The Mets’ Francisco Lindor is greeted by Pete Alonso after...

The Mets’ Francisco Lindor is greeted by Pete Alonso after his lead-off home run against the Padres during the first inning of an MLB game at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

On Father’s Day, the Mets had players present “Dad Jokes” on the giant Citi Field scoreboard between innings.

Example: Jake Diekman asked, “What do you call a pig that practices karate?”

Answer: “A pork chop.”

There were more groans than laughs from the crowd of 31,054 on Sunday. But that’s the point of dad jokes.

You know what’s not a joke? The way Diekman and Drew Smith almost let a big lead get away in the eighth inning. But fortunately for the Mets — with the help of Starling Marte — they didn’t, and they went on to earn an 11-6 victory over the Padres.

In sweeping San Diego for the first time since 2006, the Mets picked up their fifth consecutive win. Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, and Francisco Lindor and Luis Torrens added solo shots.

But there were some nervous moments in the eighth. Painful memories of blown leads and tough losses had to begin creeping into many minds.


“Today, we found a way,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “It got hairy there.”

The score was 7-2 in the eighth inning when Diekman entered with a man on and none out. The lefty got a potential double-play grounder back to the mound but threw it into centerfield for an error.

After a pair of walks led to two runs to make it 7-4, Diekman walked off to boos.

In came Smith, who served up an RBI double to Ha-Seong Kim and a well-struck sacrifice fly to center by Luis Campusano that almost sailed over Harrison Bader’s head.

It was 7-6. With Kim on second, Luis Arraez lined a two-out single to right. Marte, back in the lineup after missing a game with a knee injury, fired a strike to the plate, and Kim did not dare to try to score.

“That single by Arraez,” Mendoza said, “I think as a third-base coach, you go into a game knowing, ‘OK, what are some of the arms here that we need to respect?’ And with the game on the line, they didn’t take a chance. That’s Marte. He can shut down the running game. He can help you win games in a lot of different ways.”

Smith then struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. to end the inning.

The Mets (33-37) added four runs in the bottom half to make the ninth smooth sailing as they moved as close as they have been to .500 since May 19.

The Mets, who are 11-4 since their players-only meeting on May 29, are 1 1⁄2 games behind San Diego (37-38) and Washington (35-36), which are tied for the final NL wild-card spot.

“I thought we always were in the postseason race,” Lindor said. “Some people had us out, but in my mind, I feel like we have the team, we have the personnel. I still haven’t looked at the standings. I still haven’t looked at our record. But we’ve got to keep on climbing the mountain.”

Tylor Megill (2-3, 3.51 ERA) allowed two runs in five innings for the victory.

The Mets spotted San Diego a 1-0 lead on Manny Machado’s two-out RBI single in the first.

Machado was ejected by plate umpire Adam Beck after slamming his bat to the ground following a strike three call in the sixth. A few moments later, Beck also tossed Padres manager Mike Shildt.

Lindor got the run back three pitches into the bottom half of the first with his 12th homer, a leadoff shot into the second deck in right off Dylan Cease.

Brandon Nimmo (3-for-5) singled, J.D. Martinez walked and Alonso unloaded a high three-run blast to left to give the Mets a 4-1 lead before Cease recorded an out in the inning. It was Alonso’s 15th homer of the season.

The lead swelled to 7-1 in the fourth as the Mets finished off Cease (6-6, 3.95 ERA). Bader had an RBI double, Lindor lined a sacrifice fly to right and Martinez added a two-out RBI double.

Torrens led off the bottom of the eighth with his third homer in eight games as a Met. Nimmo added an RBI single and Alonso gave the Mets back their five-run lead with a two-run single.

“That’s a huge team win,” Alonso said. “I thought we did a great job the whole series and the whole homestand.”

And that’s no joke.


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