Even on the Mets’ biggest offensive night yet, the bullpen blew it.
Mets relievers allowed seven runs in four innings in an 11-10 loss to the Braves on Friday. Dellin Betances and Seth Lugo combined to give up five runs — and the game — in the eighth.
Former Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s go-ahead three-run double off Lugo with two outs in the eighth was the difference. D’Arnaud went 3-for-4 with five RBIs in his first game against his old team, which cut him 23 at-bats into last season.
Wilson Ramos, batting with two on and two outs in the ninth, sent a fly ball to the rightfield warning track to end it at Truist Park in Atlanta.
The Mets (3-5), who led 8-2 after 4 1⁄2 innings, have lost three consecutive games. The bullpen has a 7.09 ERA.
“We had a few tough losses already on the young season,” Luis Rojas said. “Tonight was, I want to say, the toughest one.”
Mets starter Rick Porcello said of losses like this (and Thursday and Wednesday): “It’s tough on your heart.”
The final lines for the Mets’ last two pitchers: Betances was charged with four runs in one-third of an inning and Lugo allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning.
“We need to work and get back on track,” Rojas said. “This is a really good bullpen.”
Betances put the game in danger by retiring one of five batters. Further, his fastball velocity dropped again, to 93.1 mph.
Lugo entered and walked Marcell Ozuna, loading the bases. Johan Camargo flied out to right for the second out, a two-run Mets lead intact. But then d’Arnaud had the big blow.
One pitch before d’Arnaud’s hit, Lugo landed a sinker on the lower outside corner of the strike zone. But plate umpire Mark Wegner called it a ball — drawing the ire of Rojas — to move the count to 2-and-0.
Ramos framed it poorly, too. He set up his glove inside and had to adjust when the pitch was on the outer edge of the plate.
“I definitely thought it was a strike,” Lugo said. “But I had a game plan and got away from it that next pitch. It’s unacceptable to let something like that get in your head and affect the next pitch you throw. I have to do a better job of staying focused.”
Rojas added: “[Lugo] doesn’t look down, look back or try to play the blame game at any time. I thought the pitch was pretty close in my view. I yelled too. That was a game-changer.”
It was the second poor outing in a row for Lugo, the Mets’ best reliever the past two years. He allowed a tying homer by Boston’s Christian Vazquez on Wednesday.
“Tonight I walked the go-ahead run,” he said. “And that’s just unacceptable.”
That wasted a huge night from the lineup, which battered lefthander Sean Newcomb for six runs in 4 1⁄3 innings.
Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano and rookie Andres Gimenez had multiple hits. Davis, Cano and Yoenis Cespedes had multiple RBIs. Cano and Rosario each hit his first homer of the season and Davis hit his second.
Porcello turned in a second poor outing in as many starts this season, laying the groundwork for a potentially interesting choice for Mets decision-makers when Marcus Stroman (torn left calf muscle) is ready to return.
Atlanta reached Porcello for four runs (three earned) and five hits in four innings-plus. He struck out five and walked three, including two leadoff batters.
“Well, I made it past the second, so that’s a positive,” said Porcello, who pitched two innings-plus in his Mets debut. “I felt like I was much more comfortable. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to come out with the W.”