A slumping Jay Bruce took extra batting practice before Tuesday night’s game. The extra swings paid off handsomely.
Bruce hit a tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning, Yoenis Cespedes launched a majestic, three-run shot and the New York Mets rallied for a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bruce began the game batting .194 but broke out with three hits, including an RBI triple.
“You never feel perfect, but I think overall the timing’s been a little off,” he said. “I haven’t been in sync for an extended period of time yet, but I’m working at it every day.”
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Bruce looked different at the plate.
“He was on time,” Callaway said. “He wasn’t feeling for it. He was letting it go. It looked like he had a little bit of that conviction in his swing back. He went and attacked the ball and lived with the results and the results were good.”
Back-to-back doubles by Dexter Fowler and Paul DeJong off Harvey with two outs in the fifth gave St. Louis a 5-4 lead.
Harvey declined to speak with reporters after the game.
“There’s no doubt that tonight he went out there and attacked and tried to help the team,” Callaway said of Harvey. “He’s manned up and he’s going to do the job.”
Robert Gsellman (3-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win, and Jeurys Familia earned his ninth save.
The Yankees have played very well against the Angels at home over the past 10 seasons, going 25-10 in those games. Unfortunately, this series is in Anaheim, where the Yankees are just 14-19 during that same span.
Luis Severino is expected to start the series opener on Friday. He has one career start against the Angels: He allowed six runs (five earned) in six innings in a 10-5 loss on June 22 of last season.
A couple of notable Yankees against the Angels? Aaron Judge is 7-for-33 (.212), with three home runs, four walks and 14 strikeouts, while Giancarlo Stanton is 13-for-33 (.394), with three home runs, three walks and 10 strikeouts.
The Astros’ dynamic duo of Jose Altuve (.320 AVG, .974 OPS, 2 HRs) and Carlos Correa (.333 AVG, .913 OPS, 1 HR) gave the Yankees problems during the ALCS.
Stanton has not fared well in his career against the Astros, hitting .183 with just two home runs in 82 career plate appearances. Judge has fared a little better — he’s 6-for-22 (.273) with a home run, six walks and 11 strikeouts.