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Major League Baseball
NY Mets 3, Minnesota 2
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, September 18, 2016
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York
Temperature: 82°
Umpires: Home - Ramon De Jesus, 1B - Mike DiMuro, 2B - Quinn Wolcott, 3B - Brian Gorman
Attendance: 28926

NEW YORK -- The theme in recent weeks, especially for unheralded starting pitchers when they meet with New York Mets manager Terry Collins, is about opportunity.

The meetings likely go something like "here is your opportunity to show us you can pitch at this level in the middle of a playoff race."

Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have heard the message and sometime before Sunday afternoon it was delivered to Gabriel Ynoa.

Ynoa became the latest unknown starting pitcher to capitalize on his opportunity when he came within an out of a win and struck out eight in 4 2/3 effective innings as the Mets completed a three-game sweep with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"That's the first time we've seen him start," Collins said. "He must have made some good pitches, worked the corner of the plate, got ahead of some guys."

In keeping with the opportunity theme, Michael Conforto had a two-run single in the first off Kyle Gibson (6-10) and T.J. Rivera homered in the third to help support Ynoa. They were part of a lineup that rested James Loney, Curtis Granderson and were sandwiched in between third-place hitter Yoenis Cespedes, who eventually left the game with nausea and dizziness.

"When you're called upon to get your chance to get in the lineup, make the most of it," Collins said. "And tonight, those guys did that."

Three of the four young pitchers who helped the Mets reach their first World Series since 2000 are on the disabled list, two are out for the season and neither Matt Harvey, Steven Matz or Jacob deGrom have pitched since Sept. 1.

Following the lead of Gsellman and Lugo, who are a combined 6-3 in their 10 appearances, Ynoa took advantage of the chance provided by deGrom's season-ending elbow surgery.

"I feel good, I'm thankful for the opportunity to be in this spot," Ynoa said through an interpreter while adding he found out Saturday he was making the start and didn't have time to watch video."

Whether he makes another start is dependent on if Matz is ready to return from a shoulder injury. Collins is hopeful he will after Matz tossed a 30-pitch bullpen session on Saturday at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Meanwhile, Ynoa allowed one run and four hits during a 76-pitch outing. His eight strikeouts tied the season-high set June 23 at Reno for Triple-A Las Vegas and were the fourth-most by a Met in his first career start.

"I think locating pitches and using my pitches, which was most effective pitch," Ynoa said of the strikeouts.

Ynoa retired the side in the first and gave up his only run in the second on a sacrifice fly by John-Ryan Murphy. He also struck out two to end the fourth with a runner on first and would have likely had his first career win had Brian Dozier not singled to extend his hitting streak to 22.

Like the rest of the fans, Ynoa watched anxiously as the Mets (80-69) held on for their 20th win in 27 games and moved a season-high 11 games over .500.

Five relievers finished up for the Mets, who completed their seventh sweep of the season. Erik Goeddel (2-1) was awarded the win for striking out Kennys Vargas with the bases loaded to end the fifth while Jerry Blevins recorded the final four outs after Fernando Salas gave up a long home run to Vargas in the eighth.

After Saturday's 12-inning win, the Mets rested regulars Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, James Loney and Granderson. Their makeshift lineup featured Alejandro DeAza leading off and Cespedes batting third between Rivera and Conforto.

Cespedes wound up leaving the game with nausea and dizziness resulting from a first-inning catch in foul territory along the left-field line.

Gibson allowed three runs and six hits in five-plus innings while Robbie Grossman went 4-for-4.

"It was one of those days where I didn't walk out of the bullpen not trusting my stuff," Gibson said. I just kind of walked out of the bullpen kind of not feeling like I like to feel."

Gibson's recovery from a shaky first and Grossman's second career four-hit game were not enough as the Twins (55-95) lost for the 11th time in 17 games and were swept for the 14th time this season.

"I think at the end of the day you look up and we're the worst team in baseball, that's no good," Dozier said.

NOTES: Mets 2B Neil Walker (back), who had surgery to repair a herniated disk earlier this month, said he is feeling better although the numbness is still there. Walker, who is a free agent after this season, said he has not discussed a new contract with the Mets but also described being in New York as a "great fit." ... Minnesota OF Eddie Rosario (jammed thumb) was not in the lineup after getting injured in the 10th inning Saturday. ... New York INF Wilmer Flores (right wrist) was unavailable Sunday. Manager Terry Collins said Flores tried to swing a bat but was unable to do so. ... 2B Brian Dozier's 22-game hitting streak is the longest by a Twin since Torii Hunter hit in 23 straight games April 11-May, 9, 2007.
Top Game Performances
Starting Pitchers
Minnesota   NY Mets
Kyle Gibson Player Gabriel Ynoa
Loss W/L No Decision
5.0 IP 4.2
4 Strikeouts 8
7 Hits 4
5.40 ERA 1.93
Hitting
Minnesota   NY Mets
Robbie Grossman Player T.J. Rivera
4 Hits 2
0 RBI 1
0 HR 1
4 TB 5
1.000 Avg .500
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Hits HR TB Avg LOB K RBI BB SB Errors
Minnesota 8 1 11 .235 14 15 2 2 0 1
NY Mets 7 1 11 .241 16 6 3 2 0 0