PHOENIX — For the first time since May 29, Jose Reyes showed up to work and found his name in the Mets’ starting lineup Sunday.
The utility infielder’s playing time has dwindled in recent weeks as his struggles (.165 average, .461 OPS) have continued. But he made the most of his shot this time, jump-starting the winning rally when he bunted for a single with two outs in the ninth.
Reyes finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a steal and made a couple of spiffy plays at shortstop as Mickey Callaway gave Amed Rosario a day off.
“It means a lot. I feel like I contributed today. I contributed to this ballclub, I contributed to this win,” said Reyes, who had nine plate appearances in nearly three weeks since his last start. “I know all season long I feel like I don’t contribute at all for this team. To come out today and not only contribute with a bunt there, but I feel like I played very good defense at shortstop, too. So that was key.”
The bunt was a gutsy move. If he didn’t put it in a good spot, it could have been the final out. The way the Mets’ offense has been going lately, it didn’t hurt to try.
“Sometimes you have to play the little game, too,” Reyes said. “You don’t wait always for the big fly to come. I just tried to get on base there and make something happen. Thank God that I did.”
Said Callaway: “Jose Reyes played a heck of a game. Some great plays in the field. That bunt was heads-up. That’s what we needed to do. We needed a baserunner right there to give us a chance to hit a two-run homer, and he knew it and he did it.”
Jeurys Familia struggled in his return from the disabled list, allowing one run, three hits and a walk in the eighth inning. He threw 22 pitches . . . The Mets optioned righthander Jacob Rhame to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Familia . . . After the Mets’ ninth-inning comeback, first baseman Dominic Smith nearly reopened the door for Arizona with an error in the bottom of the ninth. He appeared to catch Asdrubal Cabrera’s throw on a grounder to second, but lost the ball while trying to transfer it between his legs. It was ruled a missed catch. “I don’t think Dom Smith will try to transfer the ball between his legs anymore,” Callaway said.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.