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Moving on: Wheeler pitches resurgent Mets past Giants, 6-1

NEW YORK -- No doubt about it, the New York Mets lead the league in drama this season.

In the middle of it all, they're winning again.
Zack Wheeler pitched two-hit ball against the team that traded him, Michael Conforto homered and New York scored four times in the first inning Tuesday night on the way to a 6-1 victory over the staggering San Francisco Giants.

Hours after an embarrassed Matt Harvey returned from his three-day suspension with a string of contrite apologies , the banged-up Mets began moving on from their latest commotion. Despite all the injuries and turmoil recently, New York (16-16) has righted itself on the field by winning eight of 11 following a six-game slide.

"There's been a lot of action around here. To get off, jump out to a big start like that, I think that kind of let everybody have a deep breath and really just concentrate on the game," manager Terry Collins said.

Jeff Samardzija (0-5) and the Giants, outhit 13-2, are headed in the opposite direction after their fifth consecutive defeat and eighth in 10 games. San Francisco, with three World Series titles and four playoff appearances since 2010, has the worst record in the majors at 11-23.

The team got more bad news moments before the first pitch when All-Star closer Mark Melancon was put on the disabled list -- though the Giants haven't had many late leads to protect.

"I can't explain why we're not hitting," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's been a while, and we're just sputtering here."

Buster Posey went deep for the Giants, giving him home runs in consecutive games for the first time since July 2015.

Wheeler (2-2) tossed six innings in his best start since missing two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander was drafted sixth overall by San Francisco in 2009 and shipped to the Mets for slugger Carlos Beltran in July 2011.

"I did have four walks, but that's the best I've felt all season," Wheeler said.
T.J. Rivera had three more hits for the resurgent Mets, including an RBI double off the wall in the second. The rookie fill-in for injured Lucas Duda also made a couple of nice plays at first base .

Neil Walker keyed the first-inning outburst against Samardzija with a two-run triple on a sinking line drive that went under the glove of charging left fielder Eduardo Nunez, an infielder by trade.

Jose Reyes added an RBI single and Rene Rivera had a run-scoring double , both with two outs.

Conforto homered in the seventh off Samardzija, who eventually settled in. He struck out nine and walked none but was tagged for six runs and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings.

"We've got plenty of talent on this team. I don't think that's the issue," Samardzija said. "We need to go out there day to day and forget the past and play for today."

STARTING FAST

The Mets have won four straight series and will go for a three-game sweep Wednesday afternoon. They've scored in the first inning in eight of their last nine games, totaling 17 runs.

THE ICEMEN COMETH

NHL hockey is coming to Citi Field. The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres will play the outdoor Winter Classic in Queens on Jan. 1, 2018, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced.

SECOND TO ONE

Collins managed his 1,004th game with the Mets, passing Bobby Valentine for second on the franchise list behind Davey Johnson (1,012).

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: Melancon was placed on the 10-day DL with a sore forearm, retroactive to Saturday. San Francisco played a man short and plans to make a corresponding roster move before the series finale Wednesday afternoon. The team said Melancon, who hasn't pitched since last Wednesday, has a mild right pronator strain. ... SS Brandon Crawford, on the DL since April 26 because of a strained groin, went 3 for 5 in a rehab game for Double-A Richmond. He is expected at Citi Field on Wednesday, but the Giants will wait until then to determine whether they'll activate him for the game, Bochy said. ... CF Denard Span (sprained shoulder) was slated to play five innings in his first rehab game with Class A San Jose.

Mets: SS Asdrubal Cabrera (left thumb) is expected back in the starting lineup Wednesday. ... Cabrera, hurt Saturday diving for a grounder, pinch hit for the second consecutive night and singled in the eighth. ... Duda (hyperextended left elbow) homered and had two hits in his fourth rehab game for Class A St. Lucie. He played nine innings at first base. ... Harvey, scheduled to pitch Friday at Milwaukee, was on the field with his teammates during batting practice. He did some stretching and played catch. The right-hander was suspended without pay for skipping Saturday's game following a late night on the town.

UP NEXT

Left-hander Tommy Milone makes his Mets debut Wednesday when he starts against Giants RHP Matt Cain (2-1, 4.70 ERA) in the finale of a tumultuous homestand for New York. Milone was claimed off waivers Sunday from Milwaukee to help a depleted rotation. He was 1-0 with one save and a 6.43 ERA in six games, three starts. He has not pitched since his last relief appearance April 29 and hasn't started since April 19. Milone is 45-33 with a 4.21 ERA in his major league career.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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