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Former Mets Eduardo Escobar and Dominic Leone return to Citi Field

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The Angels brought to Citi Field a superstar, Shohei Ohtani, and two familiar faces — Eduardo Escobar and Dominic Leone — who returned to Queens after the Mets traded them away in midseason.

Escobar, who was beloved in the Mets’ clubhouse, was dealt on June 23, when the club cleared third base for Brett Baty and brought in a couple of minor league pitchers in return.

Baty did not run with the playing time and now is with Triple-A Syracuse. Escobar, who has not been the Angels’ savior and did not play in their 3-1 win over the Mets, has a .578 OPS in his first 35 games with his new club.

Before the game, the Mets played a tribute video to Escobar, which ended with him singing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” The infielder tipped his cap to a standing ovation.

Leone’s trade was more unexpected, even with the Mets selling at the deadline.


Former Met Eduardo Escobar, who did not play in the Angels' 3-1 win, tips his cat to the fans at Citi Field after a video tribute before the game.
Former Met Eduardo Escobar, who did not play in the Angels’ 3-1 win, tips his cat to the fans at Citi Field after a video tribute before the game.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The righty reliever had signed with the Mets in May, was middling (4.40 ERA in 31 games) and then shipped to the Angels for a playoff push that seems to have failed. In return, the Mets received Double-A utilityman Jeremiah Jackson, a fallen but interesting prospect.

“I figured [the Mets] were going to make a lot of moves,” Leone said. “I just didn’t really anticipate my name being part of one.”

Leone has allowed five earned runs in 9 ¹/₃ innings with the Angels, his eighth team. The 31-year-old said he enjoyed playing with the Mets, despite the results.

“That’s a good group of guys over there. Good clubhouse,” he said. “You wish you played better. But it’s not for lack of effort, not for lack of process. The guys are great. I really enjoyed my time over there — the organization is great. I already have some good memories in just a couple of months.”


Angeles reliever Dominic Leone said the Mets had a "good clubhouse" during his time in New York.
Angeles reliever Dominic Leone said the Mets had a “good clubhouse” during his time in New York.
AP

Edwin Diaz, who threw off an indoor bullpen mound session Wednesday, is expected to throw off an outdoor mound Sunday, Mets manager Buck Showalter said.

The closer is rehabbing from right patellar tendon surgery in March and could make a return next month.


Francisco Lindor’s third-inning home run extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

During the span, the shortstop is batting .386 with a pair of homers and nine RBIs.


Showalter on the Mets retiring Darryl Strawberry’s No. 18 and Dwight Gooden’s No. 16 in separate ceremonies next season: “It’s great. It’s great for the Mets. That recognition is another example of our ownership and trying to embrace those things. When you think of the Mets, you think of Dwight and Darryl. … I’m sure it’ll be a great moment. Glad we’re doing it.”


Tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas threw out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of the start of the U.S. Open this coming week.

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