NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Nimmo made an amazing grab, Timmy Trumpet blew his horn and Edwin Díaz shut the door.
Starting with another stingy performance by Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets hit every note Wednesday night in a scintillating show at pulsing Citi Field.
Nimmo saved the Mets with a breathtaking catch atop the center-field fence, and Díaz entered to Trumpet’s live tune before closing out the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 2-1 victory.
“It was awesome,” deGrom said. “That was a great atmosphere out there. The fans were in it the whole time.”
Starling Marte hit a two-run homer off All-Star lefty Tyler Anderson (13-3) as the Mets evened a three-game showdown between the top two teams in the National League.
Mookie Betts connected off deGrom (4-1) for his 32nd home run, but it wasn’t enough for the Dodgers in a tight pitching duel with a playoff feel that took only 2 hours, 19 minutes.
“That was fun,” New York manager Buck Showalter said.
Making his sixth start of the season after returning from injury, deGrom hit 102 mph on the radar gun and struck out nine in seven innings. He allowed three hits and walked one.
“Maybe the best to ever pitch,” Betts said. “So, he’s a tough task.”
The two-time Cy Young Award winner was nursing a 2-1 lead when ex-Met Justin Turner sent a drive to deep center in the seventh.
Knowing it might tie the game, deGrom turned around and went into a worried crouch on the mound. Nimmo, however, raced back and plucked the ball right off the top of the wall to rob Turner of a home run with a sensational leaping grab.
“Jumped up, the ball hit my glove and I knew it didn’t bounce out once it got in there. And then all the emotions spilled out,” Nimmo said. “I’m still really ecstatic about it. It was one of the best plays I’ve ever made.”
A fired-up Nimmo landed on his feet, pumped his fist hard and screamed in excitement as deGrom held both arms high and then tipped his cap.
“What a play,” Showalter said. “I don’t have much to compare it to.
“I think the toughest part of it is it didn’t hang up there. He had to totally commit to it. And it was a huge play.”
The outfielder received two standing ovations and a warm greeting from deGrom and other teammates as he approached the dugout after the inning.
“Great play by Nimmo,” Turner said. “Not a whole lot you can do about it.”
When the game moved to the ninth, Trumpet and Díaz took center stage.
The Australian-born musician was at the ballpark with trumpet in hand for the second consecutive night to accompany Díaz’s appearance with a live version of his song “Narco,” which has become wildly popular as the reliever’s entrance tune during a dominant season.
Díaz didn’t get into Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss, so Trumpet was relegated to a more muted version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch as fans sang along.
But he came back Wednesday and this time, the buzzing crowd of 41,799 got what it was waiting for.
As fans rose from their seats in anticipation, Trumpet emerged from under the stands on the third base side wearing Díaz’s No. 39 on a black Mets shirt and blared the familiar “Narco” notes to roars from the crowd as the All-Star closer jogged in from the bullpen.
“I tried to look up a little bit when I was running to see what was the reaction of the fans,” Díaz said. “It was pretty fun. I can feel the vibe from the fans. It was really exciting. … Everybody was getting into it.”
New York mascots Mr. and Mrs. Met danced and played along with their toy trumpets, too, before Díaz made quick work of the 2-3-4 hitters in the Dodgers’ powerful lineup for his 29th save in 32 chances.
“The pressure to deliver in that part of the order with all that coming on is remarkable,” Showalter said. “Been doing it all year for us.”
Nimmo singled with two outs in the third and Marte followed with his 16th homer, a drive that cleared the 380-foot sign on the right-center fence.
Betts went deep in the sixth, tying his career high for homers set during his AL MVP season in 2018 with Boston. The reigning NL player of the week has five homers, three doubles and eight RBIs in his last five games.
A contingent of Dodgers players and coaches, including manager Dave Roberts, spent about 90 minutes Wednesday visiting the Jackie Robinson Museum in lower Manhattan that opens to the public Monday.
“We got kind of the VIP tour. It was fantastic,” Roberts said. “Pretty inspiring.”
Dodgers: RHP Blake Treinen, sidelined since mid-April with a shoulder injury, is expected back Friday. … LHP David Price is nursing a sore arm.
Mets: Rookie 3B Brett Baty has a torn ligament in his right thumb that will likely sideline him for the rest of the regular season. He is scheduled for surgery Thursday. … RHP Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) makes his first rehab start Thursday at Double-A Binghamton. Megill, a regular in the rotation early this season, could return in a bullpen role. … RHP Drew Smith (right lat strain) is not far behind Megill in his recovery, Showalter said. … INF Luis Guillorme (left groin strain) was set to run the bases. If all goes well, the plan is for him to play a minor league rehab game Sunday.
Dodgers: Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (7-3, 2.64 ERA) comes off the injured list in the finale of the three-game series Thursday afternoon to make his first start since Aug. 4. The left-hander, sidelined by lower back pain, will probably be limited to four or five innings, Roberts said.
Mets: RHP Chris Bassitt (11-7, 3.34) tries to win his fifth straight decision. He’s lost both career starts against the Dodgers, including June 3 in Los Angeles, where he gave up three earned runs over six innings.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports