David Peterson won his race against the stork Monday, but his victory tour wasn’t finished.
With team officials on high alert the left-hander might have to depart as his wife, Alex, prepares to deliver a son, Peterson zigged and zagged, helping the Mets beat the Marlins 6-0 at Citi Field.
Peterson has been indispensable as the Mets have survived rotation hits to Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill. On this day, he pitched 5 ¹/₃ shutout innings and allowed six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
The Mets (45-24) finished with five victories in seven games on the homestand and improved to 16-3-2 in series this season. The shutout was the 11th this season by the Mets. They will receive another dose of the Marlins this weekend, when the teams reconvene in Miami for three games.
This one came with a health concern, as Jeff McNeil departed with tightness in his right hamstring in the top of the sixth, after racing home from third on a wild pitch the previous inning.
Adam Ottavino, Drew Smith and Yoan Lopez combined for 3 ²/₃ innings of shutout relief, helping to redeem the bullpen a day after Seth Lugo surrendered a grand slam to Jerar Encarnacion in the Mets’ only loss in the series.
Peterson rebounded from his worst start of the season. In that previous start, he got knocked out against the Brewers after allowing four earned runs over four innings.
The Marlins put two runners on base in five of the six innings they faced Peterson, but the lefty escaped each time. In the sixth that came with Ottavino’s help; the right-hander entered and got Encarnacion to hit into an inning-ending double play. It left Peterson with a 3.18 ERA in 10 appearances for the Mets this season.
In the second inning Peterson struck out Bryan De La Cruz and Luke Williams in succession to strand two runners. In the fifth, he got Jorge Soler to hit into an inning-ending double play.
The Mets loaded the bases to start the game, but managed only one run, on Mark Canha’s walk. Brandon Nimmo doubled leading off before Starling Marte reached on Jon Berti’s fielding error and Francisco Lindor’s broken-bat infield single loaded the bases.
McNeil’s double fueled a two-run fourth inning aided by the Mets’ aggressiveness on the bases. With runners on second and third, Eduardo Escobar hit a fly to medium left. J.D. Davis tagged up at third and narrowly beat the throw home. McNeil scored as Trevor Rogers bounced a pitch just beyond catcher Jacob Stallings’ reach.
The Mets extended their lead to 4-0 in the fifth. Nimmo and Marte singled in succession to begin the frame before Pete Alonso hit a sacrifice fly for his MLB-leading 64th RBI of the season.
Eduardo Escobar’s two-run single in the eighth, which snapped an 0-for-23 drought, completed the scoring. Davis was hit by a pitch to begin the rally and Luis Guillorme singled.