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Francisco Lindor homers as Mets salvage series finale with 8-2 win over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets were thrown a curveball of sorts Wednesday morning when San Francisco Giants left-hander Blake Snell was scratched from his start and placed on the injured list with a left adductor strain.

The Giants were forced to empty their bullpen and the Mets were already a step ahead, knowing which pitchers would likely be used and which wouldn’t. The game plan was simple: Control the strike zone and be aggressive against San Francisco’s young relievers.

It worked.

The Mets defeated the Giants 8-2 to snap a three-game losing streak and finish the road trip with a 3-3 record (13-11 overall).

Francisco Lindor went 4-for-5 with a pair of two-run homers to drive in four runs and score two. Tyrone Taylor went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored and Jeff McNeil went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Left-hander Sean Manaea overcame erratic command to shut out his former team for 4 2/3 innings.

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, Snell had gotten off to an awful start since signing late with the Giants but still, the Mets expected his best. Right-handed reliever Ryan Walker replaced him, giving the Giants one inning before they turned to Sean Hjelle, Landon Roupp, Erik Miller, Luke Jackson, Taylor Rogers and Mitch White.

Hjelle was charged with the loss (0-1) after giving up homers to Lindor and Taylor. Lindor’s second round-tripper came off White in the ninth inning.

Lindor took Hjelle deep with two out in the third inning to put the Mets up 2-0. Taylor teed off for a solo shot in the fourth, giving the visitors a 3-0 lead.

His big hit came in the fifth against right-hander Landen Roupp, who was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Sacramento to replace Snell. With two on and two out, Taylor took a sinker the other way to right field for a two-run double. McNeil continued the rally with an RBI single, extending the lead to 6-0.

Manaea was a swingman for San Francisco last season after playing the first six years of his career across the Bay Bridge in Oakland (he also spent one season in San Diego before signing with the Giants). He struck out the side in the first inning, though there were questionable strike calls from home plate umpire Mark Ripperger. The Giants (12-14) took note and forced him to try to locate, laying off borderline pitches in the third and fourth innings.

Manaea loaded the bases in the second with two walks and a single before retiring the next three with weak fly-ball outs to get out of the jam. In the third, he walked leadoff hitter Austin Slater and the outfielder stole second. But Manaea picked him off, catching him with a large lead for the first out. He walked Wilmer Flores before getting two quick outs to end the inning.

The Mets went to right-hander Reed Garrett with two out and runners on first and second in the fifth. Manaea appeared to hit Michael Conforto with a pitch, but after a lengthy review, the former Mets outfielder was called back to the plate. He came back and swung through a sweeper for the second out.

Manaea was already at 101 pitches and the Mets didn’t want to jeopardize their lead with Jorge Soler behind Conforto. Garrett (4-0) retired Soler to end the inning.

Manaea battled himself for the win, allowing four hits, walking four and striking out six.

Garrett gave up a home run to Tyler Fitzgerald in the seventh, but with Thursday off, the Mets could empty their bullpen as well, using high-leverage relievers Adam Ottavino and Edwin Diaz to finish off the Giants.


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