Francisco Lindor‘s 23rd home run of the season was an emphatic one for the Mets, who opened a three-game series at the Atlanta Braves with a 10-4 win.
Five things to know from Monday’s game
1. Lindor’s blast capped a New York run of seven unanswered runs from the fifth inning on. With Rafael Ortega and Brandon Nimmo at the corners and one out, Lindor laced Brad Hand‘s low-and-in fastball at 93 mph over the left-center wall to deliver the dagger of the Mets’ 10-4 win.
Lindor’s 2-for-5 night adds to a 2023 season in which the switch-hitting shortstop is slashing .254/.335/.469 with 23 homers and 78 RBI through 124 games.
2. Before Lindor’s three-run long ball, New York clawed back with a scrappy fifth inning. The Mets trailed 4-3 after Marcell Orzuna‘s fourth-inning solo shot off David Peterson, the designated hitter’s second homer of the evening, but consecutive RBI singles by Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso with one out shifted the momentum back in New York’s favor at 5-4. (Not to be overlooked, after Jonathan Arauz‘s leadoff pop up to short, Nimmo’s walk and Lindor’s single set the table for the McNeil and Alonso knocks.) Daniel Vogelbach continued the trend with a single to right field that scored McNeil, moved Alonso to third base and tacked on another run as the Mets led 6-4.
Hand replaced starter Allan Winans, who ultimately allowed seven runs on nine hits (two homers) while striking out four and walking one in 4.1 IP, but DJ Stewart‘s safety squeeze kept New York’s rally going. Stewart’s sacrifice bunt was the Mets’ second out of the fifth inning, but not before scoring Alonso and digging the Braves deeper into a 7-4 hole.
3. Speaking of Stewart, he drew first blood with a second-inning solo shot that put New York in the driver’s seat at 1-0. Two batters later, after Omar Narvaez followed Stewart with a single up the middle, Ortega picked a good time for his first home run as a Mets. An outside-corner pitch at 89 mph by Winans got pulled for a two-run shot into the right-field seats that put the Braves down 3-0 with one out in the second inning.
4. Peterson (5.59 ERA) threw 53 strikes on 93 pitches in 4.2 innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits, including Ozuna’s two homers, while striking out four and walking two.
5. Despite Peterson struggling to pitch with the lead, the Mets found a way to win — and convincingly. New York, which has won seven of its past nine games, is 6.5 behind the third NL Wild Card spot held by the San Francisco Giants (65-60).
The Mets (59-67) and Braves (80-44) continue their three-game series Tuesday on SNY.
Righties Tylor Megill (7-6, 5.53 ERA) and Bryce Elder (9-4, 3.46 ERA) are the probable pitchers for the 7:20 p.m. start.