New York Mets stars Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor apologised after their thumbs-down gesture towards the franchise's own fans.

Baez and Lindor sparked controversy explaining their thumbs-down celebrations were directed at Mets fans amid their boos on Sunday.

The actions were swiftly condemned by Mets president Sandy Alderson and the pair apologised on Tuesday.

"I didn't mean to offend anybody," Baez said. "And if I offended anybody, we apologise."

Baez arrived from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline, but the World Series champion and two-time MLB All-Star has struggled to impress in New York, where fans have voiced their dissatisfaction.

The Gold Glove and Silver Slugger hit .210 with four homers and a .709 OPS in 17 games prior to Tuesday.

Booed when he entered as a pinch hitter during the eighth inning of Tuesday's rallying 6-5 win against the Miami Marlins, fans quickly cheered as Baez hit an infield single to trim the deficit in the ninth before dashing home on Michael Conforto's single.

"I might have said something wrong about, 'I was booing the fans'," Baez said. "I really meant, like, 'Boo me now' -- and not to the fans, to our dugout.

"I didn't say the fans are bad. I love the fans. I just felt like we were alone."

Lindor added: "Thumbs down for me means adversity that we have gone through this whole time, the negative things, we overcome it.

"However, it was wrong, and I apologise to whoever I offended. It was not my intent to offend people. I can't go against the fans."

"It's not like I'm sitting at my locker saying, 'Ah, the media here sucks'," Lindor said. "No, I've never said it. The media here is an honest one, and the fans here are honest. … Here, I have a lot of respect for people that are very honest, and they let you know right away.

"As soon as I come down, if I suck or make an error, they let me know. 'You suck'. What can I say? What, am I going to get into an argument? No, that’s not right. I respect people that are honest."

After winning 13 consecutive games, the New York Yankees suffered back-to-back MLB losses following Tony Kemp's late home run as the Oakland Athletics triumphed 3-1.

With the next pitch after Mark Canha's double, Kemp produced the decisive hit in the eighth – his tie-breaking two-run homer lifting the A's on Sunday.

In 16 at-bats against the Yankees this season, Kemp slugged 1.124 and did not strike out once. According to Stats Perform, no other player in history has had a 1.100-plus slugging percentage with zero strikeouts against the Yankees in a season with at least as many at-bats.

Paul Blackburn had earlier tossed down five shut-out innings for the Athletics, before Andrew Chafin closed out the win.

Yan Gomes' fourth-inning run had put the A's ahead before Gary Sanchez scored following fielding errors from Gomes and Mark Chapman on Anthony Rizzo's nine-pitch at-bat.

The result – which completes a split of the four-game series – helped the A's (72-59) move closer in the American League (AL) Wild Card standings, two and a half games adrift as the Yankees (76-54) lead the race.

 

Franco joins exclusive group as Rays crush Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays topped the Baltimore Orioles 12-8 to become only the third team in MLB's divisional era to win 18 games against one opponent in a single season. Joey Wendle delivered a two-homer and six-RBI performance, including a seventh-inning grand slam. Rays rookie Wander Franco, meanwhile, extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a sixth-inning single. Franco's run is the longest active streak in the majors, the sixth longest in American League/National League history and second longest in AL history. It is the longest streak by any player under the age of 21 since Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (43) in 1956.

Javier Baez hammered a two-run home run into the second deck before igniting controversy with a thumbs down gesture to his own fans after receiving boos earlier in the game as the New York Mets won 9-4 against the Washington Nationals.

The Chicago White Sox belted five home runs in their 13-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, including a pair from Luis Robert. Jose Abreu joined Paul Konerko (six) and Frank Thomas (10) as the only White Sox players with six-plus 100-RBI seasons. He became the first White Sox to reach 100 RBI in 125 games or fewer since Jermaine Dye in 2006.

Austin Riley drilled a two-run homer to help the Atlanta Braves to a commanding 9-0 shut-out victory over the high-flying San Francisco Giants.

Yoshi Tsutsugo crushed a walk-off three-run homer to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates past the St Louis Cardinals 4-3.

 

Abreu and Astros suffer blowout

Houston Astros reliever Bryan Abreu had a nightmare as the Texas Rangers powered an eight-run fifth inning in their 13-2 win. Astros pitcher Zack Greinke allowed six runs with nine hits, before Abreu stepped up in the fifth, only to allow seven runs from five hits including an Adolis Garcia grand slam, the Rangers' first since 2019. It was a blowout for the AL West-leading Astros against the Rangers, who are last in the AL West.

 

Salvy hits hot streak

Kansas City Royals star Salvador Perez homered for the fifth consecutive game in his side's 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, tying Mike Sweeney's franchise record from 2002. Perez has also moved into second for home runs in the majors this season, behind only two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani (42) and he has scored eight home runs and 15 RBIs on the Royals' current 10-game trip.

 

Sunday's results 

Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 St Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays 12-8 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets 9-4 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 7-5 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 9-0 San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 13-1 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 13-2 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 5-0 Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 3-1 New York Yankees

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Red Sox (75-57) make the trip to Tampa to take on leaders the Rays (82-48) in a crucial clash in the AL East on Monday. Nick Pivetta starts for Boston as Tampa Bay counter with Luis Patino.

New York Mets star Javier Baez insisted "if we win together, then we're going to lose together" after explaining his thumbs down celebration amid boos from the team's fans.

Baez arrived from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline, but the World Series champion and two-time MLB All-Star has struggled to impress in New York, where fans have voiced their dissatisfaction.

Since joining the Mets, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Baez has hit .207/.258/.414 with three homers and five RBIs in 16 appearances.

The Mets (63-67) are third in the National League (NL) East and seven games adrift in the Wild Card race.

Baez homered in Sunday's 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals and celebrated by giving the crowd a thumbs down, a gesture replicated by team-mates Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar.

"Just the boos that we get," Baez said. "We're not machines, we're going to struggle. We're going to struggle seven times out of 10.

"It just feels bad when I strike out and I get booed, it doesn't really get to me, but I want to let them know that we're going to do the same thing to let them know how it feels.

"If we win together, then we're going to lose together and the fans are a really big part of it. In my case, they've gotta be better. I play for the fans and I love the fans, but if they're going to do that, they're just putting more pressure on the team and that's not what we want."

Baez added: "It was my opinion, it's just how I feel. I love the fans and I like playing for the fans, but we can't have our fans against us."

The Mets released a statement afterwards, with president Sandy Alderson condemning Baez's actions.

"These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Alderson said. "Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team's recent performance.

"The players and the organisation are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan's right.

"The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly. Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities."

Mets manager Luis Rojas said: "Especially Mets fans, New York fans, this market, this city knows baseball probably more than any other city.

"They have the right to react however they want, and we've got to understand where they're coming from. Our job is to be ready every game to give them the best baseball.

"I haven't had many conversations with Javy about that, everything's been about the game. Getting to know Javy more and more everyday, he's an outstanding kid to be around. Javy being a new guy around here, getting to know our fanbase.

"Some of the reaction that our fanbase has, you see it's something he's learning. Our fans are like that, our fans are very passionate. They're going to demand the best out of everyone here."

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