NEW YORK (AP) — Zack Wheeler ground up Miami over eight innings, Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso homered, and the New York Mets beat the Marlins 5-0 Tuesday night for their 12th win in 13 games.
The hard-charging Mets improved to 58-56 a night after surpassing the .500 mark for the first time since early May. New York has the best record in baseball since the All-Star break and improbably entered the day 2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for an NL wild card despite looking like trade deadline sellers in mid-July.
Wheeler (9-6) had his bags packed and was ready to be dealt, but he remained in Flushing to aid an unlikely playoff chase. After throwing seven scoreless innings against the White Sox a day after the deadline, he cruised through eight on 99 pitches against the Marlins, allowing eight hits and striking out five with 13 groundball outs.
Todd Frazier had an RBI double in the first inning and Ramos added a three-run homer in the third. Alonso smoked a solo shot in the fifth, his second connection in two games after going nine without one. Alonso has 36 homers for the season.
Miami right-hander Héctor Noesí (0-1) allowed five runs over five innings in his first major league appearance since 2015.
New York will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Marlins on Wednesday with a mostly fresh bullpen.
Frazier hit an RBI double off the glove of left fielder Jon Berti in the first inning, the sixth straight game New York scored in its first turn at-bat.
Wheeler had two runners on with one out in the sixth and seventh innings but escaped both jams. He ended the sixth with consecutive strikeouts and got out of the seventh with another punchout and by breaking pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez’s bat on a soft lineout.
After Wheeler stranded another runner in the eighth, Robert Gsellman pitched the ninth.
A day after homering in his major league debut, Marlins infielder Isan Díaz was hitless with three strikeouts.
Noesí spent the previous three seasons in Korea, including a 20-win year in 2017, and returned to the U.S. this season on a minor league deal with Miami. The 32-year-old right-hander ranked among the Triple-A Pacific Coast League leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts before being called up Tuesday.
Noesí singled in his first at-bat for his third career hit and first since 2012.
PUP IN PLAY
Mets leadoff hitter Jeff McNeil and wife Tatiana brought their new puppy, Willow, to the ballpark for a ceremony with the North Shore Animal League, which coordinated the dog’s adoption last month. McNeil met Willow at Citi Field prior to a game against the Pirates and pleaded with Tatiana to adopt her — Tatiana relented after McNeil hit a three-run homer that night. The couple created an Instagram account for Willow, which already has over 7,000 followers.
Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas strained his right hamstring stumbling over first place on a groundout in the third inning. He needed assistance walking off the field and was pulled from the game. … INF Yadiel Rivera was designated for assignment to make space for Noesí. … Manager Don Mattingly said 1B Garrett Cooper has been dealing with nagging lower body injuries during a recent slump. He entered Tuesday on an 0-for-15 skid but ended that with two hits.
Mets: OF Michael Conforto and SS Amed Rosario were held out of the lineup for rest. Manager Mickey Callaway has been spelling his every day players over the past couple of weeks but said the workload for those players will pick up starting this weekend with a series against Washington.
Mets LHP Steven Matz (6-7, 4.60) faces Marlins RHP Jordan Yamamoto (4-2, 3.94) in the finale of the four-game series. Matz allowed five runs to the Pirates in his previous start, New York’s only loss in 13 games.
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