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Brandon Nimmo, Tomas Nido drive in 3 each; Mets romp Marlins to take rubber game

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Brandon Nimmo Mets
Brandon Nimmo (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

For a Mets offense that has been anemic as of late, they woke up in Miami for the final two games of their three-game set against the Marlins. 

Brandon Nimmo launched a three-run home run and got on base four times while Tomas Nido added his first home run of the season with three RBI of his own in a 9-3 Mets (89-52) victory on Sunday afternoon to take the rubber game of their series, scoring 20 runs over their last two games.

It also ensured that their slim lead atop the National League East over the Atlanta Braves stayed intact.

Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker spun a much-needed gem considering how his second half has been going, allowing just one run across seven innings of work while allowing just five hits with 10 strikeouts. He entered Sunday’s matinee with a 6.25 ERA over his previous eight outings.

Questionable umpiring helped derail an early scoring opportunity for the Mets, who seemed as though they got a lead-off triple on a liner to left-center-field from Nimmo to start the game in the first. 

Yet home plate umpire Angel Hernandez, the farthest man away from the play, claimed that Nimmo’s liner got stuck under the padding of the wall, making it a ground-rule double, instead. The problem was that the ball didn’t get stuck and popped out before being played by Marlins center-fielder JJ Bleday — who didn’t signal that the ball was unattainable. 

With Nimmo back on second, the Mets couldn’t get him home as Francisco Lindor blooped out, Pete Alonso flew out, and Darin Ruf struck out to end the inning on just three pitches.

Ruf, who got the start in right field to allow the debutant Vientos to DH, saw a brutal stretch extend to a miserable 1-for-his-previous-30 clip.

There would be no concern about where Nimmo’s ball landed during his second at-bat with two outs and two on in the second inning as he launched a three-run shot over the right-center-field wall to put the Mets in front. It was his 14th round-tripper of the season while picking up career RBI Nos. 200, 201, and 202. 

Jeff McNeil added another in the third with a two-out single to score Lindor, adding more damage to an already-taxing afternoon for Marlins starting pitcher Jesús Luzardo, who threw 76 pitches to get just nine outs.

Luzardo received the hook with just one out in the fourth after loading the bases, though the Mets would only score one on Alonso’s fielder choice — his 109th RBI of the season. 

Walker had cruised in his first three innings, striking out six while retiring seven in a row — but Brian Anderson blemished his day with a lead-off home run to dead center to get Miami on the board. 

The Mets got it right back — and then some — in the fifth when Tomas Nido doubled home a pair with a double. While the ball hit the base of the fence out in left field again, Angel Hernandez didn’t call it a ground-rule double, allowing McNeil to score from first for the second run of the sequence. 

Anderson drew the Marlins a bit closer in the eighth with his second home run of the game — a two-run shot off Seth Lugo. But the red-hot Eduardo Escobar answered with a solo shot for his 17th of the year in the top of the ninth before Nido put a bow on his big day with his first round-tripper of the season to straightaway center. 

For Escobar, it was his fifth home run in his last nine games while Nimmo hit one over the fence for the first time in 243 at-bats this season.

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