NEW YORK (AP) — Deadline acquisition Tyler Naquin homered twice in his home debut, Edwin Diaz locked down his first two-inning save as a pro and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 Thursday night to open a pivotal five-game series between the NL East rivals.
Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers in the third for the Mets, who extended their lead over the Braves to 4 1/2 games. Alonso, who began the scoring with a single in the first, finished with three RBIs.
Carlos Carrasco (12-4) extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 23 1/3 innings before Michael Harris II laced a two-out, RBI single and Ronald Acuña Jr. followed with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Carrasco retired the final four batters he faced — No. 2 hitter Dansby Swanson to end the fifth, followed by Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario — to allow Mets manager Buck Showalter to arrange his bullpen so that Diaz could get the final six outs.
“The last inning he pitched was probably the key inning,” Showalter said. “Set up the rest of the game for us by him being able to get those three guys out after giving up some runs.”
Harris had another RBI single in the seventh to bring up Acuña as the potential tying run, but Adam Ottavino struck out the 2018 Rookie of the Year.
Diaz entered in the eighth — though his trumpet-blaring warmup song, “Narco,” didn’t begin until he was already on the mound — and needed just 11 pitches to retire Swanson, Olson and Riley via a groundout and a pair of strikeouts.
“I was trying to run (to the mound) at the same pace of the song,” Diaz said with a laugh.
Rosario led off the ninth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch but was stranded there. Diaz fell behind Orlando Arcia 3-0 before getting him to hit a comebacker on a check…