Francisco Lindor homers twice as Mets salvage series finale with 8-2 win against Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets were thrown a curveball of sorts Wednesday morning when San Francisco Giants left-hander Blake Snell was scratched from his start and placed on the injured list with a left adductor strain.

With little time to alter their game plan, the Mets approach was simple: Control the strike zone and be aggressive against San Francisco’s young relievers.

It worked.

The Mets defeated the Giants, 8-2, to snap a three-game losing streak and finish the road trip with a 3-3 record (13-11 overall).

“It was a little bit of a whirlwind in the beginning of the day when we found out that Snell was out,” said outfielder Brandon Nimmo. “We had been preparing for that and then we get a bullpen day, which, honestly, those are more like spring training games because most of these guys, it was our first at-bats against a lot of them. So I was just really happy with how the guys came ready to go and really pivoted.”

Francisco Lindor went 4 for 5 with a pair of two-run homers to drive in four runs and score two. Tyrone Taylor went 2 for 3 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored and Jeff McNeil went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Left-hander Sean Manaea overcame erratic command to shut out his former team for 4 2/3 innings.

Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, struggled in his first three starts of the season. Still, the Mets expected his best. Instead they got opener Ryan Walker, followed by Sean Hjelle, Landon Roupp, Erik Miller, Luke Jackson, Taylor Rogers and Mitch White.

Hjelle was charged with the loss (0-1) after giving up homers to Lindor and Taylor. Lindor’s second round-tripper came off White in the ninth inning.

“We know he can drive the ball to all fields with authority,” manager Carlos Mendoza said of Lindor. “Today, for him to have a game like that is good for him and for all of us.”

Lindor took Hjelle deep with two out in the third inning to put the Mets up 2-0. Taylor teed off for a solo shot in the fourth, giving the visitors a 3-0 lead.

His big hit came in the fifth against right-hander Landen Roupp, who was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Sacramento to replace Snell. With two on and two out, Taylor took a sinker the other way to right field for a two-run double. McNeil continued the rally with an RBI single, extending the lead to 6-0.

“Today went up by six and he still didn’t take our foot off the gas,” Lindor said. “The pitching staff was prepared and ready.”

Manaea was a swingman for San Francisco last season after playing the first six years of his career across the Bay Bridge in Oakland (he also spent one season in San Diego before signing with the Giants). He struck out the side in the first inning, though there were questionable strike calls from home plate umpire Mark Ripperger. The Giants (12-14) took note of his poor command and laid off borderline pitches in the third and fourth innings.

Manaea loaded the bases in the second with two walks and a single before retiring the next three with weak fly-ball outs to get out of the jam. He had traffic on the bases in every inning but the first and yet managed to get out unscathed.

“It might have been like one of the best worst games I’ve ever had in my life,” Manaea said. “From a pure pitching standpoint, just falling behind guys, walking guys, but also getting outs when I needed to. I got a few strikeouts but yeah, just overall it was a weird outing.”

The Mets went to right-hander Reed Garrett with two out and runners on first and second in the fifth. Manaea appeared to hit Michael Conforto with a pitch, but after a lengthy review, the former Mets outfielder was called back to the plate. He came back and swung through a sweeper for the second out.

Manaea was already at 101 pitches and the Mets didn’t want to jeopardize their lead with Jorge Soler behind Conforto. Manaea wanted to finish, but didn’t plead with Mendoza. Garrett (4-0) retired Soler to end the inning.

Manaea battled himself for the win, allowing four hits, walking four and striking out six.

“It was the fastball command,” Mendoza said. “Deep count, three balls. But he kept making pitches.”

Garrett gave up a home run to Tyler Fitzgerald in the seventh, but with Thursday off, the Mets could use their high-leverage relievers. Adam Ottavino and Edwin Diaz finished off the Giants.