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Álvarez comes through as Mets avoid sweep

Francisco Álvarez’s two-run double saved the Mets from being swept by the division-leading Braves

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets-Game 2 Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Álvarez had yet to experience a signature moment in the big leagues before today. But with a two-out, go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning, Álvarez finally got his shine as the Mets beat the Braves 5-3 in the second half of a doubleheader Monday night at Citi Field.

The Mets opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with a one-out single from Jeff McNeil and an RBI double from Daniel Vogelbach. The offense couldn’t tack on anything extra against Braves starter Charlie Morton, but Tylor Megill kept the lead intact, facing the minimum number of batters through four innings.

A double from Brett Baty and singles from Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte put the second run on the board for the Mets in the bottom of the fifth. Lindor found himself on base via a fielder’s choice, but a popout from Pete Alonso stranded both Lindor and Nimmo in scoring position with a 2-0 lead. With Megill rolling, the Mets looked to have a comfortable lead, but that feeling wouldn’t last very long.

A leadoff double from Chadwick Tromp and a one-out walk from Matt Olson put Megill in hot water in the sixth. After walking Sean Murphy with two outs, Megill stayed in the game with Buck Showalter trying to get a full six innings from his starter. It didn’t go as planned, as Eddie Rosario laced a double to right-center that cleared the bases and gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.

Unlike in the first game, however, the Mets found a way to retake the lead. Back-to-back one-out walks put two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, and with two outs Francisco Álvarez cleared the bases with a double to left field, putting the Mets up 4-3.

After Drew Smith and David Robertson shut down the Braves in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, Jeff McNeil added insurance with a solo home run leading off the bottom of the eighth. Robertson returned to pitch the ninth inning and promptly gave up a leadoff double to Ozzie Albies, but back-to-back strikeouts of Sam Hilliard and Michael Harris and a Chadwick Tromp pop out ended the game.

The Mets head to Detroit tomorrow, where Joey Luchessi is scheduled to face Michael Lorenzen.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Francisco Álvarez, +37% WPA

Big Mets loser: Tylor Megill, -20% WPA

Mets pitchers: +10% WPA

Mets hitters: +40% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Álvarez home run, +38.5% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Eddie Rosario RBI double, -42.6% WPA