Villar, Lindor decisive in Mets win

NEW YORK – Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor forced a balk and drove in two runs with a double, fellow Puerto Rican Javier Báez and Dominican Jonathan Villar hit home runs and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 9-4 on Sunday.

The Mets won two of the three games and took a series for the first time since they swept the same Nationals in three games between Aug. 10-12.

Josh Bell hit a pair of home runs for Washington and Juan Soto also blew it. Those were the Nationals’ only three hits in the game.

Lindor set the tone for the Mets by dancing to third base in the first inning and forced a balk from Erick Fedde (6-9). It was Washington’s first balk of the season and the first time the Mets have scored via a balk since March 30, 2019, also against the Nationals.

Baez increased the lead for the Mets with a 444-foot, two-run RBI hit in the fourth inning that made it 3-2. Villar added a two-run homer in the sixth, a triple and a single, and scored three times.

Pete Alonso drove in with a single among his three hits and Dominic Smith contributed by driving in a run with a pinch-hitting single.

Tylor Megill (2-3) allowed two runs with one hit – a two-run homer by Bell in the fourth inning – walked three and struck out five in five innings. Four Mets relievers each pitched one inning to complete the three-hitter.

Venezuelan Alcides Escobar went 4-0 and his 10-game hitting streak came to an end.

For the Nationals, the Dominicans Juan Soto 2-1 with two runs scored and one RBI, and Víctor Robles 1-0. The Venezuelan Escobar 4-0. The Cuban Yadiel Hernández 3-0.

For the Mets, Jonathan Villar of 5-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. The Puerto Ricans Lindor 5-1 with a run scored and two RBIs, and Baez 4-1 with one run scored and two RBIs.