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Jose Peraza, Mets sweep doubleheader against Rockies

The Mets’ once proud “Bench Mob” can simply be called “Mob” given all the injuries that have thrust backups into starting roles. Count Jose Peraza among those who have embraced the opportunity.

Peraza, a veteran infielder, accounted for most of the Mets’ scoring Thursday afternoon, over two games at Citi Field.

After blasting a homer that helped the Mets beat the Rockies 1-0 in Game 1, he delivered a go-ahead single and finished with two RBIs in the second game. The Mets completed the doubleheader sweep with a 4-2 victory.

With pitching and defense at the forefront, manager Luis Rojas’ banged-up crew is persevering and will take a three-game winning streak into a weekend series against the Braves.

Peraza delivered an RBI single in the fourth inning of Game 2 that snapped a 1-1 tie before drawing a bases-loaded walk as part of a two-run sixth. The doubleheader sweep was the Mets’ second this season (they took two from the Phillies on April 13).

Mets Jose Peraza
Jose Peraza celebrates in the Mets dugout on May 27, 2021.
Robert Sabo

“I’ve gotten this opportunity and I am going to try to take advantage of it,” Peraza said through an interpreter. “At the end of the day it’s just being prepared for your opportunity and this is what I’m doing now.”

The 27-year-old Peraza — who has become a regular with injuries to J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil — began the season on the Mets’ taxi squad. It was an adjustment for a player accustomed to life on the major league roster.

“You have to give credit to the guy, because this is something he’s never lived,” Rojas said. “He’s always been on a roster since he’s been in the big leagues and for him to find a way in now … it’s the same thing the group has been doing. He’s one of those guys you can use as an example.”

Joey Lucchesi had control issues in Game 2 and was removed after allowing one run on two hits and three walks over 3 ²/₃ innings. Drew Smith, Aaron Loup, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman and Jacob Barnes combined to pitch the final 3 ¹/₃ innings. Gsellman was charged with a run in the seventh.

In Game 1, Marcus Stroman fired six scoreless innings in which he allowed three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in carrying the Mets to victory. Edwin Diaz worked a perfect seventh to earn his ninth save.

Stroman (4-4, 2.47 ERA) has been a savior to a rotation hit by injuries. The right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his 11 starts this season, stabilizing a staff that just returned Jacob deGrom from an injured-list stint and will regain Taijuan Walker on Friday. Also, Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard are on the IL, but not close to returning. On Thursday, Rojas said Syndergaard has elbow inflammation and won’t throw for at least six weeks as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.

“Since we have a lot of guys on the IL, I just feel it puts a little bit more pressure on the guys who are in the rotation to kind of carry their load while those guys are out,” Stroman said. “I know once we get them back we’ll roll. We have a ton of adversity right now, we’re playing through a ton of adversity and we’re putting it together, putting wins together.”

Peraza homered leading off the third for the only run in Game 1. The blast was Peraza’s second of the season.

Stroman allowed a single and stolen base to Ryan McMahon in the first inning and then didn’t surrender another hit until the fifth, when German Marquez delivered a two-out single.

Francisco Lindor’s glove helped prevent a possible Rockies rally in the second. After Brendan Rodgers walked, Garrett Hampson hit a sharp grounder that Lindor snagged diving toward the bag and flipped with his glove to Peraza covering second.

“We have some absences from our starting rotation right now and [Stroman] has given us length,” Rojas said. “What he’s done is he’s helped our bullpen stay fresh.”


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