SAN FRANCISCO — Thirteen straight games against the Dodgers and Giants might be a daunting task, but those NL West powerhouses have also lost more than 35 percent of the time this season.
So, it’s probable the Mets will eventually break through against those teams, right?
The waiting game continued Tuesday night, as manager Luis Rojas’ beleaguered lineup forgot to show up in a 3-2 loss to the Giants at Oracle Park. The loss was the Mets’ fifth straight, all against the Dodgers and Giants, with eight games remaining against those teams over the next nine days.
The Mets (59-60) dropped below .500 for the first time since May 5 and fell 4 ½ games behind the Braves in the NL East. In August, the Mets have lost 12 of 16 games.
Pete Alonso blasted a two-run homer in the eighth against Logan Webb to provide the Mets with a glimmer of hope. The homer was Alonso’s 26th of the season and only the Mets’ second extra-base hit of the night.
The Mets got the tying run to second base in the ninth, but Kevin Pillar struck out looking on a Dominic Leone curveball to end the game.
Jeff McNeil had singled leading off the ninth against left-hander Tony Watson before Jonathan Villar struck out and Patrick Mazeika was retired on a hard grounder to first base, on which McNeil moved to second. Leone entered to face Pillar and got ahead 0-2 in the count before snapping off a curve in the strike zone to end it.
Marcus Stroman gave the Mets a much-needed solid performance following consecutive abbreviated starts by Carlos Carrasco and Rich Hill. The right-hander allowed only five hits over seven innings in which he allowed three earned runs, with nine strikeouts and two walks over a season-high 114 pitches. It snapped a streak of four straight starts in which he failed to complete six innings.
Already at 100 pitches, Stroman returned to the mound for the seventh inning and surrendered a leadoff homer to Evan Longoria that pushed the Mets into a three-run hole.
Webb lasted 7 ¹/₃ innings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander was removed after surrendering Alonso’s homer in the eighth.
The Mets wasted scoring chances in the fourth and fifth innings against Webb. In the fourth, McNeil — who began the day in an 0-for-14 slide — hit into an inning-ending double play after Michael Conforto’s double and J.D. Davis’ infield single.
In the fifth, Pillar and Stroman singled in succession with two outs, but Brandon Nimmo was retired on a soft line drive to second base. Nimmo also left Mazeika at second in the third inning, when he struck out to end the frame.
Tommy La Stella launched Stroman’s eighth pitch of the game for a two-run homer in the first inning. The blast — on a 90-mph cutter that stayed up in the strike zone — was the third surrendered by Stroman in his last four starts. LaMonte Wade Jr. singled leading off for the Giants before La Stella cleared the fence in center for his second homer of the season.
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