Friday, July 1, 2022

Mets Use 4-Run 4th To Run Past Rangers


David Peterson, with his big windup, firing a pitch to Adolis Garcia. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets beat the Texas Rangers, 4-3,  on Friday night at Citi Field to start of a three-game holiday weekend series. The Mets improved to 48-29, and maintain their 3 1/2 game edge over the Atlanta Braves (45-33), who won 9-1 in Cincinnati.

David Peterson made the start for the Mets, getting the late call after Chris Bassitt tested positive for Covid. Peterson has been in the rotation lately with all their injuries, and entered this one with a 4-1 record and a 3.10 ERA, and was coming off two good outings in a row against Miami. 

Texas' starting pitcher was Glenn Otto, who they acquired at the trade deadline from the Yankees as one of the prospects in the Joey Gallo trade. He entered this one with a 4-3 record and a 5.31 ERA in nine starts.

The Mets had a good chance against Otto in the first inning, trying to break out of their offensive funk that saw them score just one run in the two-game series against Houston Tuesday and Wednesday. Francisco Lindor drew a two-out walk before Pete Alonso singled, but Jeff McNeil left them on base as he struck out. 

Peterson had no trouble getting through the first two innings, as he allowed just a two-out single in the second to Mitch Garver. 

In the third, he retired the first two hitters before allowing a home run down the left field line to Marcus Semien, his ninth of the season, to make it 1-0 Texas. 

Otto got a pair of double plays to get out of the second and third, but he ran into trouble in the fourth when the heart of the Mets order was coming up for a second time. 

Lindor led off with a single, and then after Alonso popped out to second base, McNeil drew a walk. Mark Canha then laced one just over the third base bag, and it went down the line, allowing Lindor to score to tie it at 1. McNeil went to third, and Canha took second on the throw, so he was credited with a single, and it was his 30th RBI of the season.

After Luis Guillorme grounded out to first, Eduardo Escobar had the big blow, a three-run shot to right field to give the Mets a 4-1 lead. It was his seventh home run of the season to go along with 33 RBI. 

Otto was lifted after this inning, as he allowed four runs (all earned) on four hits and three walks, with a strikeout.

Texas got one of those runs back in the fifth as Nathaniel Lowe hit a rocket into the second deck in right field for a solo homer, his 11th of the season.

In the sixth, Semien singled, went to second on a groundout to the left by Corey Seager into the shift, and then went to third when Peterson tried to pick him off and the throw went into center field, and scored on a groundout by Garcia to cut the Mets' lead to 4-3.

Eduardo Escobar approaching the plate on his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

Brock Burke was first out of the Texas bullpen, and he restored order, as he threw a scoreless fifth and sixth inning, allowing a single to Alonso to open the sixth and notching three strikeouts.

Peterson left after the sixth, and his final line was: 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 10 strikeouts. 

Seth Lugo, who was recently on paternity leave, came on for the seventh, and he had his best outing in a while, as he struck out Garver and Lowe and got Leody Taveras to fly out to right field. 

Garrett Richards, who pitched for Boston last season, came on for Texas in the seventh, and retired the Mets in order - Escobar fly out to center field, James McCann grounder to shortstop, Brandon Nimmo grounder to Richards - to keep it a one-run game.

Adam Ottavino, who also pitched for Boston last year, came on for the Mets in the eighth. Josh Smith led off with a single, but he was erased in a double play hit into by Semien. Seager then grounded one to the left side with the shift on for the second straight time, right to Escobar, for the third out.

Edwin Diaz retired the Rangers in order to close out the game, and earn his 17th save of the season. Peterson earned the win to improve to 5-1 with a 3.24 ERA.

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