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Miami Marlins hit walk-off homer to top Mets, avoid sweep

Mets starting pitcher David Peterson throws during the 2nd inning of their game against the Marlins on Sunday.
Mets starting pitcher David Peterson throws during the 2nd inning of their loss against the Marlins on Sunday.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Nick Fortes hit a walk-off home run to propel the Miami Marlins over the Mets by a 3–2 margin on Sunday afternoon. 

The game-winner came off an 80 mph slider from reliever Adam Ottavino, who tossed the fateful pitch with an 0–1 count and 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning in Miami — and the catcher, in his 2nd big league year, sent the pitch to deep right field in a solo shot for the Marlins win.  

“Thankfully, the ball ended up just where I needed it to be,” Fortes said following the game, while soaked in Gatorade from his teammate’s celebration. 

The homer marked the 21st hit that Ottavino has allowed on the season, and the 3rd homer allowed, in 28.1 innings pitched. That game-winner also represented just the 7th home run of Fortes’ young career. 

The loss squashed New York’s hopes of sweeping the Marlins, after they had beaten their NL East rival on Friday and Saturday. 

Both starters — David Peterson for the Mets, and Daniel Castano for the Marlins — tossed 7 innings in the game, while giving up 2 runs each. Peterson struck out 8 batters on 104 pitches, while Castano sent 4 batters back to the dugout on strikes over 93 throws. 

Miami struck first in the game, when Jon Berti hit a double to right field and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice from a Miguel Rojas grounder to second base in the first inning. Garrett Cooper took to the batter’s box on the next at-bat for the Marlins and hit a sacrifice fly, which sent a tagging Berti home to bring the score to 1–0. 

The Mets took the lead shortly after, when they reached the scoreboard twice in the 3rd inning on a homer from Brandon Nimmo to center field (his 5th of the year), and Starling Marte doubled off a slider to shallow left later in the inning — before Pete Alonso followed that with another double on a fastball down the right field line to send the baserunner across the plate. 

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That wouldn’t last long though, as Rojas, in his 2nd at-bat during the bottom of the 3rd inning, hit a homer off a slider from Peterson to deep left field, which tied the game. 

Neither team scored after the 3rd, until Fortes’ game-winning homer in the 9th to avoid extra innings. 

New York ended the game with their batters going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

The game was rumored to mark the return of injured 3-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher Max Scherzer, who suffered a strained left oblique last month — though the team opted to give him another rehab start with their minor-league affiliate, which will come on Tuesday, before he returns. 

Meanwhile, Jeff McNeil missed the game (marking his 5th-straight absence), as he continues to deal with a tightness in his right hamstring. 

The Mets will now return to Queens to begin a 2-game series against the red-hot 45–26 Houston Astros, who are coming off a series win against the Yankees — including when 3 Houston pitcher combined for a no-hitter against the Bronx Bombers on Saturday afternoon. Righty Carlos Carrasco is slated to get the start on the mound for New York in that game. 

The Amazins’ move to a 47–27 record, which is still good for the best record in the National League, 1 game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They also boast a 5.4 game lead in the NL East, ahead of the 2nd-place Atlanta Braves. 

Meanwhile, the Marlins are still below .500, as the win brings them to 33–38 on the year. They trail the Mets in the division by 12.5 games.

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