Marlins can’t capitalize on opportunities, fall to Mets 4-1

NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom is once again pitching like he did in 2018 — fortunately for him, the Mets are providing a little more run support.

DeGrom ended a five-start winless streak, allowing one run over seven innings to win for the first time since April 3 and lead the New York Mets over the Miami Marlins 4-1 on Saturday night.

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had been 0-4 with a 5.33 ERA since winning at Washington and at Miami in his first two starts. He has allowed just three earned runs over 21 innings in his last three appearances.

“I kind of figured that a couple outings ago — oh, he looks like Jacob deGrom again,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He’s back. And it is very comforting.”

DeGrom (3-4) allowed five hits and one walk while striking out eight. He retired his first seven batters, gave up consecutive doubles to Jon Berti and opposing pitcher Sandy Alcantara, then set down 14 of his final 18 batters.

“I felt pretty good tonight, wasn’t falling off hard to first,” said deGrom, who blamed faulty mechanics for his slump. “I was able to locate the fastball and then kind of pitch off of that. I think that’s a good sign.”

DeGrom had a 1.70 ERA last season but went just 10-9 due to an offense that scored two runs or fewer in 12 of his 32 starts. He set a big league record by not recording a win in 19 starts in which he allowed three or fewer runs over six innings or more.

It was more of the same over his previous two starts, when the Mets were blanked by Cincinnati and San Diego.

“You’re like oh, is this last year all over again?” Callaway said. “He’s finally starting to pitch good, and we’re not scoring runs.”

Miami went ahead on Alcantara’s hit, but the Mets tied the score in the fourth on Michael Conforto‘s run-scoring single and went ahead with one out the sixth, when Pete Alonso and Conforto hit back-to-back homers. DeGrom added his hit four batters later.

“Having Jake out there on the mound, the utmost confidence that score’s going to stay the same,” Alonso said. “We just kind of needed to rally together and Jake kind of helped himself there with the big hit there later on in the inning. It was an awesome team win.”

Seth Lugo pitched a perfect eighth. Edwin Díaz walked Jorge Alfaro with two outs in the ninth, then gave up an infield single to Harold Ramirez, who went 1 for 4 in his major league debut. Díaz retired Berti on a lineout to convert his 20th straight save chance and 10th this season.

Miami has lost five straight, tying its season high, and 12 of 14, falling to a major league-worst 10-29.

Alcantara (1-4) allowed four runs, eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He was chased following deGrom’s single.

“I thought he was pretty good tonight,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It looked like his stuff was good. He just kind of ran into trouble in that inning there. Even with the back-to-back homers, I thought he would get out of that.”

Berti had a pair of doubles for the Marlins and drove in his second run this season.

MARLINS MOVES

Miami recalled RHP Elieser Hernández from Triple-A New Orleans and selected the contract of Ramirez from the Triple-A farm team. LHP José Quijada, who threw a career-high three innings of relief in Friday’s 11-2 loss, was optioned to the Baby Cakes along with OF Isaac Galloway, who was hitting just .167 with 17 strikeouts and no walks in 54 at-bats.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Drew Steckenrider was transferred to the 60-day IL after he was diagnosed with a right forearm flexor strain. He is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews next week for a second opinion. … INF/OF Garrett Cooper (bruised left hand) was activated from the 10-day IL and OF Peter O’Brien (bruised left rib) was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Friday.

Mets: LHP Justin Wilson (left elbow) was placed on the 10-day IL for the second time this season. Wilson pitched just once since being activated Tuesday. RHP Eric Hanhold was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. … INF Jed Lowrie (left knee) went 0-for-4 for Triple-A Syracuse. He is 5 for 31 in eight injury rehabilitation games with Syracuse and Class A St. Lucie.

UP NEXT

RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-3, 5.14 ERA) pitches at home Sunday for the first time since May 2, when he threw a four-hit shutout and homered in a 1-0 win over Cincinnati. Marlins LHP Caleb Smith (3-0, 2.11 ERA) starts after becoming the first Marlins pitcher to win his first three decisions since the late José Fernández was 6-0 opening 2015.