The important home runs ripped by the Replace-Mets all week continued Sunday. They even are starting to repeat themselves now.
Adeiny Hechavarria’s second three-run blast in three days was the key blow as the Mets overcame Zack Wheeler’s early hole for a 4-3 win over Detroit at Citi Field.
Offensive reinforcements Rajai Davis, who was designated for assignment before the game, Carlos Gomez and Aaron Altherr also hit big home runs during the Mets’ 6-1 homestand.
“Whenever you’re able to help the team in every way, it feels good,” Hechavarria said through a translator after the Mets evened their record at 26-26 before beginning a seven-game western trip Monday in Los Angeles. “It’s important for us to come in and contribute, and that’s what we’re focused on doing.
“We came up here for a specific reason. I don’t care if it’s hitting or running or making a defensive play or coming off the bench, I’m here to help the team in any way possible.”
Hechavarria, 30, has started the past four games at second base with Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil sidelined with injuries. The Cuban-born infielder had been mired in a 1-for-16 slide before hitting a three-run shot to give the Mets another lead in a 9-8 loss to Detroit on Friday night in the series opener.
“It’s an important job for me because we all know what kind of player Robinson is,” said Hechavarria, who totaled six home runs in 296 at-bats last season with Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and the Yankees. “I’m not a power hitter, but today it happened to go out. I’m just trying to do my job in any way possible.”
Wheeler spotted the Tigers a 3-0 lead through three innings before the Mets recouped one run in the fourth on Todd Frazier’s half-swinging bunt against the shift into shallow rightfield.
“Honestly, that impressed me a lot. I asked him and he said it was the first time he had ever bunted like that before,” Hechavarria said. “Then I thanked him, because it was another run that I was able to drive in.”
Two batters later, Hechavarria drove Detroit starter Spencer Turnbull’s 0-and-1 four-seamer over the rightfield wall for a 4-3 Mets lead.
Wheeler and relievers Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz were able to nurse the one-run cushion through the remainder of the game.
“I really love the way he’s driving the ball the other way. He’s got some pretty good pop that way,” Mickey Callaway said of Hechavarria. “He’s staying on the ball and taking a good swing at it, and obviously his defense is always going to be tremendous.
“And I hate to keep saying it, but that’s the depth that we need,’’ Callaway added before praising general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. “To Brodie’s credit, our front office’s credit, they went out and got players that can step in and keep us competitive.”