Mets visit Marlins with wild-card lead

BY foxsports • September 28, 2016

MIAMI -- The New York Mets can put on a power show.

--Lucas Duda hit 30 homers in 2014 and 27 last year.

--Curtis Granderson has 30 homers this season and 21 RBIs in 23 games this month.

--Yoenis Cespedes hit his 31st homer of the season Tuesday and is one of the most feared sluggers in the game.

--Jay Bruce, who had been slumping since the Mets acquired him from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline, has six hits in his past 14 at-bats. He, like Cespedes, his his 31st homer Tuesday.

--Asdrubal Cabrera, a switch hitter, has 23 homers this season and is hitting .424 in his past eight games.

Add it all up -- as the Mets did Tuesday when they launched 19 hits in a 12-1 victory over the Miami Marlins -- and it can be scary for opposing pitchers.

Bruce and Cespedes hit homers in the same game for the first time since the Mets made the trade.

"That's what we were hoping they would do," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "If he's back, we're going to be a different lineup."

Another big development for New York was the return of Duda, who had his first multi-RBI game since May 4. He missed nearly four months because of back surgery, returning Sept. 18.

"It's going OK -- it could be a lot better," Duda said of his comeback. "The more I play, the more comfortable I get."

The Mets (84-74) and Marlins (78-79) play their series finale Wednesday, and New York is locked in a three-way battle with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants for two NL wild-card berths, one-half game ahead of San Francisco and 1 1/2 on top of St. Louis.

New York throws 26-year-old right-hander Seth Lugo on Wednesday. The rookie is 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his past six starts.

Lugo and fellow rookie right-hander Robert Gsellman have effectively saved the Mets season.

With four of the team's projected top five starters out for the season because of injuries -- Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz -- Lugo and Gsellman have stepped up for New York.

Miami also throws a young right-hander as Jose Urena, who is 5-13 with a 5.64 ERA in his two-year career, takes the ball. This season, he is 4-8 with a 5.95 ERA.

However, Urena has pitched well against the Mets this year with a 1-1 record and a 1.50 ERA.

The Marlins are hoping for the best from Urena, but are still mourning the death of star pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat crash Sunday morning.

Memorial services for Fernandez include a public viewing Wednesday and a mass Thursday.

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