PHOENIX — It’s been a while since this was true, so prepare yourself for an unfamiliar sequence of words: The Mets are on a winning streak.
They beat the Diamondbacks, 8-5, on Tuesday for their third consecutive victory. Featured among the fireworks — a total of six home runs — was the Mets’ trio of go-ahead long balls, including Francisco Alvarez’s decisive 467-foot blast in the seventh inning.
This is the first time that the Mets have won three in a row since May 30-June 1, when they swept the Phillies. Before that, it was a five-game streak featuring multiple walk-offs in mid-May. Before then, the Mets hadn’t won three straight since their West Coast trip in April.
Now the trick for the Mets (39-46) will be to do what they haven’t been able to all season: Keep this up. Make sure it’s not just a mirage in the desert.
“Today is a perfect example of it: It took a total team effort, total team win, in order to beat that team,” said Max Scherzer, who picked up the win despite a mediocre start in which he allowed four runs in six innings. “It’s going to be like that the rest of the way. Everybody has to do their job. When we play well as a team, we all click, we can play with anybody in this league.”
Alvarez said through an interpreter: “It feels good, but also this team knows what we’re capable of doing. We can do that and more. So it’s not necessarily a surprising thing. We’re just going to continue to go out there, we’re going to continue playing and hope to do even better than what we’ve been doing.”
Arizona (50-36) trailed by four heading into the bottom of the ninth but wound up bringing the potential winning run to the plate after mounting a mini-rally against Drew Smith and David Robertson. Robertson got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to ground out to end the game.
That turned Alvarez’s fly ball — launched to left-centerfield off former Met Miguel Castro — into the eventual game-winner. He snapped a tie at 4 to give the Mets their third lead after Scherzer blew the first two.
Alvarez’s 14 home runs already are the most by a Mets rookie catcher, passing Travis d’Arnaud’s 13 in 2014.
“I felt it. I knew it immediately. Once I hit it, it was gone,” Alvarez said. “And once you see the ball going that far, your emotions start to heighten, because you know the significance of that moment. We took the lead at that point. That was a really exciting moment.”
The Mets reached D-backs righthander Zach Davies for four runs in 5 2⁄3 innings. They had a baserunner in each of the early innings but didn’t score until the fourth, when Starling Marte hit a three-run homer. Brandon Nimmo followed with a solo shot in the fifth.
Scherzer’s odd outing included five hits: three solo home runs, plus two infield singles. He also struck out nine and walked two.
Corbin Carroll homered in the first. In the fourth, Christian Walker and Gurriel hit back-to-back shots with two outs.
“This game came down to home runs,” he said. “I gave up solo shots and we hit a two-run shot and a three-run shot. So it goes back to my thing: Solo home runs don’t beat you.”
Scherzer (4.03 ERA) seemed set up for a longer appearance until he threw 28 pitches with outs in the bottom of the fifth. Arizona’s rally consisted of an infield single, a walk, another infield single and another walk (of Carroll to force in the tying run).
Already at 91 pitches, Scherzer returned for a perfect sixth inning on just 10 more.
“Him pitching the sixth inning was impressive,” manager Buck Showalter said. “That set up the rest of the game for us. If he doesn’t pitch that sixth inning, we got a different dynamic . . . A lot of guys wouldn’t have. Or couldn’t have, I should say.”