Pete Alonso #20, Brett Baty #22, Francisco Lindor #12 and...

Pete Alonso #20, Brett Baty #22, Francisco Lindor #12 and Jeff McNeil #1 of the Mets celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field on Friday, Apr. 12, 2024. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Mets made a wrong turn from the starting line. But after dropping their first five games, they finally turned around and headed in the right direction.

They were back at Citi Field Friday night, opening a six-game homestand and facing MLB’s hottest team, the Royals, who had taken their last seven and nine of 11. So the Mets really needed Luis Severino to help them continue in the right direction.

The 30-year-old former Yankees righthander had been a mixed bag in his first two starts, looking like his not-so-good 2023 self in the first one and his former effective self in the second.

Severino did his part again, holding a team that had scored 24 times in the previous two games to one run on one hit — a Salvador Perez homer — over five innings. Four relievers turned it into a combined three-hitter.

The Mets backed the pitching with 14 hits, and they cooled Kansas City, 6-1.

So they have won two straight and six of eight, turning 0-5 into 6-7.

“We are finding our footing,” said Francisco Lindor, who received supportive ovations before every at-bat from the announced crowd of 18,822 after arriving with a .098 average. “We are sticking with each other. We are playing the game the right way.


“We don’t have the team to go out there and roll through teams. . . . Now we are in place where we’re playing every inning the right way.”

Jeff McNeil contributed three hits, including an RBI single. Brett Baty extended his career-high hitting streak to seven, going 2-for-4, including a two-run double. Plus, Pete Alonso cracked a solo homer.

The Mets have 30 hits to show for their last two games and have had at least 10 in five of the last six.

“I feel like hitting his contagious,” McNeil said. “I feel like the whole team is putting together some good at-bats.”

While Severino (1-1) put together his second straight strong start, he went only five innings for the third straight start. Adam Frazier had a 12-pitch at-bat for a walk to start the fifth, leading to a 27-pitch inning, bringing Severino to 90. He ended up fanning four and walking four.

“He just kept us on the end of the bat,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro was telling reporters on the other side of the stadium. “We didn’t square a whole lot up.”

Perez sent a 93.9-mph fastball on a 108.4-mph, 433-foot ride to the left-center seats to open the second, and that was it for hits against Severino.

“The only bad pitch of the day was that pitch to Salvador,” Severino said. “It was not a terrible pitch, but he’s a great hitter. And then \[I have to\] try to limit a bit the walks. Everything else, I feel really good with all the pitches.”

The Mets tied it in the third against Michael Wacha (1-1), who gave up five runs and 10 hits over six. Brandon Nimmo delivered a two-out RBI double to right-center — 1-1.

The following inning, Baty looped a single down the right-field line two outs and nobody on. Francisco Alvarez grounded a single into right. Then McNeil lined a curve down the leftfield line for the lead.

The second baseman went 2-for-22 over his first seven games. He’s 8-for-17 over his last five. So his average has climbed from .091 to .256.

“He’s a hitter,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “He was a batting champion not too long ago.”

DJ Stewart capped the rally by dumping a single into right for the 3-1 advantage.

Then in the fifth, Nimmo opened with a walk. Lindor, who went 1-for-3 with a walk and raised his average to .111, lined a single to left. And with two outs, Baty belted his two-run double to center to make it 5-1.

“He’s getting results,” Mendoza said. “You can see the confidence right now.”

Homer No. 4 by Alonso went to left-center in the eighth, setting the final margin.

Jake Diekman, Reed Garrett, Adam Ottavino and Jorge Lopez followed Severino and finished off the night for the Royals (9-5).

“I think as a team we’re winning ballgames and our confidence is growing,” Baty said. “I feel like we’re all meshing together and we’re playing well.”


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