Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto homer to put Mets up early in NLDS Game 2

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Yoenis Cespedes broke a scoreless tie to lead off the top of the second inning, when he drove a Zack Greinke fastball to the opposite field at Dodger Stadium for a solo home run. It’s the second post-season homer for Cespedes, with the other coming in Game 1 of the 2013 ALDS. After Greinke got two outs, rookie Michael Conforto —  making his first career post-season at-bat — hit a line drive down the right field line for another solo home run to increase the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Per Katie Sharp, Conforto is the youngest player to homer in a post-season game at Dodger Stadium at 22 years and 223 days.

Cespedes hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 249 plate appearances in the final two months of the season following a trade with the Tigers. Conforto, since debuting shortly after the All-Star break, compiled a .270/.335/.506 triple-slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 194 PA.

As Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal notes, the last time Greinke had allowed two home runs in the same inning was on April 6, 2014.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard threw a scoreless bottom of the first inning, repeatedly hitting 100 and 101 MPH with his fastball.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”