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Mets split Red Sox double-header after Max Scherzer gives up 4 homers in nightcap

BOSTON — The Mets survived the Boston Red Sox once, but couldn’t do it twice in one day.

The teams split an abbreviated doubleheader Saturday at Fenway Park. The Mets got one win thanks to their bullpen, taking the first game, 5-4. While Jeff McNeil’s little league home run highlighted the day, ultimately the Mets lost the nightcap, 8-6.

The Mets rallied to score three in the ninth, but Masataka Yoshida made a tough catch on a foul popup in by pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach to end the game and preserve the win for the Red Sox.

Triston Casas’ second homer of the day off right-hander Max Scherzer doomed the Mets (46-52) in the sixth inning. He became the first rookie to ever homer twice off Scherzer in a single game.

Scherzer (8-4) gave up five earned runs on four hits — all home runs. The Red Sox (52-47) blasted three leadoff home runs with all three coming on different pitches — a curveball, a cutter and a slider.

It was Boston’s rookie first baseman — a high school teammate of Mets infielder Mark Vientos — who got the better of the future Hall of Famer when he drove a 2-1 fastball 428 feet into the center-field stands for a two-run shot that broke a 3-3 tie.

McNeil’s single with a two-base error in the fourth inning scored the Mets’ three runs. Facing left-hander James Paxton (6-3) with two on and two out, McNeil singled up the center and the Red Sox had a complete defensive breakdown. Center fielder Jarren Duran threw to the plate to try to prevent a run and catcher Jorge Alfaro overthrew second base, throwing the ball well past Duran and giving McNeil enough to come all the way around to score.

The bullpen has been anything but reliable for the Mets this season, but it was key to the first game, a continuation of Friday’s game after it was suspended due to weather. The Red Sox were held to one run in 5 2/3 innings after the game started in the bottom of the fourth.

“It’s one thing to map out potentially what you’d like to do,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s another thing if you can get the other team to cooperate with it.”

The Red Sox might have cooperated, but little else did.

Utility infielder Luis Guillorme left the game in the bottom of the sixth when a hard chopper by Rafael Devers took a bad hop and he tweaked his left calf trying to get to the ball on the grass behind him and hold the runners on first on and second.

Guillorme, who was wearing a walking boot and using crutches after the game, was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain. The Mets recalled infielder Danny Mendick to take his place on the roster.

It’s a disappointing turn of events for Guillorme, who was already unhappy with a Triple-A demotion early in the season.

“I’m not happy about it,” Guillorme said. “Especially with things around this that happened around this time last year with my groin. It is what it is, but I’m not happy about it.”

The game resumed at 2:11 pm, with the Mets leading 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Vogelbach had the go-ahead homer in the fourth inning Friday night, taking Kutter Crawford (4-5) for a two-run shot, his fifth of the season.

Grant Hartwig (3-1) took over for Kodai Senga and gave the Mets a chance, giving up a single hit over two innings. The Mets rewarded him with an insurance run for the win.

“I was going until they told me I couldn’t,” Hartwig said. “That’s all I was planning to do and my job was to get it to the guys at the end of the game.”

There were missed opportunities on the part of the Mets, who left seven on base and went 5 for 17 with runners in scoring position. With only a two-run lead, Showalter was forced to go to his high-leverage pitchers to close out the game. Brooks Raley and David Robertson did their jobs effectively, with Robertson working his 14th save.

But that left the Mets with the low-leverage arms in the second game. Right-hander Trevor Gott faced four batters in the seventh and allowed three earned runs, including a two-run homer to former Mets third baseman Justin Turner. Gott has now given up six over his last 1 2/3 innings.