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Yoenis Cespedes hits three of Mets’ seven home runs vs. Phillies on Tuesday

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Yoenis Cespedes became the first member of the Mets to have multiple three-homer games for the team. He hit a trio of homers on August 21, 2015 against the Rockies. He then accomplished the feat once more on Tuesday night against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in a 14-4 victory.

Cespedes hit his first home run with no outs and two runners on base in the top of the first inning against Clay Buchholz, swatting a fly ball out towards the batter’s eye in center field. Adam Morgan relieved Buchholz, who exited in the third inning with a forearm injury. Cespedes victimized Morgan with a no-doubt solo home run down the left field line in the fourth inning for his second dinger. In the fifth, Cespedes went deep for a third time, swatting another solo home run off of Morgan.

Cespedes had two shots to hit a fourth home run, but settled for a well-struck double to center field in the seventh and a ground out in the eighth. After Tuesday’s performance, he’s hitting .250/.333/.688 with four home runs and six RBI in 36 plate appearances.

Lucas Duda hit two homers of his own on Tuesday night. Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d'Arnaud also homered, giving the Mets seven on the evening. Seven marks the most home runs the Mets have hit in a game since August 24, 2015, when they hit eight home runs in a 16-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. In fact, the Mets have hit six-plus homers in a game four times since the start of the millennium, and all four have come against the Phillies in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park. The others: six on April 19, 2016 and seven on April 19, 2005.

To put Tuesday night in perspective, 12 teams entered Tuesday with fewer home runs than the Mets hit against the Phillies. The Mets nearly doubled their season output in home runs from eight to 15.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).