Mets sink lower as Guardians’ sweep completes rancid road trip

CLEVELAND — Even the Mets’ best pitcher this season wasn’t immune Wednesday from contributing to the team’s free fall.

Reed Garrett, the Mets’ setup stud, hardly had a brutal outing but the two ground-ball hits he surrendered — with a wild pitch sandwiched in between — were just enough to sweep the Mets into Lake Erie before Adam Ottavino dunked them completely to conclude a rancid road trip.

The Mets hit three homers, but it wasn’t enough in this 6-3 loss to the Guardians at Progressive Field.

Mets third baseman Mark Vientos throws to first base to get out Cleveland Guardians’ Johnathan Rodriguez during the fifth inning. AP

The Mets fell a season’s worst seven games below .500 with six losses in eight games on the road trip.

The Mets have lost 10 of 13 games since winning a series in St. Louis two weeks ago.

Garrett, who entered with a 0.72 ERA, allowed a single to David Fry to begin the seventh and threw a wild pitch — a ball that catcher Omar Narvaez tried to backhand rather than block with his body — before Johnathan Rodriguez’s first MLB hit, an RBI single through the first-base hole, put the Mets behind for the first time.

“Sometimes things go your way and somebody hits a line drive right at somebody and sometimes they find holes,” Garrett said. “I feel like right now as a collective unit, anything that could go wrong has gone wrong.”

Awaiting the Mets (21-28) is a 10-game homestand against the Giants, Dodgers and Diamondbacks that could bury the team into irrelevance just as the franchise’s historical bugaboo month, June, is getting started.

“I believe in this team and I believe in what we have,” Francisco Lindor said, when asked if he was worried the season might be slipping away. “Bottom line: I have to play better. I have to be a better shortstop, a better offensive player. I have got to improve in every aspect of the game. I have got to continue to push the guys forward.”

Mets center fielder Harrison Bader (44) celebrates with first baseman Pete Alonso (20) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Ottavino surrendered RBI doubles to Jose Ramirez and Kyle Manzardo in the eighth that gave the Guardians insurance.

The sweep was the Cleveland franchise’s first against the Mets (eight series overall since 2002).

“We’ve got work to do, but I am pretty confident with our guys here,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “We’re just going through a tough stretch here, but I am pretty confident that the guys will continue to work and we will get through it.”

Jose Quintana rolled into the sixth and recorded two outs with two runners on base before Andres Gimenez stroked a three-run homer to erase the Mets 3-0 lead.

Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez (0) celebrates after hitting a three run home run during the sixth inning. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Austin Hedges’ bunt (which died on the third-base foul line) went for a single to start the inning and Tyler Freeman doubled.

Gimenez, who arrived to Cleveland from the Mets as part of the trade for Lindor, blasted a shot over DJ Stewart’s head in right field that carried into the seats.

Quintana was removed after six innings and 70 pitches. The lefty allowed three earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and a hit batsman.

Pete Alonso jumped on the first pitch he received from Triston McKenzie and cleared the right-field fence to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

Mets starting pitcher Jose Quintana waits for Cleveland Guardians’ Andres Gimenez to run the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the sixth inning AP

The homer was Alonso’s 11th of the season and extended his hitting streak to eight games. Lindor’s 11-pitch at-bat ahead of Alonso might have helped.

Jeff McNeil homered leading off the second. It was a second straight game with a homer for McNeil, whose drought was 150 at-bats before he went deep on Tuesday.

McKenzie drilled Harrison Bader in the backside on the first pitch following McNeil’s homer.

Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo catches a ball hit by Cleveland Guardians’ Tyler Freeman during the fourth inning. AP

An angry Bader jawed with McKenzie as he walked to first base, but the teams remained in their respective dugouts. Bader got a measure of revenge by stealing second base.

But Bader’s greater revenge came in the fourth, when he hit the Mets’ third solo homer to extend the lead to 3-0. It continued a hot stretch for Bader, who extended his hitting streak to eight games.

“Guys are competing,” Mendoza said. “From the offensive side I feel guys are putting together really good at-bats. Right now we’re not putting it together. But I’m pretty confident that the guys will continue to work and starting Friday we’ll get something going here.”

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