Kris Bryant made his biggest impression of the season on the National League playoff picture with two home runs Monday night, powering the San Francisco Giants to a 7-5 victory over the visiting New York Mets in the opener of a critical three-game series for both teams.
Brandon Belt also homered, Brandon Crawford had four hits and right-hander Kevin Gausman (12-5) established a new career-high for wins as the Giants, leaders of the NL West, began a stretch of 19 straight games against fellow contenders with a hard-fought win.
Pete Alonso had a two-run triple and Jonathan Villar a two-run homer for the Mets, who lost their fourth straight to drop to .500 at 59-59 and fell 3 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves, their largest deficit of the season, in the NL East.
After Alonso had tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning with his third career triple and then scored the go-ahead run on a Dominic Smith sacrifice fly, Bryant followed a pinch-hit double by Alex Dickerson with a two-run homer off Mets reliever Miguel Castro (3-4) in the bottom of the inning.
Two innings later, Bryant followed another pinch hit — this one Belt’s 16th homer of the season — with a solo home run of his own, increasing his season total to 21 and bumping the San Francisco lead to 6-3.
The homers by Bryant were his second and third in 15 games since joining the Giants in a trade from the Chicago Cubs.
An RBI triple by Crawford, capping his 4-for-4 performance, made it 7-3 before inning’s end.
Villar’s homer, his 14th of the year, got the Mets within 7-5 in the eighth, and when pinch hitter Brandon Drury singled one out later, New York twice brought the potential tying run to the plate against Giants set-up man Tyler Rogers.
But Rogers struck out Brandon Nimmo and got Michael Conforto to ground out to end the inning, setting up closer Jake McGee’s 1-2-3 ninth for his 26th save.
Gausman worked five innings, allowing three runs and five hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Mets starter Rich Hill was pulled after 3 2/3 innings, charged with two runs on six hits. He struck out two and did not issue a walk.
Wilmer Flores had two hits and an RBI and Evan Longoria scored twice for the Giants, who remained four games up in the NL West over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who also won on Monday.
J.D. Davis collected three singles, while Villar and James McCann had two hits apiece for the Mets, who played competitively despite an early-morning, cross-country flight into San Francisco after a nationally televised home game on Sunday night.
–Field Level Media