David Peterson checked off a couple of firsts offensively on Saturday, notching his first major league hit and scoring the first two runs of his career.
The second-year lefty also posted a second consecutive encouraging performance on the mound, even if he was pulled one out shy of qualifying for a win in the fifth inning of the Mets’ 5-1 victory in the opener of a day-night doubleheader in Washington. The Mets lost 6-2 in Game 2.
The 25-year-old Peterson allowed one run on two hits and three walks over 4 ²/₃ innings with six strikeouts, one start after tossing six innings of one-hit ball in a 5-2 win Monday against the Cubs.
“A really good outing,” manager Luis Rojas said between games. “Good mix of his pitches. At the point I pulled him out, it was a lot of pitches, and how hot it was out there, he had run the bases twice, we just had to [make a change].”
Peterson, who entered the game 0-for-12 at the plate in his career, was clipped on the leg by a pitch by Washington starter Joe Ross in the third inning and scored from second on Francisco Lindor’s single to right.
Peterson also doubled up the gap in right-center for his big league hit in the fifth and came in on the shortstop’s second two-run blast of the afternoon for a 5-0 lead.
“It was an awesome feeling. It’s been coming. But it was good to get the first one,” Peterson said of his first hit. “I felt like a full baseball player today.”
Indeed, Peterson’s turnaround on the mound this week has been even more impressive, especially after he had been knocked out in the first inning and the third inning of his previous two outings, respectively, giving up nine earned runs over three combined innings.
The half-inning after his trip around the bases ahead of Lindor’s second two-run shot, Peterson was checked on by Rojas and head trainer Brian Chicklo after covering first base to retire Kyle Schwarber for the second out of the fifth.
“They thought I was grabbing at my side, but [it was] nothing,” Peterson said.
He remained in the game, but an 11-pitch at-bat by Trea Turner resulted in a two-out double and pushed the lefty’s pitch count to a season-high 94. Rojas summoned Aaron Loup to replace Peterson, and Juan Soto stroked a single to right for the Nationals’ lone run.
“I felt great. I did what I had to do between innings to cool down, get a drink of water and catch my breath and go back out there to get the fifth,” said Peterson, who lowered his ERA to 5.31. “I had a good battle with Turner there, but he’s a good hitter. … I felt like I could keep going, but Luis decided it was time to make a change, and that’s the direction we went in.”