France leads M’s over Mets in their 1st Citi Field game

NEW YORK — Ty France hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning for yet another key hit, and the Seattle Mariners broke through against the Mets bullpen after Max Scherzer tired and beat New York 2-1 Friday night in their first game at Citi Field.

The Mets wore black jerseys on a misty Friday the 13th behind Scherzer, who pitched superbly and left after escaping a seventh-inning jam.

Seattle, which won for just the fourth time in 16 games, went ahead in the eighth after Drew Smith (0-1) walked his first two batters, pinch-hitter Abraham Toro and Adam Frazier.

With the Mets infield shifted for France to pull, he poked a slider on the outside corner down the right-field line. France is 15 for 30 with runners in scoring position this season, the best among qualified batters and far above his .326 average overall.

Paul Sewald (2-1) struck out Starling Marte to strand runners at second and third in the seventh and threw a 1-2-3 eighth in his return to Citi Field, where he pitched for the Mets from 2017-20. The 31-year-old started last season in the minors and revived his career after he was called up by the Mariners in mid-May.

Drew Steckenrider pitched the ninth for his second save, giving the Mariners a win in their first game at the Mets since June 2008 at old Shea Stadium.

After scoring just 40 runs over the previous 15 games, Seattle announced a shakeup of eight roster moves before the game. Jarred Kelenic — acquired from the Mets in the Robinson Canó trade in 2018 — was demoted and Mike Ford and Steven Souza Jr. were inserted for their Mariners debuts.

Scherzer allowed one run and three hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Seattle’s Marco Gonzalez gave up one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and three walks.

Brandon Nimmo reached on an infield hit leading off the game, Marte doubled and Francisco Lindor hit a sacrifice fly.

Scherzer retired his first 10 batters before hitting France in the back. J.P.Crawford followed with a single to right and Jesse Winker hit a two-out RBI single on a high cutter.

Scherzer screamed at Chad Whitson after the umpire called a ball on a 3-2 changeup at the knees, putting two on with one out in the seventh. Souza hit a one-hop smash to third that Eduardo Escobar gloved to start a 5-4-3 double play.

Tomás Nido drew his first walk of the season in his 54th plate appearance with two outs in the bottom half and Brandon Nimmo hit a broken-bat bloop. Rookie center fielder Julio Rodríguez took a slightly circuitous route and tried for a sliding catch, but the ball kicked off his glove for a double that put runners at second and third. Sewald then fanned Marte.


Jeff McNeil reached on an infield hit on the 14th pitch of his at-bat in the second, beating the throw from third baseman Eugenio Suárez, who was shifted to the shortstop hole. It was the Mets’ big league-high 56th infield hit this season.


Seattle optioned Kelenic to Triple-A Tacoma with a .140 average, three homers and 10 RBIs in 30 games. Souza’s contract was selected from Tacoma, Ford reported from San Francisco a day after he was reacquired and RHP Adrian Sampson was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. LHP Danny Young and OF Stuart Fairchild were optioned to the Raniers, and Fairchild and RHP Yohan Ramirez were designated for assignment.


Mariners: RHP Sergio Romo was activated from the 10-day IL. He had been sidelined since April 11 with right shoulder inflammation.

Mets: C James McCann needs surgery for a broken bone in his left wrist and will be sidelined for approximately six weeks. McCann was placed on the 10-day IL and C Patrick Mazeika was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.


RHP George Kirby (0-0), fom suburban Rye, makes his second start for the Mariners on Saturday after allowing four hits in six scoreless in his debut against Tampa Bay last weekend. The 24-year-old struck out seven, walked none and induced 15 swings and misses among 81 pitches. RHP Chris Bassitt (4-2) starts for the Mets.


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