NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor blamed his apparent dugout dustup with Jeff McNeil on a runaway rodent. One saw a rat, he claimed, and the other a raccoon.
The story stunk like a skunk, but either way, the night ended in a New York Mets victory.
Lindor gathered himself and hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh inning, setting up the Mets’ extra-innings rally to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Friday night. New York walked off with a victory when designated runner Pete Alonso scored on pinch-hitter Patrick Mazeika’s fielder’s choice.
A day after snapping an 0-for-26 slide with a ninth-inning single in St. Louis, Lindor produced his biggest moment since signing a $341 million, 10-year deal with the Mets. He tied the game by hitting a 2-2 changeup from left-hander Caleb Smith.
The drive came a half-inning after he and second baseman McNeil combined to misplay a grounder. Moments later, after the inning ended, Mets players rushed into the tunnel adjacent to their dugout, sensing a commotion.
Lindor acknowledged after the game that he and McNeil were having a disagreement, but he claimed it had nothing to do with baseball.
“It was funny, I told him, I was like, ‘I’ve never seen a New York rat,'” Lindor said, grinning widely. “So we went down sprinting. I wanted to go see a New York rat, and (McNeil) got mad at me and was like ’It’s not a rat, it’s a racoon.’”