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Jun 16, 2024 6:17 am

J.D. Martinez, Mets look to keep rolling vs. Padres

j.d. martinez

J.D. Martinez almost has single-handedly carried the New York Mets to three straight victories.

Manager Carlos Mendoza saw signs Saturday that those surrounding Martinez in the lineup might be getting ready to offer the veteran designated hitter some help.

The Mets will look to complete a sweep of San Diego on Sunday afternoon when they host the Padres in the finale of a three-game series.

Tylor Megill (1-3, 3.51 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against fellow right-hander Dylan Cease (6-5, 3.36).

Martinez remained red-hot Saturday afternoon when he hit a pair of homers and reached base in all five plate appearances to lead the Mets to a 5-1 win.

Martinez hit a two-run homer to end a three-run fourth inning before adding a solo shot in the seventh. He also walked twice and singled.

The 36-year-old has collected seven RBIs in the last three games — the most RBIs he’s had in a three-game span since he had eight RBIs for the Los Angeles Dodgers from July 21-25, 2023.

Martinez hit his first career-walk off homer Thursday in the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory against the Miami Marlins before lacing a two-run double in the third inning of Friday’s 2-1 win over the Padres.

“Amazing,” said Mets pitcher Jose Quintana, who earned the win by allowing two hits over six innings Saturday. “He’s one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen.”

But Martinez wasn’t quite a one-man team Saturday. Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo combined to open the scoring by doubling on consecutive pitches immediately before Martinez’s fourth-inning homer.

Nimmo added another RBI hit in the eighth for the Mets, who received hits from seven of their nine starters. New York had just seven hits total in its wins on Thursday and Friday.

“We’ve got some guys that are getting close,” Mendoza said. “I’m pretty confident that some of the other guys will step up here pretty soon. I like what I’m seeing out of those guys, too.”

The Padres aren’t seeing much out of anyone at the plate other than 21-year-old rookie Jackson Merrill, who extended his home run streak to three straight games by going deep off Quintana in the fifth. San Diego has scored each of its last eight runs via the homer dating back to Kyle Higashioka’s walk-off blast in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The Padres’ two hits Saturday were their fewest since they were two-hit in a 2-1 loss to the Marlins on May 31, 2023. They are 7-for-59 (.119) in the first two games of the series, a span in which they’ve been hitless in seven at-bats with runners on base.

“Last two we’ve just been a little off,” Padres third baseman Manny Machado told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “They’ve executed and our game plan didn’t work out.”

Megill took the loss last Tuesday, when he gave up three runs over 4 2/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Marlins 4-2. He won his lone previous start against the Padres on April 12, 2023, when Megill allowed two runs over five innings in New York’s 5-2 victory.

Cease earned the win last Monday after surrendering one run over six innings as the Padres beat the Athletics 6-1. Cease took the defeat in his only start against the Mets on Aug. 1, 2019, when he gave up four runs over seven innings as New York beat the Chicago White Sox 4-0.

–Field Level Media

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