NEW YORK (AP) — Amed Rosario hit a grand slam during an eight-run outburst that marked the Mets’ biggest first inning in three decades, and New York rolled to an 11-2 rout of the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil also homered for the previously slumping Mets, who set a season best with 15 hits and matched their high for runs. Zack Wheeler (3-2) struck out 11 over seven innings, reaching double digits for the third time in four outings.
After totaling only 15 runs on a 1-5 road trip, the Mets broke loose back home against Pablo López (2-5) and the major league-worst Marlins (10-28). New York sent 13 batters to the plate in the first, with J.D. Davis and Robinson Canó each getting two of the team’s eight hits.
The first run scored on López’s wild pitch. Slow-footed Wilson Ramos beat out a dribbler up the third base line for an RBI single, and Brandon Nimmo drew a bases-loaded walk.
Rosario, batting eighth, sent the next pitch the opposite way and just over the right-center fence for his first major league slam — instantly giving him a career-high four RBIs.
Wheeler struck out, making him the first batter retired by López. But when Canó added a two-out RBI single, the Mets had their largest first inning since they also scored eight times at Philadelphia on June 16, 1989.
It was more runs than they’d scored during an entire game since a 9-0 win over the Phillies on April 23. New York mustered only 16 runs over its previous eight games — one of which went 18 innings.
The only other time in franchise history they hung a snowman in the first at home was July 12, 1979, against the Dodgers. The club record is nine first-inning runs in August 1988 at San Francisco.
The inning could have been even worse for López, too, if right fielder Brian Anderson hadn’t wheeled around to make a spectacular throw that nabbed McNeil trying to go first to third on Davis’ single for the first out.
McNeil opened the game with a bunt single and reached safely four times. Conforto was 3 for 3 and reached safely all five times up, including a walk and a hit by pitch. Davis finished with three hits.
Conforto homered into the right field upper deck leading off the second. McNeil connected in the third against the 23-year-old López, who was coming off six shutout innings against Atlanta and had not allowed an earned run in two of his previous three starts.
López, who beat Mets ace Jacob deGrom 5-2 in his major league debut June 30 last year, gave up 10 runs and 10 hits over three innings this time, easily the worst of his 18 career starts.
Marlins: 1B-OF Garrett Cooper (bruised left hand) is moving from Class A Jupiter to Triple-A New Orleans on his rehab assignment. … RHP Drew Steckenrider (elbow inflammation) had a doctor’s visit, but the team had no new information yet. … RHP Julian Fernandez (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw 20 pitches of live batting practice Saturday. … RHP Riley Ferrell (right biceps tendinitis) is expected to get some action at extended spring training next week.
Mets: The team decided against activating veteran infielder Jed Lowrie from the injured list Friday, as originally anticipated. Yet to make his Mets debut, Lowrie got hurt early in spring training and has been sidelined all season because of a capsule sprain in his left knee. He was 1 for 7 with Class A St. Lucie and 1 for 16 at Triple-A Syracuse during the first six games of his rehab assignment. “He just feels like he needs some more at-bats at this point,” manager Mickey Callaway said. Lowrie played for Syracuse again Friday night and then the Mets planned to re-evaluate Saturday, according to Callaway. … LHP Steven Matz is slated to throw a bullpen Saturday, an important first step after he received an injection of cortisone and lidocaine for his aching left forearm early this week. Matz was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday, retroactive to May 5, with radial nerve discomfort, and the Mets hope he can return to the rotation next week. He said it’s an issue that’s “come and gone” and he has managed throughout his career.
Marlins: Sandy Alcantara (1-3, 4.93 ERA) pitches Saturday night, his fourth assignment against the Mets in 14 major league starts. The 23-year-old right-hander is 0-3 in his last five outings overall.
Mets: NL Cy Young Award winner deGrom (2-4, 3.60 ERA) has lost four straight decisions, and New York hasn’t scored in either of his last two games. In his second outing this season, deGrom struck out a career-high 14 over seven shutout innings at Miami. Still, he is just 5-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 17 starts against the Marlins.