After a down month of June, Michael Conforto is on his way to turning the corner.
The 24-year-old outfielder produced a .206 batting average over 63 at-bats last month, but he went 2-for-2, including a double and two walks, in Thursday’s 3-2 walk-off win against the Cardinals at Citi Field.
Conforto is 8-for-27 (.296) since the All-Star break.
“I think our hitting guys stayed right on top of it this year, where they said, ‘Look, let’s stay with what’s working and that’s use the whole field and hit,’ ” Terry Collins said. “He’s gone back and gotten some base hits up the middle, left-center, right-center, and not just try to pull the ball, hit the ball out of the ballpark. His swing’s back.”
The Mets took a chance on righthander Neil Ramirez, hoping that a change of scenery might change the results that got him released by the Giants earlier this season. Instead, Ramirez delivered more of the same with the Mets, who on Thursday cut ties with the struggling reliever.
Ramirez was designated for assignment to clear room on the roster for lefthander Josh Smoker, who was activated from the disabled list.
Ramirez, 28, posted a 6.43 ERA in 20 appearances. In that span, he struck out 26 though he also walked 17, a staggering number in just 21 innings of work.
Smoker was placed on the DL June 14 with a left shoulder sprain. The former first-round pick had struggled this season with a 7.45 ERA in 22 relief appearances after posting a 4.70 ERA in 20 games last year.
Lefthanded pitcher Thomas Szapucki, the Mets’ fifth-round pick in 2015, underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery . . . Lucas Duda homered in the second, his 17th. It moved the first baseman into seventh place on the club’s all-time list with 125 . . . Mets have won 12 of Seth Lugo’s last 14 starts dating to Aug. 25, 2016.
With Marc Carig