Mets' Luis Rojas, Michael Conforto look ahead to second half of regular season after tough loss to Pirates

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Michael Conforto HR swing 7/11 white jersey
Michael Conforto HR swing 7/11 white jersey

Mets RF Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon, his first home run since May 1.

Despite what turned into a five-run first-inning lead, the Mets couldn't hold on and suffered a tough 6-5 loss. After the game, Conforto spoke to reporters about the team's outlook on the second half of the season.

"Definitely not as good of a feeling going in with a win," Conforto said. "We felt like we jumped on them pretty quick with five in the first. We weren't able to add any on. So I think that's kinda where some things happened, some runs were given up over the game, should've been able to put up a couple more runs as the game went on.

"Like I said before, this team doesn't get down. We had our own little meeting after the game, celebrated making it to the All-Star break. There's no heads hanging in there. Obviously we would've liked to get that win."

He mentioned that Francisco Lindor gave the team a positive message and said to "keep playing like a first-place team." The Mets are currently 47-40 and hold a 3.5 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East standings.

"I think if you look at our offense, we have a lot of great hitters that haven't quite hit their stride yet," Conforto said. "Francisco had a great day at the plate. He was impossible to get out, almost, today. We're looking forward to him continuing to grow at the plate this year, like he has been his entire career.

"Myself included in that, I feel like we've worked on some things and gotten to the point where I feel more like myself. From top to bottom we're starting to get healthy. J.D.'s coming back, it's just going to create more and more depth, more great bats. I would expect to see the bats heat up as we get into the summer. Pitching's been solid all year, so we expect the same from those guys too."

Manager Luis Rojas spoke to media after the loss, saying he doesn't think it will impact the team much going into the All-Star break.

"The same message we've been giving each other here, stay neutral," Rojas said. "Whether we would've won this game or lose it, just got to keep going. We are going to go into a break now. We talked about what we are going to do on this break, not after the game but we talked during the week. Everyone knows what they need to do. Gonna get rest, we're going to get together and work out on Thursday. And then we'll approach Friday's game the same we do everyday.

"It's just as simple as that, we got to stay neutral. We just gotta stay with the same mindset everyday, not carry over or think of this tough loss we had before the break. I don't think many of the guys are going to get impacted in that way after losing a tough game like this one."