Verlander outpitches Bieber as streaking Mets top Guardians 2-1 for doubleheader sweep

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NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Verlander outpitched Shane Bieber in a marquee matchup of Cy Young Award winners that lived up to its billing, and the resurgent New York Mets edged the Cleveland Guardians 2-1 on Sunday night for a doubleheader sweep.

Francisco Lindor homered against his former team and Jeff McNeil knocked in the tiebreaking run with a sacrifice fly off Bieber in the eighth inning. Brooks Raley closed out New York's fifth consecutive comeback victory — all by one run — since a 6-16 slide.

In the opener, Starling Marte ended a long power drought by hitting a go-ahead homer in the eighth off Trevor Stephan that sent the Mets to a 5-4 win.

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In just the second matchup of Cy Young Award winners this season — Max Scherzer started for the Mets against Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara on opening day — Verlander (2-2) gave up three hits and struck out five. The 40-year-old right-hander became the first Mets pitcher to complete eight innings this season.

José Ramírez homered off Verlander in the first. Ramírez also hit a two-run shot in the eighth inning of Game 1 to give the Guardians a 4-3 lead.

Lindor homered off Bieber (2-2) in the sixth inning of the nightcap before rookie Francisco Álvarez led off the eighth with a single. Marte pinch-ran and dashed to third on a check-swing single past shortstop by Lindor before scoring on McNeil’s sacrifice fly.

Jerry Beach, The Associated Press