Even as issues continued to plague the Mets off the field Thursday, they continued taking care of business on it.
On a day when acting general manager Zack Scott was placed on administrative leave after pleading not guilty to driving while intoxicated, the Mets kept taking advantage of the soft spot in their schedule with a 4-3 win over the Marlins at Citi Field.
Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning to provide the difference. With runners on the corners and one out, he ripped a line drive that stayed just fair and clipped off first baseman Jesus Aguilar’s glove to score Jeff McNeil for the 4-3 lead.
Trevor May and Edwin Diaz then pitched a scoreless inning each to send the Mets (66-67) to their fifth straight win (though their winning streak is technically four games because the first half of Tuesday’s doubleheader was the resumption of a suspended game from April). By sweeping the last-place Marlins (55-79), the Mets closed within 4 ½ games of the first-place Braves, who had a late game in Colorado.
“There’s nothing in the past that should make us anxious,” manager Luis Rojas said before the game, regarding the recent string of distractions surrounding the Mets. “There’s nothing in the future that should make us anxious. Today’s where all our energy and focus should be at.”
The Mets now head to Washington for a three-game series against the Nationals, continuing a 15-game stretch against the bottom two teams in the NL East as they try to make up ground after a brutal August.
Carlos Carrasco delivered a third straight solid start, giving up three runs over 5 ¹/₃ innings. It got off to an inauspicious start, though, as he gave up a home run on his first pitch of the game for the second time this season. The Marlins made it a 2-0 lead after Jazz Chisholm doubled and took third on Brandon Nimmo’s fielding error, then scored on Aguilar’s single.
Carrasco has now given up 21 earned runs in seven starts as a Met — 12 of which have come in the first inning.
Jonathan Villar stayed hot in the bottom of the first, matching Rojas and crushing a homer on the first pitch of the inning. It was Villar’s 17th home run of the season and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Francisco Lindor helped the Mets tie the game and take the lead in the fourth inning. After Nimmo led off with an infield single and took second on a throwing error, Lindor drove him home with a double drilled to left field to make it 2-2.
One out later, with Lindor on third, he induced a balk by Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara, scoring to put the Mets ahead 3-2 — the second time this week he had scored from third on a balk.
After Aguilar’s RBI single, Carrasco settled in to retire the next 12 batters in order and 14 of 15 — with the only base runner coming on a Villar fielding error.
The Marlins didn’t record another hit until the sixth inning, when Rojas led off with an infield single and took second on Carrasco’s errant throw. Carrasco struck out Chisholm before walking Aguilar on four pitches, at which point Rojas went to his most dependable reliever.
Aaron Loup entered and walked the first two batters he faced on full counts, the second forcing in a run to tie it. The veteran lefty came back to record a strikeout and a groundout to leave the bases loaded and keep the game tied 3-3.