Mets lose to Royals on brutal walk-off balk in extras after trade deadline sell-off

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The skeleton lineup fielded by the Mets on Tuesday night in their first game after the trade deadline included Rafael Ortega, in his debut for the club, DJ Stewart and Danny Mendick.

But this non-Murderers’ Row wasn’t as much of a problem for the Mets as was a bullpen that was overmatched for the first time since David Robertson was traded to the Marlins last week.

Josh Walker, who had just entered the game, balked before even throwing a pitch to Michael Massey in the 10th inning and the Mets lost, 7-6, to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Francisco Alvarez’s two-run home run had put the Mets up 6-4 in the top of the 10th, but the Royals had already scored twice in the bottom of the inning when Walker entered with the bases loaded.

Brooks Raley started the inferno by allowing a leadoff double to Bobby Witt Jr. that scored the automatic runner before MJ Melendez’s single drove in Witt to tie the score.


The balk-off loss came hours after the Mets traded Justin Verlander, Tommy Pham and Dominic Leone as part of their retooling for the future.

Jose Quintana, who drew interest before the trade deadline, allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks over 6 ²/₃ innings.

Adam Ottavino flushed a 4-3 lead in the eighth by walking Melendez, who stole second and later scored on Freddy Fermin’s sacrifice fly.

Jose Quintana turned in a strong outing for the Mets against the Royals on Tuesday night.
Getty Images

It was the first real hiccup by the Mets’ bullpen since the Robertson trade.

Pete Alonso blasted homer No. 31 of the season to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

It was the fifth homer in seven games for Alonso, who said he was unaware whether the Mets had shopped him before the trade deadline.

Before the game, general manager Billy Eppler declined to say if he viewed Alonso — who can head to free agency after next season — as part of the organization’s future.

“We love having Pete here,” Eppler said. “As far as what goes beyond his last year of control I am going to keep those conversations internal, but he is such a strong player for this organization and he means so much to the community and our identity. Between him and Francisco [Lindor] and Brandon [Nimmo], these are guys we rely on, they are tremendous people and great players, great teammates.”

The Royals tied it 1-1 in the fifth on Maikel Garcia’s sacrifice fly. Alonso got hit in the face by the ball during the at-bat as he slid attempting to catch a pop up near the first-base dugout. Alonso was examined by the trainer and remained in the game.

Mets manager Buck Showalter
Getty Images

Dairon Blanco stole third and raced home on Alvarez’s throwing error on the play to give the Royals a 2-1 lead in the seventh.

A third run was charged to Quintana on Garcia’s single against Trevor Gott in the inning.

The Mets rallied for three runs in the eighth to go ahead 4-3.

Alonso delivered a bloop RBI single and Brett Baty walked with the bases loaded before Mark Vientos hit a sacrifice fly.