Sat, May 27, 2023 1:45 AM
By MICHAEL KELLY, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Francisco Lindor homered and drove in four runs, leading Max Scherzer and the New York Mets past the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Friday night.
Brandon Nimmo tripled twice, walked three times and scored three runs during a perfect night at the plate for the Mets, who have won seven of nine following a 6-16 skid.
Nimmo, who grew up in Wyoming about two hours from Coors Field, played in front of 100 family members and friends. They saw him become the first player in franchise history to have two triples and three walks in one game.
“I don’t know if there’s something in the water or I just enjoy playing here,” Nimmo said. “I love that I’m doing well in front of all my family and friends.”
Scherzer (4-2) struck out eight in seven innings of one-run ball. Adam Ottavino got two outs against his former team for his fifth save, aided by Nolan Jones’ baserunning blunder in the ninth.
With runners on first and second and one out, Alan Trejo singled off the glove of third baseman Eduardo Escobar. The ball rolled onto the grass in shallow left field, where Lindor retrieved it and threw out Jones as he overran second base.
Ottavino then fanned pinch-hitter Mike Moustakas to end the game.
“As many runs as he drove in tonight, one of the keys might have been the heads-up play he made defensively there,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said of Lindor.
Ryan McMahon and Charlie Blackmon homered for Colorado. Jurickson Profar had a single to extend his on-base streak to 33 games.
Scherzer, with rookie catcher Francisco Álvarez behind the plate, set season highs in innings, strikeouts and pitches with 102. He scattered six hits, didn’t walk a batter and worked out of a jam in the seventh.
Harold Castro singled and Trejo doubled, his second off Scherzer, to put runners on second and third with two outs. But the three-time Cy Young Award winner got Ezequiel Tovar to fly out on his last pitch of the night.
“I’ve been telling Alvy for a while, `I’m better than this,'” said Scherzer, who lowered his ERA to 3.54. “I can locate, I can pitch with all these pitches, just hang with me and I’ll finally start executing. I’m starting to turn the corner, finally getting healthy.”
He kept Rockies hitters off balance for most of the night.
“He gave them what they needed,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “It was a pitch mix that got him through.”
Lindor came into Friday batting .154 with one homer in 78 at-bats against the Rockies. He quickly doubled his homers with a 439-foot, two-run drive off Connor Seabold (1-2) in the first inning.
That made it 10 straight games for the Mets with at least one home run.
McMahon led off the second with his fourth homer and first since April 22, spanning 101 at-bats.
Lindor followed Nimmo’s one-out triple in the fifth with an RBI single, and the Rockies’ second error of the game led to another run in the inning on Brett Baty’s two-out RBI single.
Blackmon led of the eighth with a 443-foot homer to right field off reliever David Robertson.
Nimmo tripled leading off the ninth and scored on Lindor’s sacrifice fly. Nimmo has three triples in the past two games.
Rockies: Black said OF Brenton Doyle bruised his knee when he hit the wall trying to catch Jorge Soler’s home run for Miami in the ninth inning Thursday. Black said the team hopes Doyle won’t need to go on the injured list.
TRIPLE THE FUN
Nimmo has tripled in back-to-back games and has 27 for his career. He passed Ed Kranepool for sole possession of 10th place on the franchise list.
Colorado recalled Jones from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned 1B/OF Michael Toglia to the Isotopes. Jones made his Rockies debut at first base.
The Mets will send RHP Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.60 ERA) to the mound against LHP Chase Anderson (0-0, 1.15) on Saturday night in the middle game of the series.