpire and crew chief Ron Kulpa at first signalled strike, then quickly ruled Conforto was hit by the pitch. Conforto headed toward first base as Luis Guillorme scored and the Mets celebrated a comeback win in front of the first crowd at Citi Field in 557 days.

Marlins players and manager Don Mattingly argued with Kulpa before a replay review was initiated. The review lasted 58 seconds, and the call was upheld.

According to baseball rules, if a batter is hit by a pitch in the strike zone, the pitch should be called a strike. According to replay rules, however, whether the pitch was in the strike zone or the batter made any attempt to get out of the way is not subject to video review. Those are umpire judgment calls. Only whether the ball touched the batter is reviewable.

The official explanation from the replay supervisor in Manhattan was this: “After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the ball struck the batter. The call is confirmed, it is a hit by pitch.”

Edwin Diaz (1-0) worked a hitless inning in his first outing of the season.

Bass (0-2) has blown both his save chances with the Marlins (1-6) and lost both games. McNeil homered leading off the ninth, sending a 3-1 pitch into the second deck in right field. He tossed his bat aside and turned to the Mets’ bench before rounding the bases.

CUBS 4, PIRATES 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jayy Baez hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning in Chicago's victory over Pittsburgh.

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo also homered as the Cubs pounded out a season-high 11 hits against Tyler Anderson (0-2) and four relievers. Baez, Rizzo, Bryant and Jake Marisnick had two hits each to help Chicago raise its major league-worst batting average from .143 to .157.

Jake Arrieta (2-0) survived a sometimes wobbly six innings, and Craig Kimbrel got five outs for his second save.

Pittsburgh has dropped six straight.

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The Associated Press