EditorsNote: Reworked/added to 3rd graf; Made groundout one word in 9th graf; Added detail on final out in 12th graf
Michael Conforto went 4-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI and six New York relievers combined to pitch five shutout innings as the Mets defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-2 Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
Edwin Diaz escaped the ninth inning unscathed when he got Nelson Cruz to pop out with the bases loaded to finish off his 21st save. Luis Avilan (2-0), the second of the Mets’ relievers, picked up the win by pitching one inning of hitless relief.
The Mets have won three straight games after an ugly 3-11 stretch that included several bullpen meltdowns.
Jonathan Schoop homered, C.J. Cron had two doubles and Eddie Rosario and Marwin Gonzalez also had two hits apiece for Minnesota.
Michael Pineda (6-5) took the loss after allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits over six innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
The Mets scored two unearned runs in the first to take a 2-0 lead.
Jeff McNeil lined the first pitch of the game for a single and went to second on a single by Conforto. An out later, both runners advanced on a passed ball by Jason Castro. Robinson Cano then drove in McNeil with a sacrifice fly. Conforto, who advanced to third on a wild pitch by Pineda, later scored on a fielding error by Schoop.
Minnesota cut it to 2-1 in the third on Schoop’s 15th homer of the season, a 390-foot drive to right-center.
The Twins tied it an inning later when Eddie Rosario led off with a single, advanced to third on a double by Cron and scored on a groundout by Max Kepler.
New York went back in front in the fifth, 3-2, when Amed Rosario doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored what proved to be the game-winning run on Conforto’s two-out ground single to left.
The Twins had a chance to win it in the ninth when Luis Arraez drew a one-out walk. He had taken over a plate appearance started by Schoop, who left with two strikes after grabbing his left side.
After Mitch Garver singled and Jorge Polanco flew out to center, Gonzalez loaded the bases with an infield single. But Diaz then got Cruz to pop out to third baseman Todd Frazier, who caught the ball underhanded, in foul territory on a 99 mph fastball with a full count.
Steven Matz started for the Mets in place of Zack Wheeler, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with right shoulder fatigue.
Matz, making his first start since June 29, gave up two runs on five hits and a walk over four innings while striking out two. He left after throwing 68 pitches, 38 for strikes.
—Field Level Media