AP

Naquin’s two homers, Diaz’s two-inning save lift Mets

Aug 4, 2022, 7:16 AM | Updated: Aug 5, 2022, 10:08 am

New York Mets' Tyler Naquin celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the second in...

New York Mets' Tyler Naquin celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Deadline acquisition Tyler Naquin homered twice in his home debut, Edwin Diaz locked down his first two-inning save as a pro and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 Thursday night to open a pivotal five-game series between the NL East rivals.

Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers in the third for the Mets, who extended their lead over the Braves to 4 1/2 games. Alonso, who began the scoring with a single in the first, finished with three RBIs.

Carlos Carrasco (12-4) extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 23 1/3 innings before Michael Harris II laced a two-out, RBI single and Ronald Acuña Jr. followed with a two-run homer in the fifth.

Carrasco retired the final four batters he faced — No. 2 hitter Dansby Swanson to end the fifth, followed by Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario — to allow Mets manager Buck Showalter to arrange his bullpen so that Diaz could get the final six outs.

“The last inning he pitched was probably the key inning,” Showalter said. “Set up the rest of the game for us by him being able to get those three guys out after giving up some runs.”

Harris had another RBI single in the seventh to bring up Acuña as the potential tying run, but Adam Ottavino struck out the 2018 Rookie of the Year.

Diaz entered in the eighth — though his trumpet-blaring warmup song, “Narco,” didn’t begin until he was already on the mound — and needed just 11 pitches to retire Swanson, Olson and Riley via a groundout and a pair of strikeouts.

“I was trying to run (to the mound) at the same pace of the song,” Diaz said with a laugh.

Rosario led off the ninth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch but was stranded there. Diaz fell behind Orlando Arcia 3-0 before getting him to hit a comebacker on a check swing. Diaz jogged to the bag himself to record the final out of his 24th save.

Showalter said the aggressive use of Diaz was as much about getting the closer into a game — he hadn’t pitched since last Friday — as it was about the importance of the series.

“He needed to pitch tonight — he was going to pitch tonight,” Showalter said. “I do think it’s that time of year where we kind of go to a different mode of operations sometimes.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he expected to see Diaz in the eighth.

“He’d been down for a long time,” Snitker said. “He’s a guy that’s efficient with his pitches. He throws a lot of strikes. Doesn’t surprise me a bit that they did that.”

Carrasco allowed three runs on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in six innings.

Naquin, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds last Friday, hit solo shots in the second and sixth off Kyle Wright. He is the first player in Mets history to homer twice in his first home game for the team.

It was the fifth career two-homer game for Naquin and his first since he went deep twice for the Reds against the Miami Marlins on Aug. 22, 2021.

“Heck, if I’d been playing here four years, that’s a good night,” Naquin said.

Vogelbach had two hits. Francisco Lindor’s 10-game hitting streak ended after he went 0 for 2 with two walks.

Wright (13-5) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings. The four homers allowed were a career high for the right-hander, who was 6-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his previous seven starts.

“He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been and battled through,” Snitker said. “Long ball got him a little bit. One of them days.”

MCCANN RETURNS

James McCann was activated from the injured list prior to the game and went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts after missing more than three weeks with a strained left oblique.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies (broken left foot) played catch Wednesday. … RHP Kirby Yates (Tommy John surgery) threw in back-to-back games for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in August 2020. … RHP Mike Soroka (right Achilles tendon) could begin throwing simulated games soon. Soroka hasn’t pitched since Aug. 3, 2020 due to twice tearing his right Achilles tendon.

Mets: 1B/DH Dominic Smith (right ankle) went 0 for 1 with two walks as he began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse. … C Patrick Mazeika was optioned to Syracuse to make room for McCann.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Ian Anderson (9-6, 4.99 ERA) allowed one hit over six scoreless innings in earning a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last Saturday but had a 6.27 ERA over his previous 10 starts.

Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (9-2, 2.79 ERA) is looking to reach double figures in wins for the second time in his career and the first time since 2015.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Naquin’s two homers, Diaz’s two-inning save lift Mets