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The Mets’ lineup is nearly back to full strength, but a member of the Bench Mob stole the spotlight back on Wednesday night.
Brandon Drury came off the pine and delivered a pinch-hit, go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to send the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Braves at Citi Field.
Michael Conforto’s arm saved the game in the ninth inning. After closer Edwin Diaz allowed a leadoff double to Abraham Almonte, pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza cracked a one-out single to right field. Almonte raced from second to home, but Conforto threw a strike to James McCann, who slapped on the tag for the second out.
Diaz then got pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval to fly out to left field to secure the win.
Tylor Megill had set the stage for Drury’s homer, tossing 5 ¹/₃ strong innings of one-run baseball, and Jeurys Familia made sure it stood up by coming out of the bullpen to put out another fire in the eighth inning.
With the win, the Mets (54-46) evened the series two games apiece heading into Thursday’s finale and pushed their lead atop the NL East to four games over the Phillies and five games over the Braves (50-52).
Drury’s winning blast off Braves starter Max Fried was just the latest addition to his red-hot week. Since being called up from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday, Drury is 6-for-6 with two home runs and two doubles. He was also 3-for-3 Tuesday after double-switching into the game in the fourth inning.
Overall this season with the Mets, Drury is 7-for-15 with three home runs as a pinch hitter.
The Braves had tied the game at one in the sixth inning on a solo shot from Austin Riley, the lone blemish on Megill’s night. Riley’s third homer in two nights snapped Megill’s scoreless streak at 17 ²/₃ innings, but the right-hander continued to impress and give the Mets some much-needed consistency.
Megill, who struck out six, walked one and gave up five hits, has now allowed one or no runs in each of his last four starts. The 26-year-old lowered his ERA to 2.04 in the first seven starts of his MLB career.
Seth Lugo relieved Megill and needed just three pitches to record the final two outs of the inning before Trevor May threw a scoreless seventh.
Aaron Loup entered for the eighth and gave up back-to-back singles before inducing a Freddie Freeman comebacker for the first out, which moved runners to second and third.
Luis Rojas then called on Familia, who once again delivered in a big spot. Familia struck out Riley on a sinker in the dirt before getting Dansby Swanson to ground out to end the threat.
Jeff McNeil had given the Mets a 1-0 lead in the third inning. He extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with a single through the left side, which scored Megill after the pitcher started the rally with a two-out single.
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