It only took 66 games, but the Mets finally began their first series with the Miami Marlins on Friday night at Citi Field. Carlos Carrasco took the mound for the Mets against Pablo Lopez looking to bounce back from a rough outing in Anaheim his last time out. Carrasco threw six quality innings allowing just one run, and Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso both homered and drove in four runs to lead the Mets to a 10-3 win.
After a scoreless first from Carrasco, the Mets’ bats went right to work to get him a lead. Brandon Nimmo hit Lopez’s first pitch of the night back up the middle for a single. Starling Marte followed with a 108 MPH line drive directly at Bryan De La Cruz in centerfield, but De La Cruz dropped the ball to put two runners on for Lindor. With his mother in the crowd for the first time in New York, he hit an 0-1 changeup 440 ft. over the centerfield fence to put the Mets ahead 3-0 and let out a big yell as he rounded first base.
After a 1-2-3 inning from Carrasco in the second, Lindor came up again in a position to extend the lead. Tomas Nido was hit by a pitch before Nimmo hit his second single of the night. Both runners moved up on a groundout by Marte bringing Lindor up with two on and two outs. He nearly blooped a two-run single into left field to extend the lead to 5-0, but Jorge Soler made a sliding catch to rob Lindor of a hit.
WHAT A PLAY BY FRANCISCO LINDOR pic.twitter.com/Vg9HfXMDXm
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 17, 2022
In the third, Lindor put on a show with his glove. De La Cruz opened the inning with a soft line drive that looked like it would split the Mets’ middle infielders, but Lindor ranged to his left to make the catch. The speedy Jazz Chisholm Jr. came to bat next and hit a rocket up the middle that looked like it would beat the shift, but Lindor made the running backhanded stop and fired a perfect strike to Alonso at first base to get the out.
Carrasco found himself in trouble in the fourth inning. Avisail Garcia singled against the shift and Miguel Rojas hit a soft bloop single to put two runners on with one out. Cookie was able to escape the danger by getting Willians Astudillo to pop up before retiring Jacob Stallings on a groundout. Despite facing five hitters in the inning, Carrasco got through the inning on just six pitches.
The Marlins got to Carrasco in the fifth inning. De La Cruz led off the inning with a solo shot to left field to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Despite a two-out hit from Soler, the Marlins were not able to get any closer in the inning.
In the sixth inning, the Marlins looked poised to cut into the Mets’ lead again. Jon Berti singled to lead off the inning and stole second with nobody out. Carrasco again was able to avoid any damage. He retired Rojas, Lewin Diaz, and Stallings to strand Berti at second base and maintain the two-run lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Mets were finally able to get to Lopez again and add to their lead. Jeff McNeil singled before Mark Canha was hit by a pitch. Luis Guillorme hit a ball to the wall in left-center field that was initially ruled a catch by De La Cruz and a triple-play with both runners moving up on the fly ball. The Mets challenged the call and the replay showed that the ball hit the wall first before he trapped it and caught it with his barehand. Despite the fact that all three runners would have advanced two bases if the correct call was made, the call was overturned to a hit that loaded the bases.
With the bases loaded and one out, J.D. Davis ripped an RBI single to right field to extend the Mets lead to 4-1 and put an end to Lopez’s night. With the bases still loaded, Nimmo got ahead of Marlins reliever Tommy Nance 3-0. He uncharacteristically swung at the 3-0 pitch, a borderline pitch at best, and fouled it off before flying out to shallow left field for the second out. After being helped out of trouble, Nance walked Marte to bring in the Mets’ fifth run and hit Lindor to bring in the sixth run.
Now with a five-run lead, Pete Alonso hit a grand slam to blow the game open and extend the Mets’ lead to 10-1.
Working with a nine-run lead, Carrasco started the seventh inning but retired just one of three batters before being lifted. Adonis Medina, who was recalled today when Tylor Megill was placed on the injured list, came in and those two runs to come around before getting out of the inning.
Carrasco finished the night going 6 1/3 innings allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Medina struggled in the eighth inning, allowing a double and two walks with a balk mixed in to cut the lead to 10-4 before being pulled. After walking Soler, Adam Ottavino retired Garcia to strand the bases loaded.
Ottavino pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to bring the Mets to 20 games above .500 for the first time since 2015 and extend their lead in the National League East to 5.5 games over the Braves.
Player of the Game: Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso
Lindor and Alonso both had big games to lead the way for the Mets. Lindor set the tone in the first inning when he broke his slump with a three-run home run. He immediately followed it with three impressive plays in the field, including a highlight-reel play to rob Chisholm Jr. of a hit. His four RBIs on the night were one more than he had in the rest of June combined.
Alonso matched Lindor’s home run and four RBIs on one swing, a sixth inning grand slam to put the game out of reach. The grand slam was Alonso’s 125th career home run, tying him with Lucas Duda for eighth on the Mets’ all-time home run list. Alonso reached the total in just 435 games. Only Ryan Howard (405 games) reached that total in less games.
The Mets will take on the Marlins in the second game of their four-game series on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. Taijuan Walker (4-2, 3.08 ERA) will be taking the mound for the Mets against Braxton Garrett (1-1, 4.00 ERA) for Miami. Walker is coming off a terrific outing against the Angels where he went six innings allowing just a run on six hits while striking out ten hitters.
The game will be televised on WPIX, and the radio call will be on WCBS 880.
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