Video: Yoenis Cespedes hits a grand slam, the first of his three home runs on Friday

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Yoenis Cespedes turned the Mets’ second inning against the Rockies on Friday night from good to great, bumping the lead up to 7-1 when he drilled a Jon Gray offering just over the fence in right field at Coors Field for a grand slam. The ball bounced off of the top of the wall and landed in the crowd closer to the right field foul ball before returning to the right field grass.

Cespedes would add a solo home run to center field in the fourth inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth, leaving him a three-run homer away from the home run cycle. He also doubled and scored in the first inning. He attempted to record a four-homer game, but singled to right field in the eighth inning, completing a 5-for-6 night. He scored five runs, drove in seven runs, and stole a base.

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Cespedes is batting .316 with five home runs and 15 RBI since joining the Mets at the trade deadline. Combined with his time with the Tigers, he’s batting .297 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.