NEW YORK — The Miami Marlins will only have to look across the field to find inspiration Wednesday night, when they make their latest attempt at snapping out of an extended offensive slump in the third game of a four-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
The Mets hit three homers Monday as they beat the Marlins, 7-4, for their second straight win and their eighth victory in the last 10 games overall dating back to Aug. 20. New York has scored 60 runs in those 10 games after scoring 60 runs in 15 games from Aug. 4 through Aug. 19.
The surge — which has vaulted the Mets (68-64) past the Marlins (67-65) in the National League East and drawn New York within 2 1/2 games of the St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the second NL wild card spot — has been fueled by the return of Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes, all of whom were on the disabled list earlier this month.
Reyes went 4-for-5 with two runs scored Tuesday while Cabrera had two hits, including a two-run homer. It was his fourth homer in his last 11 games. Cespedes was 0-for-5 Tuesday but hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the 10th inning of Monday’s 2-1 win.
"You see the value of having those guys back in the lineup," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We’ve got a lot of ways to strike."
The Marlins, meanwhile, continue to look for a spark with their two best power hitters, Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour, out indefinitely due to groin and ankle injuries, respectively.
Manager Don Mattingly juggled his lineup Tuesday, when Christian Yelich made his first career start in the cleanup spot. Yelich responded by hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, but Miami didn’t score again until J.T. Realmuto homered and Dee Gordon delivered an RBI single in the ninth inning.
Mattingly, one of the most accomplished hitters in the game during his playing career, continued to preach patience Tuesday afternoon.
"There’s not going to be a magic formula," Mattingly said. "It’s going to be part of what we’ve been doing all year long. You continue to work, compete, prepare. And hitting, for me, has always been contagious one way or the other. You get a couple guys going, get a couple guys hot, the next thing you know, everybody’s feeling like we’re going to score runs. When it goes the other direction, (players put a) little too much pressure on themselves, then all of a sudden we’re trying to do something, be somebody, that we’re not."
Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon is scheduled to oppose Marlins right-hander David Phelps.
Colon earned the win in his most recent start last Friday, when he gave up four runs over seven innings and added two hits and two runs scored in the Mets’ 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Phelps didn’t factor into the decision last Friday, when he allowed four runs (three earned) over 3 2/3 innings in the Marlins’ 7-6 win over the San Diego Padres.