NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor doubled off the padding atop the outfield wall in center field to drive in two, Edwin Díaz put out a fire for the final two outs and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 8-5 Saturday in a doubleheader opener.
Following consecutive walks to Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte, Lindor hit a drive against Tyler Matzek that bounced off the orange home run line and back into play just in front of Citi Field’s home-run apple. Umpires originally ruled it a double, and that call was confirmed via replay.
Lindor was worried center fielder Michael Harris II might have a shot at grabbing the ball.
“If he goes up, he’s got a really good chance of catching it,” he said. “So I was just hoping that he would pounce anyway. I’m just happy with the results.”
Lindor remained at 19 home runs this season, one shy of his total from all of last season. He had three hits, including an RBI single during a two-run first inning against Jake Odorizzi (4-4). His double stretched New York’s edge to 5-0 and was part of his sixth three-hit game this year.
“I think that was a home run,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Our guy (replay coordinator Harrison Friedland) said it touched the back black wall and then came back.”
Pete Alonso upped his NL-best RBI total to 92 with a single, moving 10 ahead of St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Jeff McNeil, James McCann and Marte contributed RBI singles as the NL East leaders improved to an MLB-best 30-9 following a loss and moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.
Ronald Acuña Jr and Matt Olson hit RBI singles in the seventh for the Braves, who are 4-6 in the season series.
Olson and Robbie Grossman also had RBI singles during Atlanta’s three-run ninth. Grossman’s single prompted Showalter to call for Díaz, and he needed seven pitches to finish his 25th save.
Spot starter David Peterson (6-2) helped New York’s seventh doubleheader get off to a good start by allowing three hits in 5 1/3 innings for his third scoreless start this year.
Peterson struck out five and walked three. He constantly got ahead of hitters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 14 of 22 batters.
“It’s just kind of understanding the situation that we’re in,” Peterson said. “We have five great starters, couldn’t ask for a better rotation. So being that sixth guy is something I take a lot of pride in.”
Peterson exited to a nice ovation after whiffing Olson on a changeup. Peterson also stranded Acuña at third to end the fifth after the star slugger doubled and just slid in safely ahead of Marte’s throw from right field.
“He was clearly on today and had some good stuff,” Olson said.
After the opener, Peterson was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
The left-hander began his outing by loading the bases when he hit Travis d’Arnaud with a pitch. On the next pitch, Grossman lined out to Lindor, and shortly after Peterson escaped, the Mets gave him a 2-0 lead.
Odorizzi labored through his Atlanta debut after being acquired from Houston. He allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits.
Odorizzi fell behind half of the 22 hitters he faced and also committed a throwing error on a pickoff play that led to New York’s third run.
Braves: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left calf) began a rehab assignment at High-A Rome on Friday and threw 13 pitches in the fifth innings to earn the win. O’Day has been sidelined since July 12. … Odorizzi was visited by a trainer after his first pitch of the fifth and said he began cramping in his hamstring. Odorizzi got an IV and is expected to make his next start.
Mets: RHP Tommy Hunter (low back tightness) was placed on the injured list.
Atlanta: LHP Max Fried (10-3, 2.58 ERA), who has has the majors’ longest active streak without a homer at nine starts and 59 1/3 innings, starts the second game.
New York: RHP Max Scherzer (7-2, 2.13) is 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA in six starts since returning from an oblique injury. He starts the second game.
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