Long ball prevails for Mets in Miami

The New York Mets were on a four game homer drought prior to Sunday’s series finale with the Miami Marlins. It was their longest drought since a six-game stretch from July 19-24, 2015, the year of their last World Series appearance.

That ended in the second inning, when Mets infielder Jose Reyes hit a two-run blast off Wei-Yen Chen, making the difference in New York’s 4-3 win over the Marlins.

“It was really good,” Mets first-year manager Mickey Callaway said. “I think Jose has been swinging the bat really well when he’s played lately and it’s good to get him in there when you have to give a guy a day off and he’s been producing for us so it’s been really good to see.”

“I didn’t really execute that high pitch well and Reyes is pretty good at hitting inside pitches so he did damage on that pitch,” Chen said through a translator.

That home run was made possible by a stolen base by Jose Bautista that looked like he was out but a reviewed confirmed the umpire’s safe call. Michael Conforto stretched his road on-base streak to 26 games with a solo home run off Chen in the sixth inning. 

“Any time you see the ball go out of the park it feels good,” Conforto said.

“The Conforto homer was just a slider and I think it just stayed there,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He got him all day with it, but it’s just one that kind of spun on him.

The Marlins had to string a few runs together to stay in the game. Catcher Bryan Holiday went from being the hero in Saturday’s extra inning win to the main run producer on Sunday with a pair of RBI knocks.  

Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard threw seven innings, allowing only three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. He entered Sunday’s game at 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins.

“I felt a lot better mechanically today,” Syndergaard said. “I worked on it a lot in between starts and today I felt really comfortable out there. I wasn’t really fighting myself on the mound. I really had to dig deep in the seventh inning to get through it.”

 Chen entered the game with a 1.94 home ERA but gave up four runs, two earned, and two home runs on four hits and six strikeouts in six innings. Elieser Hernandez pitched the final three innings, allowing only one hit and striking out three batters. 

“I feel like I could have controlled the game a little bit better than I did out there,” Chen said. “There’s some parts of it I didn’t do that well. The two long balls kind of hurt the club and that was unfortunate.”

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About: Tony Capobianco

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A graduate of the University of Arizona (2008-2013), Tony Capobianco covered sports from preps to pros since 2011 from the Tucson Citizen to Miami Herald to most recently with the Enid News & Eagle. The "Cuban Cowboy" took a first pitch to the nuts and lived to laugh at the viral video. Follow him @TonyCapobianco

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