NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Sandy Alcantara extended his shutout streak to 19 innings and pinch-runner Billy Hamilton scored on catcher Tomás Nido’s throwing error in the 10th inning to lift the Miami Marlins 2-0 on Sunday. to the New York Mets.
Luke Williams added an RBI single for the Marlins, who won for the eighth time in 11 games and earned a four-game series split. Tanner Scott struck out Francisco Lindor with runners in the corners for his 12th save.
New York’s lead in the NL East has shrunk to 1 1/2 games over the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, the smallest since April 16. The Mets, who had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1, begin a three-game series in Atlanta on Monday night.
Alcantara, selected to his second NL All-Star team on Sunday, allowed six hits in seven innings and dropped his ERA to 1.73, third-best in the majors. He struck out four and walked one.
“It was probably one of his best performances, from the standpoint that he wasn’t fitting in with all his stuff,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “But I think he and (receiver Jacob Stallings) did a good job of using their stuff and getting through it.”
The right-hander has thrown at least seven innings in each of his last 12 starts, the longest streak for a Marlins pitcher since 2004.
“When you believe in your stuff, you don’t have to worry,” Alcantara said. “Just go and compete no matter what.”
Jon Berti had three hits for the second straight game and earned his major league-leading 27th stolen base for Miami.
Hamilton was inserted as an automatic runner at second base in the 10th, replacing Garrett Cooper. On a 1-2 count over Jesus Aguilar, the speedy Hamilton took off and easily stole third. He scored when Nido’s throw sailed well over Eduardo Escobar’s head into left field.
“The faster I get to third base, the easier it is for all those guys to hit,” Hamilton said.
Nido scored the winning run Saturday in the 10th inning on a throwing error by Scott.
“It’s always nice to have a guy come back and let him compete again the next night,” Mattingly said of his closer.
Jesus Sanchez and Bryan De La Cruz singled off Tommy Hunter (0-1) before Williams’ single made it 2-0.
Richard Bleier (1-1) pitched a hitless ninth inning for the win.
Taijuan Walker made his sixth consecutive quality start for the Mets. The big righty scattered three hits in seven scoreless innings and struck out seven.
“I said before the game, in order to compete with a starter like that, you have to get a good start from your starter, and we certainly did. He matched it,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “That was fun to watch. He knows what’s going on and what it takes to compete in a game like that.”
Luis Guillorme had three of New York’s seven hits.
Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas collided with Berti in left field on a fly ball from Lindor in the fourth inning. Rojas took a knee after making the catch. Mattingly and an athletic trainer checked on him, but he initially stayed in the game before leaving in the sixth with a stiff neck.
Mets: C James McCann (left oblique) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. He was injured Saturday while making a slide at the plate. … RF Starling Marte (left groin tightness) sat down and is day to day. Showalter said he hopes to get Mars back “in the near future.”
Mets infielders often like to play with the baseball a bit when they walk off the field and approach the dugout at the end of an inning. But on Sunday, it almost seemed like they were on a football field or playing hacky sack in the school yard when a quick game broke out between second baseman Luis Guillorme, shortstop Francisco Lindor and third baseman Eduardo Escobar.
The Mets dropped to 7-1 in extra innings this season, snapping an eight-game extra-inning winning streak dating back to Sept. 14, 2021. That was the longest streak for the team since 1997.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (4-7, 5.57 ERA) pitches Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at home against Pittsburgh. Rogers, who finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2021, has gone six innings just once in 16 starts this season.
Mets: RHP Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.26 ERA) is making his second start since returning from an oblique injury. He struck out a season-high 11 in six shutout innings on two-hit ball Tuesday at Cincinnati. Braves LHP Max Fried (9-2, 2.52) has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts.
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