MIAMI — Mark Vientos has received regular playing time this month, largely against playoff contenders, and shown the flashes of the offensive brilliance that created so much excitement at Triple-A Syracuse earlier this season.
The Mets rookie was in crush mode Wednesday, when he homered twice to highlight his team’s 8-3 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park.
Vientos’ multi-homer game was the first of his major league career and helped the Mets leave town with a series victory against a Miami team fighting for a NL wild-card berth.
After playing sparingly (and struggling) in his first stint with the Mets this season before returning to Syracuse, the 23-year-old Vientos owns a solid .775 OPS in September, with four homers, as the team’s primary DH.
The Mets are still unsure how Vientos might fit defensively, but the first real signs have emerged that his bat can be legitimate.
Kodai Senga wasn’t his sharpest, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts over six innings, but received help from his defense in escaping with the win.
Jeff McNeil’s defense in right field helped preserve the Mets’ 3-1 lead in the fifth inning.
First, McNeil lunged to snag on one hop Jazz Chisholm’s Jr.’s shot to right field. McNeil spun and fired a strike to Ronny Mauricio, whose relay to Francisco Lindor nailed Chisholm attempting to reach second.
Later in the inning Xavier Edwards hit a fly to medium right field that McNeil caught before throwing out Jorge Soler at the plate on a tag-up from third.
Vientos delivered the Mets’ first run of the game with a homer in the second inning against Eury Perez. Vientos hit a blast to left field in the sixth that extended the Mets’ lead to 4-1.
Jesus Sanchez’s throwing error from right field in the third allowed Brandon Nimmo to score on Ronny Mauricio’s single and give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Mauricio raced all the way to third on the errant throw past third base and scored on Pete Alonso’s sacrifice fly.
Bryan De La Cruz singled leading off the fourth against Senga and scored the Marlins’ first run on Garrett Hampson’s sacrifice fly.
Senga threw a wild pitch in the inning, allowing De La Cruz to reach second.
Josh Bell’s homer leading off the sixth pulled the Marlins within 4-2.
The blast was the third allowed by Senga in his past four starts. All three homers came with nobody on base.
Alonso’s RBI single in the sixth and Francisco Lindor’s run-scoring ground out gave the Mets a four-run cushion.
Brett Baty’s solo homer in the eighth extended the Mets’ lead to 7-2.
Brooks Raley allowed a run in the eighth before Nimmo’s homer in the ninth got it back.
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