NEW YORK (AP) — Jon Berti hit a leadoff homer to complete his cycle for the day and the Miami Marlins pulled even in the race for the final National League playoff spot, beating the New York Mets 4-2 on Wednesday night for a doubleheader split.
Jesús Sánchez also went deep and the Marlins took advantage of an error by rookie third baseman Brett Baty to score twice in the ninth inning. Miami is tied for the third NL wild card with the Chicago Cubs, who lost 6-5 in 10 innings at NL East champion Atlanta. Both teams are 82-76 with four games left.
Francisco Lindor had three homers and six RBIs in the doubleheader, becoming the fourth Mets player with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season.
Alonso barely missed a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning of the nightcap when his two-out double caromed off the top of the left-field wall. After an intentional walk to Lindor, left-hander Matt Moore (5-1) retired DJ Stewart on a popup.
Miami loaded the bases against Adam Ottavino (1-7) with nobody out in the ninth on two singles and an intentional walk. Xavier Edwards scored the go-ahead run when Baty flubbed a grounder by pinch-hitter Yuli Gurriel. One out later, Bryan De La Cruz added an RBI single.
Andrew Nardi got three outs for his third save.
Lindor hit a two-run homer right-handed in the opener, then a pair of solo shots from the left side off starter Johnny Cueto early in the nightcap.
When he connected leading off the fourth, Lindor immediately pumped his fist and pointed toward New York's dugout. That drive made the $341 million shortstop the fourth player in Mets history with a 30-30 season. He joined Howard Johnson, Darryl Strawberry and David Wright, the last to accomplish the feat in 2007.
Lindor's 15th career multi-homer game and first this year gave him 96 RBIs.
After hitting a single, double and triple in the first game, Berti launched his seventh home run of the season to start the nightcap. Sánchez also had a solo shot off Kodai Senga, who surpassed 200 strikeouts in the final start of his splendid rookie year. The right-hander waved to the crowd of 24,966 as he walked off to a standing ovation after whiffing Jake Burger for No. 200 to end the third.
Senga allowed three hits in five innings and struck out eight to finish 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA and 202 strikeouts in his first big league season since arriving from Japan. The only Mets rookie with more was Dwight Gooden, who holds the major league rookie record with 276 strikeouts in 1984.
Gooden sat in the front row behind the Mets' dugout Wednesday.
Burger was ejected by plate umpire Ramon De Jesus when he threw down his helmet after taking a called third strike with the bases loaded to end the seventh. Marlins manager Skip Schumaker came out to argue and also got tossed.
The first game was a makeup after the series opener was postponed Tuesday night because of unplayable field conditions. The infield at Citi Field wasn’t covered with a tarp for at least some portion of last weekend, when rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia began pelting New York City for four straight days.
The tarp was on the field Tuesday, but when showers finally subsided in the late afternoon and the tarp was removed, the messy field was too soggy to play.
That forced a doubleheader Wednesday that affected Miami’s pitching plans in the final days of a heated playoff race — angering team officials, according to a report by The Athletic.
Mets owner Steven Cohen apologized to the Marlins and their fans on social media for the postponement.
“It’s been weird, but it’s no excuse,” Garrett said.
Even on dry fields, New York (72-86) has been a thorn in Miami's side all season. The Mets are 8-4 against the Marlins, outscoring them 59-34 with one meeting remaining.
Alonso scored a career-high four runs and finished a triple short of the cycle in busting out of a 3-for-38 slump. He also was hit by a pitch in the eighth.
Garrett (9-7) gave up the homers to Alonso and Lindor. The left-hander permitted four runs and three hits in four innings after allowing only two earned runs in 21 2/3 innings over his previous four starts. He had yielded three runs or fewer in each of his past 10 starts.
“I had trouble with my cutter today, keeping it up in the zone,” Garrett said. “I'm really proud of the season, and hopefully it's not the last one.”
Alonso tied Howard Johnson for fourth place in Mets history with 192 home runs.
Marlins: All-Star infielder Luis Arraez (sprained left ankle) sat out the opener and wasn't in the starting lineup for the second game, either. Arraez leads the majors with a .353 batting average. ... RHP Huascar Brazobán (left hip impingement) was reinstated from the injured list Tuesday night when closer Tanner Scott went on the paternity list.
Mets: RF Starling Marte (right groin strain) will not return this season.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB
Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press