Tuesday's MLB: Mets fan makes HR catch with baby in hand; Reds finally win in Boston

Jack Seiner
Associated Press
Alan Alcantara holds his 1-year-old son, Levi, at the New York Mets' game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in New York.

New York — Alan Alcantara played a lot of baseball growing up in the Dominican Republic, sometimes without a glove.

When the Mets’ Starling Marte ripped a home run in Alcantara’s direction at Citi Field on Tuesday night, it didn’t matter that he was holding his 1-year-old son, Levi. Alcantara had a free hand, and that’s all he needed.

The 31-year-old Alcantara reached over a railing from his seats in center field and caught the first-inning homer barehanded, all the while cradling little Levi with his other arm. The Mets had 17 hits in a 10-0 win over the Nationals.

Are you kidding?! Dad makes 1-handed catch with baby in tow

“I knew I was not going to have time to put the baby down,” Alcantara told The Associated Press. “So I decided to just hold on tight to him, jump on the rail and see if I could catch the ball. And we did.”

The SNY broadcast captured Alcantara’s catch, with stunned play-by-play man Gary Cohen asking “did he catch that?” and declaring “this man will go viral.”

Indeed, a coworker of Alcantara’s wife sent them a screengrab of the catch moments later. The Alcantaras were at the game between Washington and the Mets as part of an organized church group, and other members watching from home also reached out quickly when they saw the grab.

“As soon as it came off the bat, I knew it was coming my way,” he said. “So it was just a matter of seeing where it was going to land. It was just a quick reaction.”

Alcantara, a resident of the Ridgewood neighborhood in Queens for 17 years, said he’d never caught a foul ball or home run at a big league game before.

The barehanded grab?

“Instinct,” he explained. “In Dominican Republic, we don’t all get to have gloves, so we do play baseball barehanded, so I figured I could do it. I did it many times when I was a kid, so why not?”

As Alcantara described the catch a couple of innings later, Levi grabbed the ball out of his dad’s hands, smiled and held it close.

“His face was like, What are you doing?” Alcantara recalled. “And then my 2-year-old, which was right next to us, was super scared because probably never seen his dad screaming and acting the way I was acting.”

Alcantara’s wife is expecting the couple’s third son, but none will get to keep the souvenir. Alcantara is giving it to his pastor, a diehard Mets fan.

“I know they’re going to hear about it on Sunday,” he said, pointing to his fellow church members. “They’re going to talk about it for sure.”

More games

Cincinnati 2, (at) Boston 1: Luis Castillo struck out 10 while pitching six innings of one-hit ball, and Cincinnati got its first victory at Fenway Park since Game 7 of the 1975 World Series.

Joey Votto twice doubled off the top of the outfield wall – once to left, once to right and each perhaps an inch from a home run – and Cincinnati scored both runs on Boston throwing errors.

Rafael Devers had the only hit off Castillo (2-2), who walked three before leaving with a 1-0 lead after six.

Tony Santillan, the fourth Reds pitcher, entered a one-hit shutout in the ninth and gave up a single to Kiké Hernández and a double to Devers. After J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts were retired, Alex Verdugo hit a chopper that Votto couldn’t handle at first, allowing one run to score on the single. Santillan then struck out Trevor Story to earn his fourth save.

Michael Wacha (3-1) retired the first 12 batters before Votto’s double to right-center. Wacha allowed zero earned runs and three hits and struck out three.

(At) N.Y. Yankkes 9, L.A. Angels 1: Noah Syndergaard was rocked in his return to New York, giving up Matt Carpenter’s two-run homer in a four-run first inning that propelled the Yankees over reeling Los Angeles.

Starting a high-profile three-game series against Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout & Co., New York improved the American League’s best record to 34-14 and sent the Angels (27-23) to their season-worst sixth straight loss. Jordan Montgomery (1-1) pitched four-hit ball for seven innings, allowing Luis Rengifo’s seventh-inning homer on a hanging curveball.

Aaron Judge, the 6-foot-7 All-Star, helped out with his glove, jumping to get his glove above the 8-foot-5 center-field wall to deny Ohtani a possible home run in the first.

Syndergaard (4-3) got just one swinging strike among 45 pitches, averaging 94 mph with his fastball. He allowed five runs, seven hits and a walk, his ERA rising from 3.08 to 4.02.

Jose Trevino also homered for the Yankees and tied a career high with three hits.

(At) Texas 3, Tampa Bay 0: Martín Pérez retired all 16 batters after taking a 97 mph liner off his right leg, lowering his majors-leading ERA with seven scoreless innings in Texas’ victory over Tampa Bay.

Corey Seager homered for Texas’ first hit in the fourth inning, with Adolis García adding a two-run shot two batters later as the Rangers won for the first sixth time in seven games and reached .500 (24-24) for the first time this season.

Pérez (4-2) needed a few minutes to recover after Taylor Walls’ scorching infield single in the second. The left-hander stayed in, got Vidal Bruján to fly out with two runners on and pitched five perfect innings from there. The 31-year-old Pérez extended the longest active streak in the majors without allowing a homer to 66 1/3 innings. He also dropped his ERA to 1.42, striking out five with no walks.

