Edwin Díaz gets 6-out save as Mets beat Braves

NEW YORK — Edwin Díaz is the Mets’ closer. Closers pitch the ninth. Yet when the bullpen gate swung open after the seventh inning at Citi Field on Thursday, it was Díaz who strode out of it.

So unexpected was the strategy that a long moment passed before the Citi Field sound team was able to cue up “Narco,” Díaz’s uber-popular entrance music. When the trumpets finally sounded, the announced crowd of 38,693 moved in rhythm.

If the importance of this five-game series between the Mets and Braves was in any way unclear, Buck Showalter underscored it with his use of Díaz. All season, the Mets manager has talked about his desire — and his closer’s willingness — to have Díaz pitch earlier in games should the situation call for it. So when Braves sluggers Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson and Austin Riley queued up to open the eighth inning of a two-run game, Showalter called on his best reliever, who mowed through them en route to the final six outs of a 6-4 victory. .

Tyler Naquin also went deep twice in his Citi Field debut for the Mets, joining Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach in a four-homer attack as the Mets extended their NL East lead to 4 1/2 games.


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