NEW YORK — The Mets’ 15th win of the year was executed well from both sides of the ball, and double-play partners Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil — fresh off a tunnel tussle — set the tone.
McNeil parked a two-run home run, his third of the season, to center field in the third inning of the Mets’ 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Lindor, the next batter, followed it up with a walk and his first stolen base as a Met and the 100th of his career. Except this was no ordinary swipe of the basepaths. The throw from Diamondbacks’ catcher Carson Kelly that attempted to nab Lindor ended up in center field, and the speedy shortstop sprinted home to give the Mets an early three-run lead.
Later in the seventh inning, McNeil reached base on a forceout and aggressively stole second base. Lindor immediately scored him on an RBI single to center. McNeil and Lindor have broken out for a combined five hits, including two home runs, since their fiery disagreement (fictionally involving a rat or a raccoon) in the Mets tunnel on Friday.
The Mets (15-13) have won four consecutive games, while the Diamondbacks have lost five straight.
Jeurys Familia was tough as nails Saturday in his 11th appearance of the year. The bullish reliever threw nasty sinker after nasty sinker over 37 pitches in the sixth and seventh innings. He struck out his first two batters in the sixth to strand a runner in scoring position and bail out Joey Lucchesi. Familia started the seventh and recorded his first two outs quickly before he allowed three soft singles to load the bases. Finally, he induced a ground ball to his eighth batter and Lindor sent a wide throw to Pete Alonso at first who did a terrific job snagging the ball and securing the last out of the inning.
Mets manager Luis Rojas’ deployment of a bullpen game worked in his favor, particularly in the early innings. Right-hander Tommy Hunter and southpaw Joey Lucchesi combined to pitch five no-hit innings. Hunter, who opened the game, pitched two scoreless frames and Lucchesi didn’t allow a hit until he surrendered a single to his 10th batter in the sixth inning.
Aaron Loup allowed one run on two hits in the eighth inning and Rojas, of late being cautious with Edwin Diaz, chose Trevor May to close the game in the ninth inning of a two-run game. May gave up a leadoff single, then retired his next three batters to shut the door on the Diamondbacks. The Mets will go for the series sweep behind ace Jacob deGrom on Sunday.