Lindor, Conforto, new pitchers lead Mets past Braves 7-3
NEW YORK (AP) — With the arrival of Michael Conforto and a few other reinforcements, the banged-up New York Mets got back in the swing of things.
Francisco Lindor homered and drove in three runs, Conforto jolted New York’s stagnant offense in his delayed return from injury and the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 7-3 on Wednesday night.
“It was good to jump right into the action,” Conforto said.
Tylor Megill and Corey Oswalt came up from the minors to provide steady pitching for a New York staff ravaged by recent injuries, and the NL East leaders rebounded from consecutive shutouts to split the four-game series.
Leadoff man Jeff McNeil had three hits after coming off the injured list Monday, including a run-scoring single in the second inning for his first RBI since May 8. Lindor followed with his ninth homer of the season off Kyle Wright (0-1) to make it 5-0.
“Having McNeil and Conforto is going to be huge for us,” said Lindor, who batted between them as the top trio combined for seven hits, five runs and four RBIs. “We had a great team approach.”
Edwin Díaz got five outs for his 16th save in 17 tries.
“We were very short,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “The guys are leaving their arms out there to get wins.”
Called up from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day as New York made eight roster moves, Oswalt (1-0) allowed one run over 2 1/3 innings of relief for his first major league win since 2018.
With the tying run at the plate, Oswalt picked off Ozzie Albies at first base to end the seventh.
“It’s incredible,” Conforto said. “Every day it feels like we’ve got some new guys in here and they jump right in. They’re here to do their job.”
Megill also was summoned from Triple-A to start in place of Joey Lucchesi, who is scheduled for season-ending Tommy John surgery Thursday. The right-hander permitted two runs and three hits with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 valuable innings in his major league debut.
“A lot of emotions. It was exciting. It was fun. It was competitive. Couldn’t ask for anything more while I was out there,” said Megill, who didn’t even have enough notice for family and friends to be on hand for his big night.
“I wanted to go full force and just go out there and make a statement and help the team win.”
When he was lifted, Megill got a pat on the chest from Lindor and a boisterous ovation from fans. Then he was checked by umpires for sticky stuff on his way off the field to a chorus of boos from the crowd of 15,645.
“He definitely had nerves going, but he didn’t show them. He executed,” Lindor said. “He stepped up for us.”
“I’m impressed with his poise,” Rojas said. “He threw the ball so well.”
Conforto finished 2 for 4 with a walk and scored twice. He lined a double in the first to key a two-run inning that included Dominic Smith’s RBI groundout.
Wright was tagged for five runs, four hits and three walks over two innings in a disappointing return from the minors. He was called up to start in place of injured Max Fried (blister).
“Stuff was flat. He just couldn’t really get untracked and get anything going,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s a young guy that’s still trying to figure it out. I mean, we see the stuff and all — he just hasn’t been able to put it together. I don’t know. You just hope some day it clicks.”
Luis Guillorme doubled and reached on a perfect drag-bunt single for the Mets, scoring twice. James McCann had a double and an RBI single.
New York had dropped six of eight, totaling only 13 runs and getting shut out four times during that span.
“Once we have all the pieces of the puzzle, it’s going to be great to put it together,” Lindor said.
WAIT JUST A MINUTE
Conforto had been sidelined since straining his right hamstring May 16. He was ready to return Tuesday, but wasn’t activated after Syracuse’s game was postponed to allow for more COVID-19 testing and contact tracing within the organization. The right fielder spent last weekend on a rehab assignment with Syracuse, so the Mets said they decided not to reinstate him Tuesday “out of an abundance of caution.”
“It was definitely a rollercoaster,” Conforto said before the game, adding he tested negative three times.
Megill’s brother, Trevor, pitched for the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on June 14.
Braves: RF Ronald Acuña Jr. was scratched from the lineup before batting practice because of a stiff lower back. He is day-to-day. ... OF Guillermo Heredia (right wrist inflammation) sat out for the second consecutive game. ... RHP Huascar Ynoa (broken right hand) is playing catch and long toss.
Mets: RHP Marcus Stroman is optimistic he can make his next scheduled start Monday in Washington after an MRI showed no damage to his sore left hip. Stroman exited Tuesday’s outing in the second inning. ... New York placed second-string catcher Tomás Nido on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Tuesday, with a bruised right wrist. ... 3B Jonathan Villar (calf) sat out for the second consecutive game. An MRI came back clean, Rojas said, but Guillorme started at the hot corner again. ... CF Brandon Nimmo (finger) went 0 for 2 with a walk in a rehab game at Syracuse. He played five innings in center field. ... RHP Dellin Betances (shoulder impingement) pitched a scoreless inning for Syracuse in his fourth rehab outing. ... RHP Robert Gsellman (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Braves: A bullpen game Thursday night at Cincinnati in the opener of a four-game series.
Mets: Following a much-needed day off, the Mets begin a four-game set Friday against NL East rival Philadelphia with a single-admission doubleheader at Citi Field to make up an April 15 rainout. Taijuan Walker and David Peterson are scheduled to start for New York. Aaron Nola and Matt Moore are expected to pitch for the Phillies in a pair of seven-inning games.
More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports