Lindor breaks out, 5 RBIs lead Mets over Nats 5-1 in opener

New York Mets v Washington Nationals - Game One

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Francisco Lindor #12 of the New York Mets celebrates a two-run home run in the fifth inning of game one of a doubleheader baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (PhoPhoto: Getty Images North America

Francisco Lindor had five RBI on a pair of two-run homers and run-scoring single for his first big offensive game with the New York Mets, a 5-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Lindor homered in the first on a sinker from Joe Ross(3-7), singled in the third on a changeup for a 3-0 lead and homered in the fifth on a slider for his 12th multi-homer game. The five RBI were his most since his career-high seven for the Indians on July 2, 2018, at Kansas City.

"I think the first one gave me more satisfaction because it showed the work that I am doing is working," Lindor said.

Cleveland traded Lindor to the Mets in January, and New York signed the 27-year-old to contracts worth $363.2 million over 11 seasons. Lindor, who had not driven in more than two runs in a game this season, is hitting .218 with eight homers and 21 RBI.

"Once again, I'm just glad he's trusting his power," Mets manager Luis Rojas said. "He can create power and he doesn't need to only pull the ball."

New York opened a seven-game lead over fourth-place Washington in the NL East and stopped the Nationals' season-high, five-game winning streak.

David Peterson threw a season-high 94 pitches but fell short of qualifying for the win, allowing one run and two hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Rojas removed Peterson after Trea Turner's two-out double in the fifth, and Aaron Loup(2-0) allowed Juan Soto's RBI single. Josh Bellwalked, and Loup struck out Josh Harrison on three pitches.

Miguel Castro and Seth Lugo combined to pitch the sixth, and Trevor May finished a four-hitter in a seven-inning game under pandemic rules.

Ross (3-7) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He was coming off consecutive starts without allowing an earned run.

"I just got beat by one guy," Ross said. "It is what it is."

Peterson scored New York's first run after he was hit by a pitch and also doubled leading off the fifth for his first big league hit.

"I feel like a full baseball player today," Peterson said.

Left-hander Jon Lester(0-2, 4.09 ERA) was to start the second game for the Nationals and Robert Gsellman(0-0, 3.65) for the Mets.

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