Wednesday afternoon might have provided an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief for the Mets, who got back into the win column with a 5-1 triumph over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a doubleheader at PNC Park.
It ends a three-game skid — all of which came against last-place teams in the Washington Nationals (2) and the Pirates — and puts the Mets back into first place in the NL East momentarily with the second-place Braves playing the Oakland Athletics later in the afternoon.
The Braves tied the Mets atop the standings with a win after New York’s 8-2 loss.
For an offense that had scored just four runs over their last three games, the Mets offense came alive with a four-run fourth inning to catapult them into a comfortable advantage.
All of those tallies in the frame came via the home run as Tyler Naquin deposited a three-run shot over the left-center-field fence to expand on a 1-0 lead earned by a Jeff McNeil sacrifice fly in the first.
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The very next batter, Eduardo Escobar, went back-to-back with Naquin with a no-doubter to right. It’s another step in the right direction for the veteran third baseman, who had struggled mightily for the majority of his debut campaign in Queens. He now has three home runs in his last five games.
While the offense showed signs of life, starting pitcher Chris Bassitt did what he does best: eat innings and save the bullpen. The right-hander went seven strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits to go with 10 strikeouts. It was the sixth time in his last seven starts that he allowed two or fewer earned runs.
Game 2 of the Mets’ doubleheader, featuring Jacob deGrom on the hill, begins at 6:35 p.m. ET.
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