|Brandon Nimmo crossing the plate on his home run. Photo courtesy of @Mets Instagram.|
The Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 9-3, on Sunday to take two of three in their weekend series down south, and coupled with their 11-3 win Saturday night, gave the Mets' offense 20 runs in two days.
The two wins also ensure the Mets, who improved to 89-52, will head home in first place with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Atlanta Braves, who fell to 87-53 after a wild 8-7 loss to the Mariners in Seattle. Atlanta was down 6-2 heading into the ninth inning, where they put up five runs to take a 7-6 lead, and Seattle got solo home runs from Julio Rodriguez and Eugenio Suarez to win it in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off win.
The Mets now have 43 wins on the road, which is the eighth-most in franchise history, tied with the 1987, 2011, and 2016 teams.
This offensive explosion came after possibly the toughest nights of the season, as the Mets lost, 6-3, to the Marlins on Friday night, then saw the Braves beat Seattle, 6-4, to take a half-game lead in the National League East, the first time since April 11 that the Mets were not in first place. That Mets loss also gave them a record of 3-4 in the first seven games of this 16-game stretch against sub-.500 teams, and that night could be looked at as the nadir before their offense found itself again.
Saturday night: Mets 11, Marlins 3: Miami took the early lead in this one against Mets starter Carlos Carrasco, as Garrett Cooper had an RBI double in the bottom of the first. The Mets tied it in the third when Jeff McNeil had an RBI single off Marlins starter Pablo Lopez.
That was the appetizer to the offensive buffet that the Mets have anticipated for awhile would come in the fourth inning.
Mark Canha opened it with a walk, followed by a single from Daniel Vogelbach. Eduardo Escobar followed with an RBI double to bring in Canha, and James McCann singled in Vogelbach to make it 3-1.
Nimmo followed with a walk, and then Francisco Lindor singled to bring in Escobar. McNeil then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 5-1 lead. Pete Alonso then flew out for the second out, but Tyler Naquin walked to keep the inning alive and load the bases, and that was it for Lopez.
Mark Canha was up next, facing Miami's Andrew Nardi, and he launched a grand slam, the first of his career, to left field to blow it open, and make it 9-1 Mets, capping off an eight-run inning.
The Mets tacked on another run in the fifth when Lindor hit a solo shot, his 22nd home run of the season. Escobar got a solo homer of his own, his 16th homer of the year, to make it 11-1, before Miami got a couple of late runs.
Carrasco went six innings, allowing just one run (earned) on four hits and no walks, with six strikeouts to improve to 14-6 on the season, with a 3.80 ERA. This was a nice bounce-back in the right-hander's second start back from injury, after he couldn't get out of the third inning last Sunday in a 7-1 loss to Washington.
Sunday afternoon: Mets 9, Marlins 3: The Mets got an early lead in this one against Marlins starter Jesus Lazardo, as Brandon Nimmo launched a three-run home run to right-center field, his 14th of the season, to give them a 3-0 lead. The Mets center fielder also has 53 RBI this season.
They added to it in the third when Jeff McNeil had an RBI single, and another one in the fourth when Tomas Nido singled and came in to score when Pete Alonso hit into a force out, and that make it 5-0 Mets. That gave Alonso his 109th RBI of the season.
After Miami got on the board against Mets starter Taijuan Walker when Brian Anderson hit a solo shot in the fourth inning, the Mets blew it open in the fifth when Nido laced a two-run double to left field to make it 7-1.
Nido's big day wasn't done yet, as he got a solo home run in the ninth, his first of the season, and that made it 9-3. That capped off a day he went 3-for-4, with three RBI, three runs scored, and a walk. Since he had a single, double, and home run, he was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Before Nido's shot, Escobar opened the ninth with a solo shot, his 17th of the season, to go along with 53 RBI.
Up Next: The Mets open a seven-game series, starting with a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, followed by four with the Pittsburgh Pirates beginning Thursday night through next Sunday afternoon.