Pinch-hitter Davis slams door on Cincinnati

HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- After a demoralizing start to the season where nothing seemed to go their way, the New York Mets are making all the right calls.

Pinch-hitter Ike Davis hit a walkoff grand slam one batter after manager Terry Collins won his first replay challenge, and the Mets rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 Saturday.

"That was tremendous ending especially for Ike going thru what he's going through," Collins said. "To come in in a big situation and come through, that's great stuff."

Brandon Phillips gave the Reds a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer off Dillon Gee in the eighth, two innings after Curtis Granderson connected for a two-run drive off Johnny Cueto, his first homer with the Mets.

Trailing by a run in the ninth, Juan Lagares walked leading off against fill-in closer J.J. Hoover.

Anthony Recker got a bunt down on a ball that was above his eyes, and first baseman Joey Votto threw to shortstop Zack Cozart covering second. Second base umpire James Hoye called Lagares out.

Running down the first base line, Recker knew the Mets had an opportunity.

"As soon as he called him out I was thinking to myself how we should challenge it," Recker said.

So was Collins.

After a review of 2 minutes, 14 seconds, the call was overturned by crew chief John Hirschbeck.

"You've got to go out," Collins said. "Took a chance. But you've got to. It's just a close play anyway. We've got that opportunity to challenge that, so I had to take a shot at it."

Reds first-year manager Bryan Price agreed with the call.

"They got it right and as frustrating as it was, we anticipated we were going to get the switch," Price said.

Hoover (1-1), pitching the ninth for Aroldis Chapman who is out after being hit in the face by a line drive during spring training, then walked Ruben Tejada to load the bases.

"That leadoff walk, didn't give myself any chance really," Hoover said.

Davis lost his starting first base job to Lucas Duda a day earlier, but was called on to hit in the pitcher's spot and lined a 0-1 curveball off the facing of the right field porch, setting off a gleeful celebration at Citi Field that included a whipped cream pie in Davis' face.

Collins said Davis will start Sunday against Alfredo Simon, a decision made before the game.

"As long as Duda keeps hitting that's going to be my role," Davis said.

Duda hit two homers Friday night in the Mets' 4-3 win over the Reds.

The Mets won their second straight after being swept by Washington in three games to open the season. Cincinnati dropped to 1-4 for the first time since 2003, when it finished 69-93.

The Mets beleaguered bullpen came through, too. Scott Rice got two outs and Carlos Torres (1-0) worked a scoreless ninth to give the Mets a chance.

In a blustery wind with gusts up to 35 mph that sent papers swirling around Citi Field, Cueto and Gee were dominant early against two of the league's worst hitting teams thus far.

Cueto didn't allow a hit until Tejada doubled with one out in the fifth inning and Gee was perfect until Tucker Barnhart, subbing for injured catcher Devin Mesoraco (oblique strain), lined his first big league hit to right field with one out in the third.

Cueto gave up five hits and two runs, lifting any lingering worry about his health after he made only 11 starts last season. He struck out nine and walked three -- one intentionally.

Gee allowed six hits and a walk. He struck out four.

BLUE JAYS 4, YANKEES 0

TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey and three relievers combined for a shutout, Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera homered and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees, 4-0.

Dickey (1-0) allowed six runs and five hits in his season-opening start at Tampa Bay last Monday but was much sharper against New York. The 2012 NL Cy Young winner gave up five hits in 62/3 innings, walked one and struck out six.

Aaron Loup got one out and Brett Cecil two before Sergio Santos worked the final 1 1-3 innings for his second save in as many chances.

Cabrera, who homered off Masahiro Tanaka in the first inning Friday, gave the Blue Jays some breathing room with a one-out drive off David Phelps in the eighth.

ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead RBI double with two outs in the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 Saturday.

Alex Gordon doubled off left-hander Scott Downs (0-1) before Perez hit Maikel Cleto's second pitch down the left-field line.

Wade Davis (1-1) let the White Sox tie it at three when gave up two runs in the eighth on two singles, a walk, a hit batter and sacrifice fly.

Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki prevented the White Sox from taking a lead when he made a lunging catch of Alexei Ramirez line drive to end the eighth with two runners on base.

MARINERS 3, ATHLETICS 1

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Felix Hernandez took a shutout into the ninth inning, Dustin Ackley and Abraham Almonte hit home runs and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics, 3-1.

Hernandez (2-0) retired the first 11 batters on the way to his 16th career win over the Athletics, his most against any team. Hernandez walked one and struck out eight while allowing a run on six hits over 81/3 innings.

Fernando Rodney got the final two outs to record his first save with the Mariners. Robinson Cano had two hits.

Dan Straily (0-1) allowed three runs on six hits over his six innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

Straily carried a shutout into the fifth inning before Ackley's towering two-run shot gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead.

PHILLIES 2, CUBS 0

CHICAGO -- Chase Utley went 3-for-3 and homered for the second day in a row, and Cliff Lee pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Dominic Brown drove in Utley for the Phillies' other run with a single in the fourth inning.

Lee (2-0) allowed 10 hits and had just one 1-2-3 inning. But it never felt as if he was in trouble. He worked on the edges of both sides of the plate and kept the Cubs hitters off balance. Four of his six strikeouts were called third strikes.

The Cubs wasted another strong start from Jeff Samardzija (0-1), who allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out eight.

GIANTS 7, DODGERS 2

LOS ANGELES -- Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 while working into the seventh inning and San Francisco Giants hit three home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yasiel Puig.

Puig started in right field and batted leadoff for the Dodgers a day after he was benched for arriving late for stretching and batting practice.

Michael Morse had a solo shot in the fourth inning and the Giants got back-to-back homers in the fifth from Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey.

Bumgarner (1-0) was charged with two runs and hit hits in 61/3 innings and struck out 10 in his second outing.

Paul Maholm (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits through 41/3 innings in his first start for the Dodgers.

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