Kyle Schwarber’s Huge Day Pushes Nationals Past Mets

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WASHINGTON — Kyle Schwarber homered three times and tied a major league record with five in a two-game span, leading the Washington Nationals over the Mets, 5-2, Sunday to take three of four in the series.

Schwarber set a Nationals/Expos franchise record by homering nine times in a 10-game span, increasing his total to 18 this season with his first career three homer-game. Moved in the leadoff spot on June 12, Schwarber had four R.B.I. for the second straight game.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know what’s going on,” Schwarber said.

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He hit a 2-0 fastball from Taijuan Walker (6-3) for his fourth leadoff home run this season, capped an eight-pitch at-bat starting the fifth by homering on a sinker for a 3-1 lead.

“I think he’s just locked in right now,” Walker said. “He was just hitting every fastball we threw at him.”

Schwarber then hit an 0-1 slider from Jeurys Familia for a two-run homer into the Mets’ bullpen in left field in the seventh.

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“That’s as hot as you can get,” Mets Manager Luis Rojas said.

Schwarber had the sixth three-homer game since the franchise moved to Washington for the 2005 season, the first since Anthony Rendon’s 10-R.B.I. game against the Mets on April 30, 2017.

“I’m a big believer that hitting is a feeling. Don’t get me wrong, there’s mechanical, there’s approach, things like that,” Schwarber said. “But when you step in the box and everything feels right, you already have a big advantage.”

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Schwarber’s third homer followed a pinch-hit double by Gerardo Parra, a 34-year-old fan favorite who returned to the Nationals on Sunday when his contract was selected from Class AAA Rochester. Parra’s walk-up music of the children’s song “Baby Shark” became a theme of the Nationals’ run to the 2019 World Series title, and it sounded before his at-bat to the crowd’s delight.

Parra spent last season with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, then signed a minor league contract with the Nationals last winter.

“Almost cried,” Parra said of the crowd reaction.

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Patrick Corbin (5-5) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. He retired 15 of 16 batters on 76 pitches through six innings.

Pete Alonso homered leading off the seventh. ending a 38 at-bat homerless stretch with his 11th this season. Alonso reached 80 home runs in 274 games, third-fewest behind Ryan Howard (245) and Aaron Judge (264).

A shifted third baseman Starlin Castro snagged pinch-hitter Dominic Smith’s smash up the middle off Kyle Finnegan for a double play in the seventh.

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The Mets scored just nine runs in the four-game series. Despite going 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position, Washington closed within five games of the Mets.

“It’s really clicking,” Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said. “Every guy is doing their part.”

Walker, who had allowed just two prior homers this season, dropped to 2-3 on the road to go along with a 4-0 home mark. He allowed four runs and a season-high 10 hits in six and a third innings.

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Kevin Pillar’s sixth homer tied the score in the second, and Josh Bell hit a go-ahead single in the third.

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