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Jason Vargas pitches five-hit shutout as Mets top Giants

Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas celebrates his 7-0

Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas celebrates his 7-0 complete game shutout against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on Wednesday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Every Met other than Robinson Cano had a good time in Wednesday night’s 7-0 victory over the Giants at Citi Field. Jason Vargas had the best time of all.

Vargas threw a five-hit shutout. He walked one, struck out eight and received multiple ovations from the small but appreciative crowd.

Amed Rosario hit a three-run homer, Michael Conforto and Adeiny Hechavarria hit solo shots as the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak.

Even Mickey Callaway had a stress-free game one night after his managerial mea culpa for removing Noah Syndergaard too early in a crushing Mets defeat. Callaway never stirred from his spot in the front of the dugout.

“I think any night that we can get a starter to finish the game, the team’s going to need that,” Vargas said. “I think that gives everybody a boost in morale and gives everybody a little bit of extra rest.”

Callaway said, “He’s just really earned the right to continue to go deeper into games because he’s been pitching so well. When he does what he does best, he’s efficient, he keeps the ball down, he gets soft contact and he’s able to continue to go deep into games.”

Cano, though, was activated before the game from the injured list and may be heading right back to it. Cano had two at-bats before he was replaced by Hechavarria in the top of the fifth with a recurrence of left quadriceps tightness.

Cano will be re-evaluated Thursday, Callaway said.

Cano’s first at-bat was an RBI slow roller to first in the first. His second was a bases-loaded, inning-ending 3-6-1 double play ball in the third. It appeared as if Cano reinjured the quadriceps on that play, although he stayed in for another inning. Cano first suffered the injury running out a ball after he was criticized for not running hard enough.

Other than that, though, the night was a cakewalk for the Mets.

Vargas (2-3) continued a renaissance since his return from the IL on May 24. In three outings, Vargas has allowed two earned runs in 21 innings.

Going back over a longer stretch, Vargas has pitched more like the player former general manager Sandy Alderson signed to a two-year, $16-million contract before last season. Since last Aug. 14, the lefthander is 7-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 17 starts.

Vargas got a standing ovation from the crowd of 23,357 before batting in the bottom of the eighth and again when he took the mound for the ninth at 102 pitches. He finished things off on his 117th pitch by getting Evan Longoria to ground to short.

“I can sleep tonight,” Callaway said. “He was fantastic. You can’t overlook the fact that we needed this bad.”

The Mets took a 1-0 lead against Giants rookie Tyler Beede in the first when Jeff McNeil led off with a double into the rightfield corner, moved to second on a deep fly ball to center by Pete Alonso and scored on Cano’s slow roller.

It stayed that way until Conforto led off the fourth with a 426-foot home run into the right-centerfield bleachers. It was Conforto’s 11th of the season.

Beede (0-2), who was making his fifth major-league start, then walked Wilson Ramos and Todd Frazier before Rosario unloaded a three-run homer into the Giants bullpen for a 5-0 Mets lead. The 417-foot blast was Rosario’s seventh homer of the season.

The Mets made it 6-0 in the fifth without a hit. Alonso was hit by a 1-and-1 breaking ball and moved to third when Beede threw Hechavarria’s comebacker into center for an error. Conforto followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

Hechavarria slugged his fourth home run off Derek Holland leading off the seventh to make it 7-0.

New York Sports