Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Escobar 5, Marlins 4 As Mets Take First Place Back


Pete Alonso (20) points back to first base to congratulate Eduardo Escobar on his two-run single in the eighth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets, powered by five RBI from Eduardo Escobar, came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Miami Marlins, 5-4, in 10 innings on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

The win puts the Mets back in first place, as they improved to 98-58 and have a one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves, who lost to the Washington Nationals, 3-2, in 10 innings. The Mets travel down to Atlanta on Friday night to open a three-game series, weather permitting due to Hurricane Ian, that will likely decide the divisional race with just six games left. 

For the second straight night, the Marlins jumped out to an early lead, as Bryan De La Cruz hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and they added to it in the sixth when De La Cruz got an RBI double down the left field line that chased Mets starter Taijuan Walker from the game.

With Seth Lugo on for the Mets, JJ Bleday hit a sacrifice fly to bring in De La Cruz and make it 4-0 Miami.

Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo cruised through the first six innings, as he allowed no runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out six.

Jeff McNeil opened the seventh with a single, and that brought Escobar to the plate, and he crushed one to left field for a two-run shot, his 20th home run of the season, to bring the Mets within two.

In the eighth, Tanner Scott walked the bases loaded with one out before Richard Bleier, he of the three balks he was called for on Tuesday night, entered.

The first batter Bleier faced, McNeil, popped out to shortstop for the second out of the inning.

Escobar was up next, and he laced one to right field to score two and tie the game at 4. Mark Vientos struck out to end the threat.]

The Mets turned to their closer, Edwin Diaz, for the ninth since they tied it, and he struck out the side, per usual. 

Miami turned to Andrew Nardi for the bottom of the ninth, and Tomas Nido, who has turned into one of the Mets' hottest hitters in September as he has built his average up to .242, crushed one to deep center field with one out that went off the fence for a double.

Speedster Terrance Gore went in to pinch-run for the Mets catcher, and Brandon Nimmo followed with a walk.

Jeff Brigham came on for Miami to face Alonso, and he struck him out, his fourth of the night, and Francisco Lindor popped out to second base to end the promising threat.

Drew Smith came on for the Mets in the tenth, and he retired the Marlins in order, notching two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the tenth, Dylan Floro, who earned a save in Miami's win Tuesday, entered the game. With Lindor serving as the "ghost runner" at second base, Mark Canha lined out to right field to open the inning.

McNeil was then intentionally walked to give the Mets two on base with one out, and Miami a chance at a double play.

Escobar was up next, and he laced one to a vacant left side of the infield with the shift on, and Lindor raced around to give the Mets the 5-4 victory.

Mets Manager Buck Showalter earned the 1,649th victory of his career, and he is now one victory away from tying Mike Scioscia for 19th on the all-time wins list. Buck has an overall career record of 1,649-1575.

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