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As flames ensconced Jeurys Familia in the seventh inning Sunday, the call to the bullpen occurred a batter too late. And then it got uglier for the Mets.
A tired bullpen that was without Seth Lugo, Aaron Loup, Edwin Diaz and presumably Miguel Castro, left manager Luis Rojas searching for answers. He came up with the wrong one: Trying to stretch Familia, on fumes, for two innings and then entrusting a bases-loaded situation to Jacob Barnes.
The tag team of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado blasted five runs worth of homers in the inning, helping to deny the Mets a three-game sweep of the Padres with a 7-3 loss at Citi Field.
The meltdown was a rare hiccup for a Mets bullpen that entered eighth in the major leagues with a 3.51 ERA, with Familia among the brightest spots.
Disaster struck on this day as Rojas tried to get a second inning from Familia, extending him to 41 pitches, after the right-hander had worked a scoreless sixth. With two outs, Familia walked Jurickson Profar to load the bases and then remained in the game to issue a four-pitch pass to Tommy Pham, tying it 2-2. Barnes entered and served up a grand slam to Tatis. The following batter, Machado, also homered to put the Mets in a five-run hole.
Familia’s troubles in the inning began when he walked Eric Hosmer leading off. Ha-Seong Kim followed with a single to right field before Webster Rivas’ sacrifice bunt moved the runners. Familia struck out pinch-hitter Trent Grisham for the second out before the inning collapsed.
Joey Lucchesi had given the Mets a chance by completing five innings for the first time this season. Overall, the left-hander allowed one earned run on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. It was the fourth straight start in which Lucchesi allowed one earned run or less.
Pham was responsible for the one run against Lucchesi, with a homer leading off the game. Lucchesi surrendered two additional hits in the inning, but escaped by getting Hosmer to hit into a double play.
In the second, Lucchesi walked Rivas before getting Jorge Mateo to hit into an inning-ending double play. The Mets turned their third double play of the game, in the sixth, after Familia had allowed consecutive singles to begin the inning.
Jose Peraza launched a two-run homer in the fifth that gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. The blast was the fourth of the season for Peraza, who entered 7-for-24 (.292) at home. In the inning, Mason Williams delivered a one-out single against Chris Paddack before Peraza cleared the fence in left-center.
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