|Garrett Cooper approaching the plate on his eighth-inning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets suffered a brutal loss to the Miami Marlins, 5-2, on Friday night at Citi Field, as their offense had no follow-through after they put up 10 runs in the series opener on Thursday night on their way to a 10-0 victory. It was just Miami’s third win in nine games against the Mets this season.
Even though the Mets got solo home runs from Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor to provide their two runs, they went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Eduardo Escobar left seven of those runners on himself.
Chris Bassitt made his first start for the Mets since he beat the Marlins in Miami on May 25, as he tested positive for Covid and had to miss his last scheduled start a week ago Friday against Texas.
Bassitt had a solid outing, as he went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits and no walks, with three strikeouts. His record is now 6-6 and his ERA went down a shade from 4.01 to 3.94.
The Mets fell to 52-32 on the season, and once again, with the Atlanta Braves' 12-2 win over the Washington Nationals, their National League East division lead fell to 2 1/2 games. It was the 50th win of the season Braves, who improved to 50-35.
Miami got the early lead in this one, as Bryan De La Cruz got an RBI double to left field, just out of the reach of a leaping Mark Canha, to make it 1-0 Miami in the second inning.
In the bottom of the second, Canha got a two-out double, and then Dom Smith drew a walk, but Escobar struck out to end the inning.
Nimmo got his solo home run to open the third inning, as he launched one into the second deck in right field for his eighth home run of the season.
The Mets had another big chance in the fourth when Jeff McNeil led off with a double, and then Canha was hit by a pitch. Smith then hit into a fielder's choice, and Escobar and Nido both struck out.
Miami took the lead back in the fifth when De La Cruz doubled again, and he came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Joey Wendle to make it 2-1.
Miami starter Pablo Lopez left after the fifth, and Dylan Floro pitched a scoreless sixth, and Anthony Bass pitched a perfect seventh, striking out two, to preserve their lead.
In the top of the eighth, Jon Berti doubled with one out against Mets reliever Drew Smith, and then Garrett Cooper hit a bomb down the right field line that rang off the foul pole for a two-run home run to open up a 4-1 lead for Miami. That was Cooper's seventh homer of the season and it gave him 40 RBI on the season.
In the bottom of the eighth, with left-hander Steven Okert pitching for Miami, Lindor went opposite field for a solo homer to left, his 14th of the season, to pull the Mets within 4-2.
After Pete Alonso struck out for the second out of the inning, and to cap an 0-for-4 night for him, Okert hit McNeil with a pitch and walked Canha and J.D. Davis, who was pinch-hitting for Smith.
This was a perfect chance for Escobar to redeem himself for one swing after not delivering twice with two runners on base, but he flew out to center to end the inning.
Miami tacked a run on in the top of the ninth, as Avisail Garcia, and with Billy Hamilton pinch-running for him, came in to score on a bunt by Jacob Stallings that made it 5-2.
Tanner Scott worked around a walk to Nido to open the bottom of the ninth, and retired Nimmo, Starling Marte, and Lindor to close it out and earn his 11th save of the season.
Lopez got the win, as he improved to 6-4 with a 2.91 ERA. He went five innings, and allowed one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out five.