New York Mets outfielder DJ Stewart talked himself into another at-bat against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday after bench coach Eric Chavez tried to tell him he was coming out after three hits in his first three plate appearances.
Stewart came up again in the seventh inning and hit a home run, completing the cycle.
“I was supposed to be done,” he said during a dugout interview on the Mets broadcast. “I wanted that last one for sure.”
Stewart tripled in the first, singled in the third and doubled in the fifth before hitting a two-run homer in the seventh. Official cycle records for spring training are hard to come by, but Stewart said it was the first time he had ever accomplished the feat at any level.
The Mets got more good news on Sunday when leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo said he hoped to be ready for Opening Day. With closer Edwin Diaz already out — likely for the season — with a right knee injury, Nimmo gave the team another scare on Friday when he slid awkwardly while trying to break up a double play at second base.
He stayed down for a few moments before limping off the field with medical personnel. But Nimmo said on Sunday that there was no structural damage and he is still hoping to be ready for the March 30 opener against the Marlins.
“I was relieved that it wasn’t more serious,” he said. “Just how awkward the play was, catching that cleat, a lot of things could have gone wrong. I’m fortunate we dodged a bullet.”
Nimmo batted .274 with a .367 on-base percentage and 102 runs scored last season.