Jorge Alfaro hit two homers Monday night, including a grand slam in the sixth inning, as the visiting Miami Marlins dealt another blow to the flickering playoff hopes of the New York Mets with an 8-4 win.
The Marlins (55-101) played spoiler for a second day in a row. Miami beat Washington on Sunday to drop the Nationals into a virtual tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for the top National League wild-card spot.
The Mets (81-75) fell five games behind the idle Brewers in the race for the second wild-card spot and 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals, who beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 on Monday
Alfaro opened the scoring in the second with a leadoff homer to left against Steven Matz (10-10). Miguel Rojas extended the Marlins’ lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the third.
The Marlins opened the sixth with three straight singles off Matz. After a visit to the mound by Mets pitching coach Phil Regan, Alfaro launched a grand slam to centerfield. The two-homer game was the second of Alfaro’s career, while the five RBIs are a career high.
The Mets, who stranded seven runners against Caleb Smith (10-10) in the first four innings, answered with a grand slam of their own in the bottom of the sixth when Amed Rosario homered with two outs.
But the Marlins added two insurance runs with the assist of replay in the seventh.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Harold Ramirez grounded to first. Umpire Jordan Baker initially ruled Mets pitcher Brad Brach, who fielded the throw from Pete Alonso, beat Ramirez to the bag, but the Marlins challenged and it was ruled Ramirez’s foot landed on the base before Brach’s foot. Curtis Granderson and Jon Berti scored on the play.
Berti finished with a career-high four hits.
Smith allowed the four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out three over six innings.
Matz gave up six runs on nine hits and no walks while striking out three over five-plus innings.
—Field Level Media