Things you should know about today's game...
1) Michael Conforto hit a pair of two-run homers and tied his career high with four RBIs. His second home run in the seventh gave the Mets a four-run cushion at the time and proved to be the difference in the game.
2) T.J. Rivera hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth and then raced around the bases for a Little League home run when A's third baseman Matt Chapman threw wildly towards second base. Yoenis Cespedes paced the Mets with three hits while Conforto and Rivera each had two for New York.
3) Steven Matz allowed three runs over five innings and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half despite having thrown just 83 pitches. The southpaw surrendered nine hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out nine.
4) Working a third straight day and asked to get a five-out save, Addison Reed allowed a walk and a run-scoring single in the eighth before he was removed. Jerry Blevins stranded the bases loaded with a foul pop out and a strikeout, and pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Post-game reaction from Michael Avallone...
Two big steaks for Conforto and Blevins, who basically willed the Mets to their third straight win tonight. After a fairly lengthy slump, the Mets' lone All-Star has come out sizzling to the tune of a .323/.432/.774 slash line to go along with four homers, and nine RBIs since the break. It's never fair to peg a player as a certain type so early in his career, but it's fair to say that Conforto is pretty much following the script of what the Mets expected of him when they drafted him with their first pick in 2014.
Blevins continues to do the job asked of him, regardless of the situation. Like Conforto, the lefty went through a rough patch towards the end of the first half, but he is arguably Terry Collins' most trusted reliever. With Reed not getting the job done and pitching for a third straight day, Blevins was called upon with the bases loaded, one out and the Mets up 7-5. Like he's done so often, the veteran saved his teammates' ERAs and notched the save with a perfect ninth. Blevins probably could net a decent piece in a trade, but as the Mets are fully aware, building a bullpen isn't exactly easy, so with an affordable option available on his contract next season, keeping the workhorse might be the wiser choice.
Things didn't go quite as smoothly for Matz, who was coming off two straight poor outings. He got off to another rough start, surrendering three consecutive singles in the first which produced a run. A double play helped him avert further damage and seemed to settle him down, but he fell behind in the fifth when he allowed three more hits and two runs. He was visibly upset at being pinch-hit for in the bottom of the inning despite having thrown 83 pitches. It's been hard to gauge Matz so far. He was giving New York length and quality through his first five starts, but the signs of regression were there. He has a 14.46 ERA in his last three outings and he continues to allow far more baserunners than we're accustomed to seeing. >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
Highlights from the game...
News and notes...
The Mets have won three straight and improved to 5-3 on their 10-game homestand. New York is 9-5 against Oakland in Interleague play.
Conforto has three multi-home run games during the regular season in his career -- all in 2017. He went deep twice in Game 4 of the 2015 World Series against the Royals. The 24-year-old has reached base safely six times in the last two games.
Matz has surrendered 15 runs and 25 hits over his last three starts, spanning 10 1/3 innings. His five strikeouts were the most he's had since he punched out a season-high eight Dodgers on June 22.
What they said after the game...
Conforto on the win: "I think we feel good. Obviously, we feel good after a win tonight. We're definitely excited to hopefully keep this thing rolling. It's an important homestand for us, and I think all the games are important from here on out. We're going to continue to work, hopefully we'll get some guys back, and just keep trying to put W's on the board."
The Mets (44-50) go for a fourth consecutive victory and a series win against the A's (43-53) at Citi Field on Saturday night at 7 p.m. on PIX11.
Zack Wheeler (3-7, 4.98 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) takes the mound looking to snap a winless streak that dates back to May 20. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA in eight starts, including a loss against the Cardinals on Tuesday when he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. Wheeler faced Oakland twice in 2014, going 1-1 with a 9.39 ERA.
Sean Manaea (8-5, 3.68 ERA 1.21 WHIP) tries to continue an impressive first full season in the Majors. The 25-year-old has allowed more than three runs just twice in his last 15 starts and is coming of a victory last Sunday against the Indians. Manaea surrendered two runs in seven innings, the third consecutive start he's worked at least seven frames. The right-hander has never faced the Mets.