John King pitched a perfect eighth, and Joe Barlow did the same in the ninth for his ninth save as the Rangers retired the final 22 batters.

Ryan Yarbrough (0-2) gave up six hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

San Francisco 7, (at) Philadelphia 4 (11): Joc Pederson’s two-run homer in the 11th inning helped power San Francisco past struggling Philadelphia.

Luis Gonzalez had a career-high four hits as San Francisco won its third straight overall and second consecutive extra-inning game.

A fielding error by Jeurys Familia allowed Wilmer Flores to score in the 10th to give San Francisco a 4-3 lead. Philadelphia tied it when Alec Bohm’s two-out grounder up the middle hit the second base bag, bouncing over Thairo Estrada and allowing pinch-runner Roman Quinn to score. But the Giants scored three times in the 11th and sent the Phillies to their fifth straight loss.

José Álvarez (2-1) struck out two and walked two in 1 1/3 innings to earn the win for the Giants, who scored the winning runs against Andrew Bellatti (1-2) for the second straight day. On Monday, Curt Casali hit a two-run homer to lift San Francisco to a 5-4 victory.

The Phillies have lost three straight games in extra innings and 12 out of their last 16 games overall.

(At) St. Louis 3, San Diego 2 (10): Albert Pujols hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and St. Louis beat San Diego.

Tommy Edman began the 10th as the Cardinals’ automatic runner at second. After Paul Goldschmidt was intentionally walked by Taylor Rogers (0-2) and Nolan Arenado fouled out, Edman stole third. Pujols followed with his second sacrifice fly of the game, lifting a ball to left that easily scored Edman.

Drew VerHagen (3-0), the fourth St. Louis pitcher, started the 10th and benefitted from a perfect throw from left fielder Lars Nootbaar, who had entered the game in the seventh. Jurickson Profar singled to left with two outs and Nootbaar cut down pinch-runner Jose Azocar at home to end the inning.

San Diego dropped to 5-3 in extra innings this season. St. Louis improved to 2-1.

(At) Toronto 6, Chicago White Sox 5: Alejandro Kirk hit a pair of two-run homers and Toronto extended its winning streak to six with a victory over Chicago.

Kevin Gausman (5-3) pitched five innings to win his second straight start, getting five strikeouts while allowing three runs, six hits and one walk. The right-hander has won four of his past six outings. Jordan Romano got three outs for his AL-leading 16th save in 18 chances.

Both came off of White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (3-2), who allowed season-highs of six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings and raised his ERA from 2.63 to 3.61.

Andrew Vaughn homered and had four hits and two RBIs for the White Sox, who began a stretch without All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson. He is expected to miss at least three weeks after straining his right groin in Sunday’s win over the Cubs.

Seattle 10, (at) Baltimore 0: George Kirby allowed four hits in six innings for his first big league win, and Taylor Trammell had three hits and four RBIs to help Seattle to a 10-0 rout of Baltimore.

Kirby (1-1) struck out eight and walked one in his fifth major league start. The rookie right-hander also went six scoreless innings in his debut May 8 against Tampa Bay, but he settled for a no-decision.

Reliever Bryan Baker (1-3) got the first four outs as essentially an opener for the Orioles, but he allowed an RBI double to Julio Rodríguez in the first. Zac Lowther came on with two on and one out in the second after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game. He allowed six runs – five earned – in 5 1/3 innings.

Infielder Chris Owings pitched the ninth for the Orioles and allowed an RBI double by Trammell.

(At) Cleveland 8, Kansas City 3: Austin Hedges hit a three-run homer and rookie Oscar Gonzalez doubled in two runs, sending Cleveland past Kansas City.

Hedges’ third-inning drive, which barely cleared the 19-foot wall in left, scored Ernie Clement and Oscar Mercado to extend Cleveland’s lead to 6-2. The Guardians put 11 men on base in the first three frames against Daniel Lynch (2-4).

Gonzalez, who is 9 for 21 through five games in the majors, tacked on a two-run double in the sixth off Dylan Coleman. Cleveland has won three of four, including the first two in its three-game set with AL-worst Kansas City.

Cal Quantrill (2-3) worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, to remain unbeaten in his career at Progressive Field and against the Royals. The right-hander struck out five without a walk in improving to 6-0 in Cleveland and 5-0 all-time against Kansas City.

(At) Chicago Cubs 8, Milwaukee 7: Patrick Wisdom hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning, Willson Contreras and P.J. Higgins also went deep, and Chicago beat Milwaukee.

Wisdom unloaded on a 3-2 pitch from Brad Boxberger (1-1), sending a long drive to left for his 11th home run.

Contreras connected in his second straight game, smacking a solo drive in the first against Milwaukee starter Eric Lauer. Contreras now has eight homers to lead all MLB catchers, and also hit an RBI double and scored in a four-run sixth.

Christopher Morel continued a hot start to his career with a walk and a triple, setting a club record by reaching base in his first 14 major league games.

Mychal Givens (4-0) got four outs, and David Robertson worked the ninth for his seventh save.

Former Cub Victor Caratini gave Milwaukee a 6-3 lead in the sixth with a three-run drive against off Rowan Wick.