|David Peterson striking out Bryan De La Cruz in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets shutout the Marlins, 6-0, on Monday afternoon at Citi Field to win three out of the four games in the weekend series. The Mets improved to 45-24 and, for the moment, lead the Atlanta Braves by 6 games in the National League East.
David Peterson got the start for the Mets, and he threw 5 1/3 shutout innings, in which he scattered six hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts, to earn the win and improve to 4-1.
Peterson battled throughout the game, starting with a wacky first inning, which started with Jon Berti reaching on an error by third baseman Eduardo Escobar, but the then picked him off first base, as he was leaning, obviously looking to run (he stole three bases on Saturday. Then, with two outs, Jorge Soler lined one off the third base bag for a single, but Garrett cooper then struck out to end the frame.
The Mets then had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the first against Miami starter Trevor Rogers, like Peterson a left-hander, who entered with a 3-5 record and a 5.87 ERA.
Nimmo doubled up the right-center field gap, then Staling Marte reached on an error before Francisco Lindor reached on an infield hit down the first base line.
Pete Alonso was up next, and he worked it to a full count before striking out as he took a big cut. Mark Canha then drew a walk to bring in Nimmo and make it 1-0, but that was all they would get, as J.D. Davis struck out and Jeff McNeil flew out to left.
Miami had a big chance in the top of the second, as Miguel Rojas and Jacob Stallings led off the frame with singles. Peterson got out of it, as Jerar Encarnacion, Sunday's hero who hit the game-winning grand slam in his Major League debut, hit into a fielder's choice for the first out, and then Bryan De La Cruz and Luke Williams struck out.
Peterson worked out of another two runners on base and nobody out jam in the third, and then retired Miami in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Rogers really got into a groove, as he retired nine straight Mets up until Canha opened the fourth with a strikeout.
Davis then drew a walk, and McNeil laced one to left field that looked like a single, but because Davis hustled and went to third on it, and then throw from Williams went there, McNeil snuck into second for a double.
Eduardo Escobar hit a sacrifice fly to relatively shallow left field, but Davis still tagged and he beat the throw at home plate with a pretty acrobatic slide. Then, with Tomas Nido up, a pitch bounced off Stallings' gear, barely getting past the dirt of the home plate area, but McNeil hustled and got in there, beating Rogers to the plate, to score and make it 3-0 Mets. Nido then grounded to third to end the inning.
McNeil exited the game at the start of the fifth with tightness in his right hamstring, with Luis Gullorme coming in to play second base. The Marlins once again put two runners on base with one out against Peterson in the fifth, but he got Soler to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to get out of it.
The Mets got another rally going in the bottom half of the fifth, as Nimmo and Marte led off with singled, but once again, they couldn't make it a big inning. Lindor flew out to center field for the first out, which was notable if only for the fact that De La Cruz had to retrieve an errant balloon, and then when it looked like he would toss it up to a fan, he popped it, and the crowd laughed.
Then, Alonso got a sacrifice fly to bring in Nimmo and make it 4-0 and give the Mets first basemand 64 RBI on the season. Canha couldn't keep it going, as he struck out.
In the top of the sixth, Peterson got Cooper to ground to short for the first out before allowing a single to Rojas and walking Stallings. Since he was at 100 pitches and with Encarnacion due up, that was all for the lefty.
Adam Ottavino came in to face Encarnacion, and he had a better fate than Seth Lugo on Sunday, as he got the big right-handed hitter to bounce into an inning-ending double play. He stayed on for the seventh and retired Miami in order, with two strikeouts. Drew Smith pitched the eighth, and the Mets tacked on two in the bottom half on an Eduardo Escobar two-run single before Yoan Lopez pitched a scoreless ninth.