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J.D. Davis changes approach, hits two HRs

Davis, who started at cleanup for only the third time in his career, was 3-for-3 with a walk.

Mets third baseman J.D. Davis looks for his

Mets third baseman J.D. Davis looks for his pitch during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals in an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Sunday, April 6, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

J.D. Davis did not so much break through his slump Saturday as burst through it with the jubilant vehemence of the Kool-Aid man busting through a wall.

With a big smile, Davis said recent adjustments have helped him at the plate, and on Saturday, it showed: He hit two solo home runs, both against Patrick Corbin, for the first multi-homer game of his career. What’s more, he was able to reverse some especially bad fortune: Going into the game, he had a BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .214 and had been robbed numerous times on the way to his .150 average.

“I’ve got a few balls taken away from me in Washington and just tried to do much,” Davis said, adding that he worked with hitting coach Chili Davis to change his approach. “I was setting up too late. I wasn’t having any rhythm. I think that was the biggest thing, and once I had my rhythm, I had my timing.”

Davis, who batted cleanup for only the third time in his career, was 3-for-3 with a walk. His first home run of the game, in the fourth, was the hardest-hit homer in the majors this season, according to Statcast, with an exit velocity of 114.6 mph. It also was the third hardest-hit home run by a Met since the Statcast era began in 2015.

“Off the bat, I knew the ballpark played deep, so I was busting my butt out, thinking maybe a double or a triple,” he said. “It’s awesome, absolutely.”

McNeil’s knee gets most of day off

Jeff McNeil didn’t start Saturday because the Mets are being cautious with his banged-up knee, Mickey Callaway said. The manager does not believe it to be a cause for concern, and McNeil pinch hit in the eighth and played third in the ninth . . . The Mets will pitch Jacob deGrom on Tuesday and Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday, skipping Jason Vargas’ spot . . . Edwin Diaz earned the save, his fourth of the year and his 14th straight converted opportunity.

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