With pitching and power, Mets sweep Marlins, surge over .500
NEW YORK (AP) — J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso homered in an electric seventh-inning rally, lifting the New York Mets over the Miami Marlins 5-4 Monday night for a doubleheader sweep that moved them above .500 for the first time since early May.
New York won the opener 6-2 as Jeff McNeil welcomed Robert Dugger to the major leagues with a home run on his first pitch, Amed Rosario broke a 1-1 tie with a third-inning homer and Jacob deGrom gave himself a three-run cushion with a two-run single.
New York (57-56) had not been above .500 since it was 16-15 before play on May 3. The Mets dropped to 40-51 after losing their first game of second half but are 17-5 since, winning 11 of their last 12. The Mets trailed by eight games for the second NL wild card before play on July 25 but started the doubleheader just three games back.
“We know we’re far from our goal,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “We have to continue to climb and climb and climb, and scratch and claw.”
Curtis Granderson gave Miami a 4-2 lead against his former team in the nightcap with a tiebreaking, two-run double in the fifth against Robert Gsellman.
Davis homered off Jeff Brigham (1-1) leading off the seventh and Conforto hit a 440-foot drive with two outs that went over the second deck seats in the right-field second deck, just inside the foul pole. Alonso followed with a low laser shot just inside the left-field pole for his 35th homer, the rookie’s first since July 26, giving the Mets three home runs in an inning for the first time in exactly two years.
Jeurys Familia (3-1) pitched a hitless inning, and with the crowd of 29,645 roaring, Seth Lugo got six outs for his second save this season and the fifth of his career. Conforto hit a two-run single in the first.
“We still got work to do,” deGrom said between games.
Dugger (0-1), brought up despite a 9.34 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A, gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in five innings, striking out three, hitting two batters and throwing a wild pitch. The 24-year-old right-hander became the first starting pitcher to give up a home run on the first pitch of his debut since New York Yankees rookie Derek Jeter — the Marlins current CEO — went deep off the California Angels’ Jason Dickson on Aug. 21, 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“I think the walks pretty much got him in trouble,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Isan Diaz, a 23-year-old second baseman, was among the four prospects acquired from Milwaukee in January 2018 for outfielder Christian Yelich. Diaz homered on a 1-2 fastball leading off the sixth, a 422-foot drive to right that was part of a 1-for-7 day.
A contingent of family and friends of the debutants cheered from the seats behind third base,
Another prospect obtained from the Brewers, 25-year-old outfielder Lewis Brinson, rejoined the Marlins and went 0 for 6 in the doubleheader. Brinson was demoted to Triple-A New Orleans on April 30 after starting the season with a .197 average, no homers and four RBIs.
To make from for Diaz at second, Starlin Castro played third in the opener for the first time since rookie ball in 2008. Rookie Jon Berti switched from third to shortstop, where he had played just 11 innings previously in the big leagues.
McNeil homered for the third straight day — nine of his 14 home runs this season have come on the first pitch. McNeil, whose .337 batting average leads the major leagues, left the second game in the third inning because of a right calf cramp.
Miami tied the score when Brian Anderson and Castro doubled on the first two pitches of the second, but Rosario but the Mets ahead with his first Citi Field homer since June 6. DeGrom singled in the fourth for his first two-RBI game since May 2017.
Marlins: OF Cesar Puello (strained left hip flexor) and 1B Neil Walker (sprained right index finger) were put on the 10-day IL. RHP Ryne Stanek, acquired last Wednesday from Tampa Bay, was activated. He had not pitched since July 19 due to right hip soreness. RHP Kyle Keller was optioned to New Orleans.
Mets: INF infielder Luis Guillorme was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace 2b Robinson Canó, who is back on the injured list, this time with a torn left hamstring.
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (8-6) makes his second start following the trade deadline, pitching Tuesday against Marlins RHP Jordan Yamamoto (2-4) — also part of the Yelich trade.