OAKLAND, Calif. — Chris Bassitt pitched eight innings in his return to Oakland, Eduardo Escobar hit a grand slam and the New York Mets extended their lead in the NL East with a 9-2 blowout on Friday. to the Athletics.
Brandon Nimmo and Mark Vientos each had a pair of RBIs for the Mets, who lead Atlanta 2 1/2 games in the division. The Braves lost 9-1 in Philadelphia.
New York has seven wins in eight games giving it a small cushion in close divisional contention before its trip to Atlanta, where it will play three games next weekend.
The Mets are guaranteed the top wild-card spot if they don’t win the division title, and if they finish behind the Braves they are guaranteed to host the wild-card series, with the winner being the one who wins two of three games.
Bassitt (15-8), traded from Oakland to the Mets before the season, didn’t give his old team much of a chance, allowing two runs and six hits.
Bassitt’s 2.43 ERA in 41 starts at the Coliseum is third-best behind Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter and Vida Blue among players who have made at least 20 starts at this ballpark.
Bassitt had all the support he needed in a three-run second inning thanks to an RBI single by Winds and a two-run single by Nimmo off Cole Irvin (9-12).
For the Athletics, the Colombian Jordan Díaz 1-1. Puerto Rican Vimael Machin 4-0. Dominicans Christian Pache 1-0 and Dermis García 3-1, one scored, one RBI.
For the Mets, Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor 5-1. Venezuelan Eduardo Escobar 5-1, two runs scored, four produced.
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Mets overtake Oakland with Escobar’s grand slam