Cespedes maintains hot streak as Mets stretch lead

Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:51am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Yoenis Cespedes was hitless in the series opener against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday but the center fielder was soon hearing "MVP" chants from New York Mets fans a day later.

Cespedes was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and his mammoth two-run homer in the ninth inning capped a 5-1 victory that gave the Mets an 8 1/2-game lead in the National League East with 21 games to play.

"I think he's enjoying this as much as everyone else is," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's caught up in it. He came over and he's in a pennant race... I think it's catchy. We're seeing everything we've ever heard or read about a guy."

Cespedes, who has 33 homers and 100 RBIs overall, has homered in seven of his past 10 games and has 15 home runs and 39 RBIs in 38 games since being acquired by the Mets from the Boston Red Sox.

"He's just a great hitter," Collins said of the Cuban center fielder, who had previous spells at Oakland and Detroit.

"He uses his first at-bat to gauge what he's got to do. This is a new league. He sees what guys are doing and after that he's dangerous. He's got power to all parts of the park."

Cespedes' blast in the ninth, which traveled to the back of the lower seats in left field, came on 3-0 fastball from right-hander Arodys Vizcaino, who had walked right fielder Curtis Granderson to start the inning.

Granderson scored three times, and second baseman Daniel Murphy and left fielder Michael Conforto each had two hits.

The win also meant the Mets picked up a game in the standings when Washington lost 2-1 at Miami.   Continued...

New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Mets defeated the Braves 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports