By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — On a Roberto Clemente Day particularly meaningful to both of them, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco propelled the New York Mets past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Thursday night to extend their slim lead in the NL East.
Lindor launched his 24th home run to set a Mets season record for shortstops, and Carrasco (15-6) struck out 11 in six splendid innings as New York moved a game ahead of idle Atlanta.
Slumping designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach drove in three runs against his former team, and pinch-hitter Mark Vientos had an RBI single for his first major league hit.
Breaking out early at the plate in the opener of a four-game series, the Mets halted a five-game home losing streak and rebounded from a three-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field.
New York improved to 6-7 in a 16-game stretch against Washington, Pittsburgh, Miami and Chicago — all more than 20 games under .500 this season.
Michael Chavis had an RBI double in the second for the last-place Pirates. JT Brubaker (3-12) was tagged for five runs and seven hits over three innings before leaving with discomfort in his right lat muscle. He is day-to-day.
Carrasco was playing catch in the outfield to get loose as more than a dozen other winners of baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for community service and playing excellence were introduced during a pregame ceremony. Major League Baseball was celebrating its 21st annual Roberto Clemente Day, with festivities centered at Citi Field to honor the Pirates Hall of Fame outfielder who died in a plane crash at age 38 attempting to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve 1972.
A leukemia survivor, Carrasco won the cherished award in 2019 with Cleveland.
Lindor, like Clemente a proud native of Puerto Rico, hit a two-run homer into the second deck in right field to make it 4-0 in the third. Jeff McNeil followed with a double and Vogelbach, acquired from Pittsburgh in a July trade, added an RBI single.
Vogelbach got the Mets going in the first with a two-run double off Brubaker.
Coming off a four-game sweep in Cincinnati, the Pirates were outhit 10-4 and denied their first five-game winning streak since April 2019.
Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (5-10, 4.01 ERA) starts Friday night against Taijuan Walker (11-4, 3.48).
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