MIAMI (AP) — Sandy Alcantara threw a two-hitter in a pitching duel with Noah Syndergaard, and the Miami Marlins beat the reeling New York Mets 3-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
A day after being shut out on just one hit, the Mets lost their fifth in row. The latest defeat against a team with baseball’s worst record is sure to intensify speculation about the job security of Mets manager Mickey Callaway.
Alcantara (2-4) struck out eight, walked one and needed only 89 pitches for the Marlins’ first complete game shutout since Edinson Volquez tossed a no-hitter against Arizona in June 2017. The 23-year-old righty, acquired from St. Louis in a trade for Marcell Ozuna before last season, threw his first complete game in the majors.
Syndergaard (3-4) retired the first 12 batters and allowed two runs in seven innings. He was visited by a trainer in the seventh but finished the inning.
The Mets (20-25) have their longest losing streak of the year and are a season-worst five games under .500. They went 1-5 on their trip and have dropped 16 of their past 20 road games.
It won’t help Callaway that Robinson Cano’s hustle again came into question when he failed to run when he hit a dribbler that traveled only a few feet. The Mets slugger stood at the plate and argued the ball was foul while the Marlins completed a 2-6-3 double play.
On Friday, Cano jogged to first when he grounded into an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play. He told Callaway he thought there were two out.
The Marlins (13-31), who came into the series with a seven-game losing streak, have their first three-game winning streak of the season.
They won with six hits. Curtis Granderson hit his fifth homer for their final run in the eighth.
Alcantara had a bunt single to set up the game’s first run, and he made a nifty behind-the-back grab of J.D. Davis’ one-hopper in the first inning.
The Mets trailed 2-0 when they mounted their best threat in the eighth. Alcantara made an errant throw trying to start a double play, which put runners at first and second, but pinch-hitter Dominic Smith grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Rosell Herrera led off with a double, and when Alcantara attempted to sacrifice, his bunt found a soft spot on the left side of the defense for a single to put runners at first and third. Herrera came home when Curtis Granderson grounded into a double play.
Neil Walker doubled to start the seventh and later scored on Miguel Rojas’ sacrifice fly.
The crowd of 15,983 was the biggest at Marlins Park since opening day.
Alcantara has made five of his 15 career starts against the Mets, and has an ERA of 2.14 with a 2-2 record.
PACE OF PLAY
The game took 1:59 to play. The first 19 batters went down in order, and the first three innings took only 31 minutes.
Mets: LHP Luis Avilan (left elbow) is expected to begin playing catch soon.
Marlins: C Jorge Alfaro (left calf strain) might return to the lineup Tuesday. ... INF-OF Jon Berti (strained left oblique) was scratched from the lineup and is day to day.
Mets: They begin a four-game series against Washington at home Monday with the starting pitcher to be announced.
Marlins: Following an off day, LHP Caleb Smith (3-1, 2.25) is scheduled to start Tuesday when Miami begins a seven-game trip in Detroit. Opponents are batting .180 against him, which ranks second among National League starters.
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