NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Matz allowed two homers to Jorge Alfaro, including a grand slam, and the New York Mets lost to the Miami Marlins 8-4 Monday night to dim their fading postseason hopes.
Amed Rosario cut into Miami’s big lead with his own slam, but the Mets dropped five games behind idle Milwaukee for the final NL playoff spot with six games remaining. They also trail Washington by 5 1/2 games for the top wild card after the Nationals beat Philadelphia 7-2.
Miami piled on when a replay decision led to two runs, and the Mets — despite a stunning surge after the All-Star break — moved to the brink of elimination. New York (81-75) would be locked out of the postseason with a loss Tuesday and victories by Washington and Milwaukee.
Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith (10-10) dodged trouble early, stranding seven over the first four innings. Rosario got to him in the sixth, hitting a two-out slam for his 15th homer.
The Mets left 11 runners on base and ended an eight-game winning streak against Miami at Citi Field dating to last season.
Matz (10-10) followed a seven-run outing at Colorado last week by allowing six runs in five-plus innings in his 100th big-league start.
The left-hander crouched on the mound and then trudged off after Alfaro’s slam in the sixth. Jon Berti, Miguel Rojas and Starlin Castro hit consecutive singles before Alfaro, Miami’s cleanup hitter, drove his first career slam and 17th homer this season.
Alfaro also connected leading off the second and had a career-high five RBIs. Rojas had an RBI single in the third, and Berti had his first four-hit game.
Alfaro had three hits in his previous 31 plate appearances entering Monday.
Miami padded its lead in the seventh after a crucial replay challenge. Harold Ramirez hit a two-out, bases-loaded chopper to first baseman Pete Alonso, who flipped to pitcher Brad Brach for what was initially ruled an out. Replays showed Ramirez’s toe narrowly beat Brach’s foot to the base, and Ramirez was awarded a two-run single for an 8-4 lead.
The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning, but Smith induced an infield fly from Todd Frazier to escape. Frazier popped up again with two outs and two on in the third.
Alonso singled in the third to set a franchise record with 335 total bases, passing David Wright’s 334 in 2008. The NL Rookie of the Year favorite also struck out three times and remained with 50 home runs, two shy of Aaron Judge’s rookie mark.
The Mets pitching staff surpassed last year’s club for the franchise strikeout record when former closer Edwin Díaz got No. 1,447 in the eighth.
Marlins: 1B/OF Garrett Cooper (left knee contusion) won’t play again this season, partly because manager Don Mattingly has seen enough from the 28-year-old to ensure he fits into Miami’s 2020 plans. … OF Magneuris Sierra is done for the year with a hamstring strain, but Mattingly is hopeful he’ll play winter ball. The speedy 23-year-old batted .350 in 15 games.
Mets: 2B Robinson Canó was not in the lineup a day after taking a pitch off his left big toe, but manager Mickey Callaway said it was a planned day off with Miami pitching a lefty and he expects Canó to be fine.
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-8, 4.22) is scheduled for his penultimate start of the season — and possibly with the franchise, given his uneven relationship with the front office. It will also be the second-to-last start for Miami RHP Sandy Alcantara (5-14, 4.00) in an encouraging rookie season.
(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)