Jeff McNeil showcases rare power to hit go-ahead HR in win against Marlins

Abbey Mastracco, New York Daily News on

Published in Baseball

MIAMI — Jeff McNeil doesn’t hit many home runs, but Monday night in Miami, he made one count.

The Mets opened their final road trip of the season with a 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park. McNeil took left-hander Tanner Scott deep to right field, belting a go-ahead homer to lead off the top of the ninth inning. It was his 10th of the season and his second in five games.

Now, it’s the Fish hoping for a crack at the postseason and the Mets are hoping to remain competitive to put themselves in a better position next year. The roles have reversed, but the Mets can now play spoilsport for two divisional foes on this trip, with the Philadelphia Phillies up next.

The Mets plated one in the fifth inning only for the Marlins to tie it in the bottom. After doing little against right-hander Edward Cabrera over the first four innings, Ronny Mauricio singled with one out in the fifth. Omar Narvaez walked and Mark Vientos drove Mauricio home with an RBI single.

With two on and only one out, the Mets had a chance to rally. But Luis Guillorme, playing in his first game since July 22 when he strained his calf, grounded into an inning-ending double play. The infielder was activated prior to the game and Jonathan Arauz was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to clear space on the roster.


Jesus Sanchez scored on a double play in the bottom of the inning to even things up. Jorge Soler appeared to break the tie in the sixth with a two-run homer, but it was ruled foul. Luis Arraez, who is running away with the NL batting title, led off the inning with a single. Soler took a changeup and crushed it. The ball was 110 MPH off the bat and went higher than the foul pole. But after a review, he was called back. The ball had not only cleared the foul pole from up above but from out wide as well.

Right-hander Jose Butto got out of the inning unscathed. Making just his fifth major league start of the season, he allowed only one earned run on four hits, walked one and struck out six over six innings. It was his second-longest start of the season and he might be pitching his way into contention for a major league roster spot next season as either a starter or a long reliever.

Former Mets reliever David Robertson, who was traded to the Marlins the week before the deadline in late July, put two on with one out in the eighth. But DJ Stewart and Pete Alonso struck out to end the inning, with Alonso looking at a slider for strike three.

The reliever who has received the bulk of the save opportunities in place of the departed Robinson, right-hander Adam Ottavino, retired the side in the ninth to pick up his 11th save of the 2023 campaign.

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