Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor teamed up to produce all four runs a night after scuffling in the dugout and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 Saturday night.
The pair attempted to dismiss Friday's dustup by bizarrely claiming they were arguing over an animal spotted in the clubhouse tunnel — Lindor said it was a rat, McNeil’s story was that it was a raccoon or possum.
No critters Saturday — just a couple All-Star hitters. McNeil hit a two-run homer in the third off Merrill Kelly (2-3), and Lindor had a double, an RBI and scored on a throwing error after a stolen base.
Five pitchers combined for an eight-hitter on a bullpen day for the Mets, who have won four straight. The Diamondbacks fell to 0-5 on a six-game trip, during which they have been outscored 29-10.
Opener Tommy Hunter tossed two hitless innings before Joey Lucchesi (1-2) followed and earned the win after allowing one run over 2 1/3 innings. Trevor May earned his first save with the Mets with a one-hit ninth.
Lucchesi drew a walk leading off the third against Kelly. McNeil followed with a homer, after which Lindor drew a walk, stole second — his 100th career theft — and raced home on a two-base throwing error by Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly.
In the seventh, McNeil beat out the back end of a potential double-play grounder, stole second and scored on Lindor’s single.
Josh Rojas reached via catcher’s interference in his first two plate appearances for the Diamondbacks, delivered their first hit — a single leading off the sixth — and scored their first run on a groundout by David Peralta.
Arizona was 3 for 11 with runners in scoring position Saturday after going 1 for 16 in such situations Friday. The Diamondbacks left the bases loaded in the seventh against Jeurys Familia. Pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt had an RBI single in the eighth before Aaron Loup stranded stranded runners at the corners by inducing Pavin Smith to hit a comebacker.
CATCHER’S INTERFERENCE SQUARED
Rojas became the first Diamondbacks player to reach base via catcher’s interference twice in the same game. It was just the second time in franchise history Arizona batters reached twice on catcher’s interference in the same game. Didi Gregorius and Paul Goldschmidt did so against the New York Yankees on April 18, 2013.
FOR STARTERS … FINALLY
Hunter made his first start since Aug. 22, 2012, when he gave up eight runs over three innings for the Baltimore Orioles against the Texas Rangers. He had made 375 relief appearances since.
Diamondbacks: OF Ketel Marte (right hamstring) has increased the intensity of his running and batting practice and could be ready to begin a rehab assignment shortly. Marte was injured April 7. ... Manager Torey Lovullo said LHP Madison Bumgarner (right wrist) is feeling no ill effects from being hit by a pitch while batting against the Miami Marlins Thursday.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) and RHP Seth Lugo (right elbow) could start rehab assignments within the next week. Acting general manager Zack Scott said the hope is Lugo can return in late May while Syndergaard wouldn’t be back until sometime in June. ... Scott said the Mets would continue to take things slowly with RHP Carlos Carrasco (right hamstring), who was moved to the 60-day injured list Thursday and can’t return until at least May 29.
Diamondbacks: RHP Riley Smith (1-1, 4.91 ERA) is slated to make his fourth start of the season. He is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in four games (two starts) since beating the Cincinnati Reds on April 10.
Mets: While it is not yet official, both Scott and manager Luis Rojas expressed confidence RHP Jacob deGrom (2-2, 0.51 ERA) would make his first start since April 28. DeGrom was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday due to a sore right lat.
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