NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Conforto hit a pair of run-scoring singles, doubled and made a shoestring catch in what might have been his final game at Citi Field for the Mets, and New York routed the Miami Marlins 12-3 on Thursday night.
Pete Alonso homered twice for the Mets, raising his season total to 37 — just 12 at Citi Field. The second came off catcher Sandy León in a six-run eighth inning after Francisco Lindor connected off Luis Madero for his fourth career grand slam and ninth home run of September.
Manager Luis Rojas, nearing the end of New York’s disappointing first season under new owner Steven Cohen, also might have been at his final home game. New York finished 47-34 at Citi Field and headed to Atlanta with a 29-49 mark on the road, assured of a losing record for the fourth time in five years.
Conforto, the 10th overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft, acknowledged having trouble sleeping ahead of his home finale before free agency. He is hitting .228 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs and is making $12.25 million.
Fans gave him a standing ovation after he ran in to make a tumbling, shoestring catch on Joe Panik in the ninth. He raised a hand and tapped his heart, his eyes reddening, and he started crying when he got to the dugout and was hugged after the final out.
With team president Sandy Alderson preparing to hire a new baseball operations head, Rojas, Conforto and right-hander Noah Syndergaard face uncertain futures.
Brian McCann ended an 0-for-16 slide with a go-ahead, two-run double in a four-run fourth inning off rookie Sean Guenther (0-1).
Guenther, who lost his first big league decision, entered when starter Edward Cabrera left due to a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Rich Hill gained his first win in 13 appearances with the Mets, who acquired the 41-year-old left-hander in July from Tampa Bay. Hill (1-4 with the Mets and 7-8 overall) allowed three runs — two earned — and six hits in five innings.
Miami lost for the eighth time in nine games and dropped into a tie with Washington for last in the NL East at 65-94. León made his sixth mound appearance this season.
Lewis Brinson put the Marlins ahead with a two-run homer in the third off the facing of the left field second deck.
U.S. Olympian Eddy Alvarez had been 0 for 14 against left-handers this year before walking and singling off Hill.
Miami’s Magneuris Sierra made a leaping catch at the center field wall to rob Alonso in the fourth.
Guenther hit Javier Báez on a foot and Jeff McNeil on a biceps, the first pitcher to hit his first two batters against the Mets since Detroit’s Jay Sborz plunked Rod Barajas and Jeff Francoeur on June 22, 2010 — his only big league appearance.
The Mets drew 1,511,926 as fans returned this year following a pandemic-shortened 2020 season played without spectators. Capacity did not reach 100% until June 21.
After throwing 10 pitches during a 1-2-3 inning Tuesday in his return from Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard will start Sunday’s regular-season finale. His appearance against Miami this week was the first in the major leagues for the 29-year-old since Sept. 29, 2019.
RHP Pablo López, sidelined since July 11 by a strained rotator cuff, is scheduled to start Sunday’s season finale in Miami, against Philadelphia.
Mets RHP Marcus Stroman won’t pitch again this season. He heads into free agency after going 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts, striking out 158 and walking 44 in 179 innings.
Marlins: RF Jesus Sánchez left in the middle of the third inning with right hamstring tightness after not running out a fly ball in the top half.
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman, sidelined since June 19 by a right lat strain, will accompany the Mets to Atlanta and could be activated.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (9-14, 3.09 ERA) starts Friday night against the Phillies and LHP Ranger Suárez (7-5, 1.45).
Mets: RHP Tyler Megill (3-6, 4.78) starts Friday’s series opener at Atlanta and RHP Huascar Ynoa (4-5, 3.98).
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