New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers against the...

New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers against the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning in Game Two of a day-night doubleheader at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Embedded within the Mets’ fourth and fifth consecutive comeback wins on Sunday, 5-4 and 2-1 victories over the Guardians in a doubleheader sweep, was a critical trio of individuals’ comebacks.

David Robertson rebounded from his first blown save of the year, on a two-run homer by Jose Ramirez in the top of the eighth, to get the final four outs and pick up the win in Game 1.

Starling Marte recovered from an embarrassing moment in the fourth inning — getting caught off first base while he put on his baserunning mitten — to hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. It was his first extra-base hit in more than five weeks.

And Justin Verlander overcame a boos-inspiring Citi Field debut earlier in the homestand to toss a gem in the nightcap: eight innings, one run, three hits.

Altogether, it got the Mets back above .500 at 25-23.

“Everybody is jacked up because of the way we’ve been winning,” Scherzer said between games. “It shows the fight that we got. We’re a great team. We know that. We weren’t playing our best baseball, but it seems like as of late we’ve found a way to click on all phases. We seem to be finding ways to win ballgames now instead of lose them.”

Buck Showalter said: “How they come back and respond is what separates them. That’s the separator. If you want to pull the dirt in and wallow around in self-pity, this game will swallow you up. You made a mistake. What are you gonna do? You have another opportunity there to make it not matter.”

 

In the late game, Verlander and Shane Bieber pitched to a duel befitting a pair of Cy Young Award winners.

Bieber went eight innings and allowed two runs, on Francisco Lindor’s homer in the sixth and Jeff McNeil’s sacrifice fly in the eighth. Verlander’s lone blemish was a home run by Ramirez in the first; he finished his outing by retiring 10 consecutive batters and 20 of the last 21.

Earlier, Max Scherzer overcame painful raw skin from a split callus on his right thumb to spin his best start of the season, six scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

The aces, combined: 14 innings, one run, six hits.

“Max set the tone for the day,” said lefthander Brooks Raley, who tossed an inning in each game (14 pitches total) and got the save in Game 2. “And I thought JV really capitalized and finished it and threw a heck of an eighth.”

Verlander said: “That’s how you draw it up on a day like today.”

Marte’s big day included a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with the homer, a steal and an inning-ending throw to second base to nab Josh Bell, who was trying to stretch his single off the rightfield wall into a double. He also scored the winning run in the night game after entering as a pinch runner.

His home run came off righthander Trevor Stephan, a high-end high-leverage reliever who entered with a 1.45 ERA. He smacked a fastball over the heart of the plate over the fence in rightfield.

“He needed that one,” Robertson said. “We all needed it.”

Marte, with a .245 average and .620 OPS, has a long way to go to get his numbers back to where they usually are. But this represented major improvement.

“He’s such a — I don’t want to say emotional. What’s another word? He cares,” Showalter said. “He works hard, he’s got a track record and he’s healthy. What else would you do but trust that type of guy?”

Marte said through an interpreter: “This has been really a battle for the last couple of weeks. Day in and day out, we’re starting to get closer to where we want to be and we feel good about it.”

Scherzer allowed three hits and one walk to the Guardians (20-26). The closest Cleveland came to putting a runner on second base against him was when Bell approached the bag, but he subsequently ended up in a rundown after Marte’s throw.

Showalter called Scherzer “the difference in the game.”

The Mets scored two runs in six innings against rookie righty Tanner Bibee. Adam Ottavino (three runs) and Robertson (one run) combined to blow a 3-0 lead in the eighth, with Ramirez’s blast putting the Guardians ahead — briefly.

“Great baseball for the New York Mets,” Lindor said. “We stuck together. We’re on a high right now.”

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