Mets lean on Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo to smack Nats

Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo combined for two homers and six RBIs on Tuesday night, leading the host New York Mets to a 7-5 win over the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game series.

Starter Jose Quintana gave up just one hit over seven scoreless innings for the Mets, who improved to 5-4 this month and moved back to .500 at 45-45. The Nationals have dropped six of their nine games in July.

Lindor and Nimmo, each of whom were among the top players left off the National League All-Star team announced on Sunday, teamed up to produce the Mets’ first six runs against Washington starter Jake Irvin (7-7). Lindor had an RBI single in the second immediately before Nimmo hit a three-run homer to left.

Lindor extended the lead with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. He finished 3-for-4 with a walk.

Jeff McNeil added an RBI double in the eighth. Harrison Bader had three hits for New York.

Quintana (4-5) was perfect outside of the third, when he gave up a leadoff single to Luis Garcia Jr. before plunking CJ Abrams and walking Lane Thomas, with both blemishes coming with two outs. Quintana then retired James Wood on a groundout to short.

Quintana struck out five and walked just one on Tuesday and has a 0.89 ERA in his past five starts, a span in which he has lowered his overall ERA from 5.29 to 3.91.

The Nationals rallied against the Mets’ bullpen in the final two innings.

Pinch hitter Ildemaro Vargas hit a two-run homer off Adam Ottavino in the eighth and Keibert Ruiz laced a two-run shot into the second deck in right in the ninth against Reed Garrett, who got the next two outs before walking Jacob Young.

Edwin Diaz took over on the mound and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Young to score from second before striking out Abrams to record his ninth save of the year.

Irvin, who earned the win against the Mets with eight innings of one-hit ball in a 1-0 victory last Thursday, allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out two over six innings.