Mets pounce after 5 1/2-hour rain delay, beat Marlins 13-0

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              New York Mets' Jay Bruce (19) celebrates with teammates Jeff McNeil (68) and Michael Conforto (30) after hitting a grand slam home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Several hundred fans waited out a 5-hour, 35-minute rain delay Wednesday in Citi Field’s covered areas, pouring back beer or coffee to pass the time. A handful along the first-base line chanted “Let’s play ball!” to the tune of “Let’s go Mets!” On the suite level, others napped on couches.

In the clubhouse, New York starter Zack Wheeler sat around, paced the room, then sat around some more.

“A lot of walking around,” he said.

Then just like that, he and the Mets flipped the switch, jumping on the Miami Marlins following a long delay for a soggy 13-0 victory that wrapped up early Thursday morning.

The teams were set to play a single-admission doubleheader Wednesday to make up Monday’s rainout, but the nightcap was pushed to Thursday. They now will play two games beginning at 3:10 p.m. to conclude a four-game series.

Showers fell throughout the day, and it was still misting when Wheeler finally threw the first pitch at 9:45 p.m.

Wheeler (11-7) tossed one-hit ball into the seventh and allowed four hits over eight innings. Paul Sewald got the final out at 12:15 a.m.

Wheeler told manager Mickey Callaway following the eighth that he was drained after spending about 12 hours at the ballpark.

“I really would’ve liked to finish it, but I was tired,” Wheeler said.

Jay Bruce hit a grand slam, Jeff McNeil had three hits and Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith each homered for the Mets, rewarding the rain-soaked fans who stuck around to watch a matchup between NL East laggards.

“The challenge is to get back up going again after you’ve sat for so long,” Callaway said. “Guys are coming around asking, ‘Hey, you get any word? You get any word?’ You have to wait six hours, then all of a sudden, you turn it on like a switch. They did a pretty good job of it tonight.”

It could’ve been worse. The White Sox and Rangers were delayed in Chicago for 7 1/2 hours on Aug. 13, 1990, though it’s unclear if that was the longest delay in major league history. That game was finally postponed around 9 p.m.

The Marlins seemed sluggish from the start, and the Mets poured it on. Smith scored on Jose Reyes’ second-inning double after relay man Starlin Castro held the ball, apparently unaware that Smith had just rounded third. Third baseman Brian Anderson then misplayed Tomas Nido’s grounder, allowing Reyes to score.

“It was the same both ways,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the delay. “Just a long day, a lot of sitting around. And that’s all.”

McNeil added an RBI triple to make it 3-0, and also had an RBI single in the sixth. The rookie raised his batting average to .340 in 46 games.

Rosario added a three-run homer in the fourth off Trevor Richards (3-9). Rosario entered the game batting .322 with a .488 slugging percentage since Aug. 10.

Richards said it was probably the longest delay he’s experienced.

“You just hung out in the clubhouse,” he said. “There’s card games going on, listen to music, and there’s games on TV and stuff. Just hang out and kill time.”

Bruce and Smith went deep during a seven-run sixth inning that capped the scoring.

COME BACK SOON!

The Mets are inviting fans with tickets to Wednesday’s scheduled doubleheader back for any home game from Sept. 25-27 or any Monday-Thursday game next April, excluding opening day.

STOPPING BY

Top prospect Peter Alonso was finally in uniform at Citi Field, just not as part of New York’s active roster. Alonso was honored on the field as the Mets’ minor league player of the year about two weeks after New York frustrated fans by declining to promote him to the major leagues.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Dan Straily is likely to miss the rest of the season with a strained oblique. … Miami is still trying to sort out who will start Saturday’s game at Philadelphia.

UP NEXT

Miami rookie RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-0, 0.75 ERA) will face Mets LHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.17) in the opener Thursday, with Marlins RHP Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00 ERA) and Mets LHP Jason Vargas (5-9, 6.75) going in the nightcap.