MIAMI (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Mets’ winning streak grew a lot longer Thursday.
Travis d’Arnaud led off the 16th inning with a home run, giving him a career-high four hits, and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 9-8 for their fifth consecutive victory.
D’Arnaud also had a bases-loaded triple in the second inning, and teammate Yoenis Cespedes had his second multihomer game in three nights. The game was the longest in the five-year history of Marlins Park, took more than 5 1/2 hours and ended well past midnight.
Mets starter Robert Gsellman allowed a career-high eight runs in 4 2/3 innings, but seven relievers combined to throw 10 1/3 scoreless innings.
“You just have to dig into places you didn’t know you could dig into,” said Josh Smoker, who went three innings. “Obviously this one took a little bit longer than we would have liked, but at the end of the night we came out with a win, so that’s all you can ask for.”
D’Arnaud’s homer came on the 475th pitch of the night, and the first from Adam Conley (1-1), who had been scheduled to start Friday’s game. Marlins relievers retired 13 consecutive batters before the homer.
“Pitching is pitching, and I was prepared to pitch,” Conley said. “I didn’t execute.”
D’Arnaud said he had no trouble doing his home-run trot, even after catching for 16 innings.
“The emotions of the home run helped lift my legs a little bit,” he said.
The Mets (7-3) lead the majors with 20 home runs, and lead the NL East standings.
“It’s huge for us to start like this,” d’Arnaud said. “It has been fun. This clubhouse is awesome.”
Miami’s Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam in the first inning, increasing his RBI total to 16, most in the majors. But after a flurry of early scoring, neither team had a runner in scoring position in extra innings until Miami’s 15th.
Miguel Rojas led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice but was stranded by Hansel Robles (2-0), who pitched two scoreless innings as both managers exhausted their benches and bullpens.
Robles took the mound for the fourth day in a row.
“When I started to realize there weren’t a whole lot of pitchers left, I could have used a day off, but I felt good and decided to tell them I could do this,” he said.
Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom pinch-hit with two out in the 15th and struck out. By then, the crowd of 23,192 had dwindled to a few thousand.
Cespedes and Wilmer Flores hit back-to-back solo homers to the start the third inning. Cespedes led off the fifth with another homer, his sixth of the season — most in the majors — and his fifth in 48 hours. He reached base five times.
Pinch-hitter Michael Conforto’s two-out RBI double off Miami’s David Phelps made the score 8-all in the eighth.
“A lot went on tonight,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “If we’re able to close it out, we don’t play all these extra innings.”
Miami’s Wei-Yin Chen couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead, giving up three homers and six runs in three innings. Jose Urena followed Chen and allowed one run in three innings while the Marlins rallied from a 7-4 deficit.
The cat that became stuck in the Marlins’ home run sculpture during a game Tuesday is in the care of a team intern while being groomed as a potential mascot.
“We are still looking for an owner,” team president David Samson said. “If no one comes forward, we will take care of the cat. Will it become our rally cat? It could.”
Marlins RHP Nick Wittgren was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans after pitching three scoreless innings so that a fresh pitcher can be recalled.
RHP Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.69) is scheduled to start for the Mets on Friday. He pitched seven innings to beat the Marlins last Sunday. RHP Edison Volquez (0-1, 3.27) will take Conley’s place and start on regular rest.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)