NEW YORK — Francisco Lindor doubled up padding on the outfield wall in midfield to drive in two, Edwin Díaz put out a fire for the last two outs and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 8-5 in a doubleheader on Saturday opener .
After back-to-back walks to Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte, Lindor hit a drive on Tyler Matzek that bounced off the orange home run line and came back into play just before Citi Field’s home run apple. The referees originally ruled it was a double and this call was confirmed via replay.
Lindor was worried midfielder Michael Harris II might have a chance to snag the ball.
“If he goes up, he has a really good chance of catching it,” he said. “So I was just hoping that he would strike anyway. I’m just happy with the results.”
Lindor stayed on 19 home runs this season, just one fewer than all of last season. He had three hits, including an RBI single during a two-run first inning against Jake Odorizzi (4-4). His double extended New York’s lead to 5-0 and was part of his sixth three-goal game of the year.
“I think that was a home run,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Our guy (repeat coordinator Harrison Friedland) said he touched the back black wall and then came back.”
Pete Alonso increased his NL-best RBI total to 92 with a single, moving 10 ahead of St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Jeff McNeil, James McCann and Marte contributed RBI singles as the NL East league leaders improved from a loss to an MLB best of 30-9 and finished 4 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.
Ronald Acuña Jr. and Matt Olson hit RBI singles in seventh place for the Braves, who are 4-6 in the season series.
Olson and Robbie Grossman also had RBI singles during Atlanta’s three-run ninth run. Grossman’s single prompted Showalter to call out for Díaz, and it took him seven pitches to complete his 25th save.
Top starter David Peterson (6-2) got New York’s seventh doubleheader off to a good start by allowing three hits in 5 1/3 innings for his third scoreless start of the year.
Peterson batted five and walked three. He was consistently ahead of the batsmen, throwing 14 of 22 batters first-pitch strikes.
“It’s just a matter of understanding the situation that we’re in,” Peterson said. “We have five great starters, couldn’t ask for a better rotation. So I’m very proud to be that sixth guy.”
Peterson got a nice ovation after slapping Olson on a substitution. Peterson also pinned Acuña in third to finish fifth after the Star Slugger doubled and slipped in safely just before Marte’s throw from right field.
“He was definitely on today and had some good stuff,” Olson said.
After the opener, Peterson was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
The left-hander started his base-loading outing when he hit Travis d’Arnaud with a throw. Grossman lined up for Lindor in the next field, and soon after Peterson got away, the Mets gave him a 2-0 lead.
Odorizzi was working on his Atlanta debut after being acquired by Houston. He allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits.
Odorizzi fell behind half of the 22 hitters he faced and also committed a throwing error on a pickoff game that led to New York’s third heat.
Braves: RHP Darren O’Day (pulled left calf) began Friday’s rehab at High-A Rome, throwing 13 pitches in the fifth inning to earn the win. O’Day has been on hiatus since July 12. … Odorizzi was visited by a coach after his first pitch of the fifth and said he had started to cramp his Achilles tendon. Odorizzi got an IV and is expected to make his next start.
Mets: RHP Tommy Hunter (low back strain) has been placed on the injured list.
Atlanta: LHP Max Fried (10-3, 2.58 ERA), who has the longest active streak in the majors without a homer with nine starts and 59 1/3 innings, starts game two.
New York: RHP Max Scherzer (7-2, 2.13) is 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA in six starts since returning from an oblique injury. He starts the second game.