CLEVELAND -- The No. 3 spot in the lineup agrees with Michael Conforto.
Placed there this weekend to try to ignite a slumping offense, Conforto delivered RBI doubles in the first and second innings and Steven Matz contributed seven scoreless innings as the New York Mets beat the Cleveland Indians, 6-0, in Sunday’s rubber game at Progressive Field.
The Mets (5-6) won their first series of 2016.
Matz (1-1) rebounded after lasting only 1 2/3 innings in his season debut. He limited the Indians to three hits and two walks while striking out a career-high nine batters in a 94-pitch effort. He retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. His ERA dropped from 37.80 to 7.27.
Conforto became the fifth player in franchise history to produce an RBI double in each of the opening two innings of a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The most recent to achieve it had been Danny Garcia on May 21, 2004. Conforto became the first of that group to also score in both innings.
Conforto went 5-for-12 with three doubles, one homer and three RBIs during the three-game series. He previously had batted sixth.
The Mets got big-time help from Indians center fielder Rajai Davis -- and the sun -- in building a 6-0 lead in the second. With two outs, Davis lost fly balls off the bats of Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes, playing them into a triple and double, respectively. Davis was wearing sunglasses at the time. Asdrubal Cabrera contributed a two-out squeeze bunt to score Granderson during that three-run second against 2014 American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
What’s next: The Mets visit Philly, seeking payback after the Phillies won two of three games at Citi Field during the opening week. Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.69 ERA) opposes right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (1-1, 1.50) in Monday’s 7:05 p.m. ET series opener.
David Wright is due to return to the lineup after getting Sunday off, but Travis d'Arnaud (bruised left elbow) likely will wait until Tuesday before returning. Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 while filling in for d’Arnaud on Sunday.
After serving as the DH in Cleveland because of sore legs, Cespedes should be back in center field for the series opener at Citizens Bank Park.