Infielder Andres Gimenez helps Guardians sweep Mets with 6-3 win

CLEVELAND — The Mets have become adept at avoiding sweeps as of late, but that changed with one swing of the bat from a former Mets prospect Wednesday at Progressive Field.

Cleveland Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez, who was a key piece in the 2021 Francisco Lindor trade, tied the game with a three-run homer in the sixth inning off left-hander Jose Quintana. The Mets went on to lose 6-3 and the Guardians completed a three-game sweep.

The team will get a much-needed off day before hosting a trio of National League West opponents at Citi Field. They finish an eight-game trip through Philadelphia, Miami and Cleveland 2-6 and are 21-28 overall, seemingly in a free-fall, having gone 6-14 in May.

Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Harrison Bader each hit solo homers against right-hander Triston McKenzie to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Alonso’s came in the first inning, McNeil’s led off the second and Bader hit his in the fourth.

Reed Garrett (5-1) was charged with the loss after giving up a go-ahead RBI single to Johnathan Rodriguez in the seventh. Adam Ottavino gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning in the bottom of the eighth.

Quintana cruised through the first five innings of his outing until giving up the game-tying homer to Gimenez in the sixth. Quintana was nearly out of the inning early, getting the first out before giving up a bunt single to Austin Hedges, who dropped one right into the dirt on the third base side and it came to rest in fair territory.

But then he faced the top of the Cleveland order for the third time and gave up a double to leadoff man Tyler Freeman. That brought up Gimenez, a 25-year-old infielder who was once a highly-ranked prospect in the Mets’ system. As a 21-year-old, Gimenez played 49 games during the COVID-shortened 2020 season for the Amazins’ and looked as though he could overtake Amed Rosario for the starting shortstop role.

But then Steve Cohen bought the team and hired Jared Porter to run the baseball operations. The Guardians couldn’t hang on to Lindor and a deal was struck to send Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco to New York for Rosario, Gimenez and prospects Josh Wolfe and Isaiah Greene in January 2021. Shortly before opening day, acting general manager Zack Scott signed Lindor to a 10-year extension, effectively making him the face of the franchise.

Gimenez was the face of this win.

Quintana fell behind 3-1 before trying to come inside with a fastball. He left it up and Gimenez put it in the center field seats.

Quintana was charged with three earned runs on four hits, and struck out four over six innings. McKenzie also gave up three runs, which came on five hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked three.

A lot has changed for both teams since that trade. The Guardians changed their name and changed managers. They also changed their fate, as they now lead the American League Central with a 33-17 record. Cleveland’s 33 wins is tied with the Yankees for the most in the AL.

The Mets have gone through a handful of managers and general managers, much to no avail. They still believe they have a chance to reach the postseason and as of right now, they do, only a few games out of an NL wild-card spot.

But they better hurry up and get hot.