NEW YORK — No team was happier to flip the calendar on Saturday than the New York Mets.
Justin Verlander pitched seven steady innings for his first victory in nearly six weeks, and slumping rookie Francisco Alvarez hit the first of three quick homers that powered the struggling Mets to a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
“It’s July. We’ve got July off to a good start. We’re hoping to build on it,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s a real accountability to trying to get where we want to get. The potential’s still there for us.”
“Sometimes in the baseball world, you don’t even know what day it is,” Nimmo said. “But sure, if the guys want to look at it as it’s a new month and, hey, this is a clean slate — anything that’s positive for me, I’m all behind.”
“I’m glad June’s over,” Showalter said before the game.
The 40-year-old Verlander (3-4) gave up five hits, struck out six and didn’t allow an earned run for his 247th victory and first since May 21 against the Cleveland Guardians.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner was 0-2 in his previous six starts.
“It wasn’t perfect, but I was able to make pitches when I needed to and felt a lot better than last time,” Verlander said. “Definitely a huge step in the right direction and just trying to build off that momentum.”
The right-hander has a 0.84 ERA in his past five starts at Citi Field.
“I thought he did a really good job of mixing it up, keeping hitters off balance, staying off the barrel,” Giants third baseman J.D. Davis said of Verlander. “He did his job, and he’s one of the best to do it.”
San Francisco (46-37) put two runners on after that, but Verlander fanned Brandon Crawford on a full-count breaking ball with his 29th pitch of the inning.
“It’s a big spot. You want to pick your teammate up,” Verlander said. “It feels incredible.”
“This is how you draw it up. I thought a well-played game overall,” Nimmo said. “I think it’s definitely what this team is designed to do. Just more of it in the future is what we need.”
Struggling Mets ‘hoping to build’ on winning start to July