Mets rescue struggling Matt Harvey, rally to win fifth straight

NEW YORK — Chased early again, Matt Harvey took a seat in the Mets dugout after helping Miami to a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning, a white towel draped over his left shoulder, a despondent look on his face as he leaned forward and stared at the field.

"It wasn’t fun being out there while I was," he said, "but it was obviously fun watching the team battle back like that."

And what a comeback it was.

Travis d’Arnaud and Curtis Granderson started the revival with solo homers, Yoenis Cespedes hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off Fernando Rodney in the eighth and Jeurys Familia escaped trouble by inducing a game-ending double play. New York scored in every inning from the fourth through the eighth, spraying key hits like Fourth of July fireworks to beat the Marlins 8-6 Monday and extend their winning streak to five.

"These ones are special," rookie Brandon Nimmo said. "These ones take a lot of heart and a lot of grit."

Harvey tied his season high by allowing 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings and made a throwing error that led to three runs, but Erik Goeddel, Logan Verrett, Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins (3-0) and Familia combined for shutout relief. The Mets even overcame a pair of replay reviews overturning calls that originally went their way.

Down after losing three games at first-place Washington last week, New York followed its four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with its biggest comeback win since rallying from a 7-1, seventh-inning deficit to win 8-7 at the Nationals last Sept. 8, and the Mets closed within four games of the NL East leaders.

"We talked to the team before the Cubs series, and I said, `We’ve got 11 games (until the All-Star break),’" Mets manager Terry Collins recalled. "We’ve got to grind it out 11 days, and then we’ve got a nice little rest."

After arriving at their hotel at 4 a.m. following Sunday night’s win over Atlanta at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Marlins outhit the Mets 17-13 in the late-afternoon start but ran out of energy.

"For us it needs to be a lesson learned," manager Don Mattingly said. "We’ve got to keep playing. We’ve got to keep trying to score, and you can’t ever let your guard down."

Even with his team down six runs, Collins tried to remain upbeat.

"We can get a bloop and a blast and get right back in it," he recalled thinking.

D’Arnaud, who hit his first homer of the season in the fourth off starter Tom Koehler, had three hits and is 11 for 21 (.524) in seven games following an 11-for-61 slide (.180) that spanned a two-month stint on the disabled list. Granderson connected in the fifth, homering for the second straight game since returning from a calf injury.

New York closed to 6-4 in the sixth against Kyle Barraclough when d’Arnaud reached on a bases-loaded infield single and pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson grounded into a run-scoring double play. The Mets tied the score in the seventh on Cespedes’ first double, James Loney’s RBI grounder and Wilmer Flores’ sacrifice fly.

D’Arnaud reached on an infield single starting the eighth against Rodney (0-2), who was acquired from San Diego last week and had allowed just one earned run this season. Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares sacrificed and Neil Walker drew a walk before Cespedes lined the ball into right-center for his third hit.

"Before those two home runs, we still had that positive attitude in the dugout that there’s a lot of game left to be played," Cespedes said through a translator. "So after the two home runs, I really think it gave us that strength we needed to push through."

After Ichiro Suzuki pinch hit leading off the eighth and doubled against Robles for his 2,990th hit, J.T. Realmuto walked to reach base for the fifth straight time. Loney charged from first and turned Martin Prado’s bunt into a 3-5-4 double play, and Blevins struck out Christian Yelich to strand Realmuto on third.

Familia walked Marcell Ozuna leading off the ninth, and Derek Dietrich’s one-out single put runners at the corners. Chris Johnson grounded into a double play, giving Familia his major league-leading 29th save. Familia has converted 45 regular-season chances in a row dating to last August and says he no longer has the internal doubts that sometimes plagued him in 2015.

"I don’t care how I feel," he said. "My sinker is not working, my slider, I just think in my mind: Go out there to close the game no matter what, and enjoy."

Harvey gave up six runs — five earned — as his ERA rose to 4.86. He is 0-3 in his last six starts and 1-6 in his past 10. He plans to work on his arm slot and tinker more with his mechanics.

"Whether it was a slider or a curveball or a changeup, a fastball, everything’s just out of whack and catching too much of the plate," he said.

COMING SOON

The Mets plan to call up INF Jose Reyes on Tuesday after he batted .176 (6 for 34) during an 11-game minor league assignment.

UP NEXT

Mets LHP Steven Matz (7-3) starts Tuesday night against Miami LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-3). Matz is 0-2 in six starts since winning seven in a row.