Mark Vientos hits walk-off homer to lift Mets to 4-2 comeback win over Cardinals

Mark Vientos Mets Cardinals
New York Mets’ Mark Vientos celebrates after hitting a walkoff home run during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field, Sunday, April 28, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In just his second game back in the big leagues after being recalled from Triple-A, Mark Vientos socked a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the New York Mets to a comeback 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to avoid a series sweep.

“For him to come through in that situation and especially what he’s been through since he got sent down to the minors… here is getting an opportunity today,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza told reporters postgame (h/t SNY). “We know the power to all fields… credit to him. It was awesome to see his reaction once he went deep there.”

Vientos’ homer was the Mets’ first walk-off round-tripper since May 17 of last season. He went 2-for-3 on the day with that home run coming on a 1-2 sinker that was left up in the zone by Cardinals reliever Matthew Liberatore.

“Feels good. Every day to play in the major leagues is a great feeling,” Vientos said. “To be honest with you, I feel like it’s almost a deja vu moment. I feel like I’ve lived that moment every day in my head… Just a great feeling.”

It was the second time in as many at-bats during that 11th inning against Liberatore that Mets magic came with two outs and two strikes. Down to their final strike just one batter earlier, Harrison Bader extended the afternoon with a single up the middle to score DJ Stewart and tie the game at two apiece.

Brendan Donovan broke a 1-1 tie and put the Cardinals up in the top of the 11th with a lead-off single, but boneheaded base-running by the visitors limited their damage off reliever Reed Garrett. Donovan was caught on the basepaths trying to stretch his hit into a double. Willson Contreras walked with one out but appeared to forget how many outs there were as he was doubled up after Francisco Lindor caught Nolan Arenado’s soft pop-up.

Lindor’s fifth home run of the season in the sixth inning canceled out St. Louis’ opener in the fifth to ultimately force extra innings. The result slows down a skid in which the Mets (14-13) lost five of their previous six games.

Two sputtering offenses could not take advantage of the ghost runner in the 10th inning. Garrett struck out a pair in the top half of the frame to keep the Cardinals at bay and set up a chance for the Mets to walk it off for a second straight inning.

A Lindor sacrifice fly got Brandon Nimmo to third with one out in the bottom of the 10th, but Pete Alonso was intentionally walked and DJ Stewart grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Mets’ lack of offensive production spoiled one of the best outings that they got from a starting pitcher this season. Jose Quintana got back on track Sunday with a sterling eight-inning performance in which he allowed just one run on three hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

“It was one hell of a game he pitched,” Mendoza said. “It was a great game… He was really, really good.”

St. Louis’ lone run in regulation came in the fifth inning when Michael Siani’s bunt could not be fielded cleanly by third baseman Brett Baty, which scored Masyn Wynn after he led the inning off with a double.

Lindor responded with a solo home run over the left-center-field fence off Cardinals veteran starter Lance Lynn, who went five innings and allowed that lone run on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks. After going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts on Saturday, Lindor was 1-for-3 on Sunday and has three home runs and five RBI over his last four games.

For more on the Mets, visit AMNY.com