UPDATE: Beltran was 1-for-5 with an RBI single and two walks as the designated hitter in his second extended spring training game on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, 9:01 PM: Carlos Beltran was 2-for-6 as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Friday afternoon, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork. It was Beltran’s first game activity since undergoing surgery on his right knee in January.
Beltran didn’t run beyond first base in the controlled setting, thus the Mets downplayed the significance of the event as “nothing crazy,” but before Friday’s game against the Marlins, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said that it is “fair to start the clock” on his return.
While the news is something for Mets fans to be excited about, general manager Omar Minaya told reporters last week that Beltran is unlikely to be activated from the disabled list before the All-Star break.
The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.
Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.
The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.