NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — Eduardo Escobar homered for the third game in a row, Carlos Carrasco recovered from some poor starts and the New York Mets topped the Texas Rangers 4-1 on Sunday.
Starling Marte went deep for the second straight day and Jeff McNeil hit an RBI double to help the NL East leaders win two out of three in the interleague series, giving them 15 wins in their last 20 home games.
The win was #1,600 as Major League manager for Buck Showalter, who defeated one of his former teams to pass Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda for 22nd place.
Jonah Heim homered for the second consecutive day for the Rangers, his 12th of the season. He started the day right away with Atlanta backstop Travis d’Arnaud for the most in the majors as catcher.
Carrasco (9-4) struckout eight batters and walked one in 5 2/3 innings. He came from consecutive losses to Houston, who tagged him for a combined 11 runs and 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings.
The 35-year-old righthander was lifted with two ups and high-five his infielders on the mound before clapping his glove as he walked away to a standing ovation from the crowd of 25,241.
Joely Rodríguez retired Kole Calhoun, who homered twice and batted in four runs on Saturday to end the inning. The lefthander also worked a hitless seventh with two strikeouts before Adam Ottavino threw a perfect eighth.
Edwin Díaz, the NL reliever of the month for June, retired the side for his 18th save in 21 attempts. With two runners up, he sniffed Mitch Garver and got Leody Taveras on a flyout to end it.
A Texas error set up a fast Mets rally in the fourth.
Pete Alonso struckout to start the inning, but the pitch went away from Heim behind the plate. His throw to first was in the runner, who arrived just ahead of Alonso, and the ball tapped onto Nathaniel Lowe’s glove, who reached for it hesitantly as Alonso approached.
The burly slugger rushed to second base when the ball rolled into right field. Heim was charged with a foul, the first for the Rangers in six games. They had played just one in 13 games since June 17 — the fewest in the majors during that span.
McNeil hit the next delivery of Jon Gray (4-4) for a tiebreaking double, and Escobar drove a 0-2 fastball into the center right Texas bullpen for his ninth home run to make it 4-1.
The switch-hitting third baseman was pumped up when his trot began. He homered in all three games of the series, including a three-run shot in a 4-3 win Friday-evening.
Marte homered on a 0-1 pitch in the first inning for the second day in a row.
Gray gave up four runs, earned three and six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. He won his previous three starts and Texas had won nine straight games started by Gray and teammate Martín Pérez, who beat the Mets on Saturday.
New York promoted the 20-year old catcher and DH Francisco Álvarez from Double-A Binghamton to Triple-A Syracuse. Rated as one of baseball’s best prospects, Álvarez hit .277 with 18 home runs, 47 RBI’s and a .922 OPS in 67 games at Double-A. With little offensive production at catcher and DH, the Mets could qualify for a second-half call-up to the majors.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom went on to throw about 25 pitches and two innings on Sunday-evening in his first minor league rehab start for Class A St. Lucie. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been sidelined all season due to a stress response in his right shoulder blade that caused inflammation. … Reserve outfielder Travis Jankowski (broken left hand) takes battle training on the field and could soon begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Syracuse.
The Mets put LHP David Peterson on the paternity list and recalled RHP Colin Holderman from Triple-A Syracuse.
Rangers: Start a three-game run in Baltimore on Monday afternoon with RHP Dane Dunning (1-6, 4.09 ERA) against Orioles RHP Dean Kremer (2-1, 1.29). Dunning, who has seen little support this season, is winless in his last 11 starts. He is 0-5 with a 5.58 ERA on the road this year and has just one career win away from home, in September 2020 with the White Sox in Pittsburgh. Texas has lost its past eight starts.
Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (6-2, 2.72 ERA) on Monday-evening will pitch in the opener of a three-game series in Cincinnati, which has the worst record in the National League. Tricky rookie RHP Hunter Greene (3-9, 5.72) goes for the Reds. Walker fired 7 1/3 shutout innings last Wednesday with a four basehit against Houston.