Mets in danger of losing NL East lead after loss to Marlins

The Mets left South Beach on Thursday, but only after they had been busted for indecent exposure.

MIAMI – The Mets left South Beach on Thursday, but only after they had been busted for indecent exposure.

In the three weeks since the All-Star break, they have been exposed as pretenders, a team clinging to first place on the strength of a weak NL East. But before this weekend concludes, even that false security of the division lead could dissipate.

The dreary offensive output that has plagued them for most of the season continued in a 4-2 loss to the Marlins a loanDepot park, the Mets’ third loss in four games against the NL East’s cellar dweller.

The Mets left 15 runners on base in wasting a solid pitching performance from Rich Hill. The Marlins seized the game in the eighth, scoring three runs against Jeurys Familia. The dagger was Lewis Brinson’s two-run double that buried the Mets in a 4-1 hole. The Mets rallied in the ninth, adding a run on Brandon Drury’s RBI single, but left the bases loaded for the third time in the game.

Now the Mets get a weekend series in Philadelphia beginning Friday against the Phillies, who had closed within one game of the division lead as their afternoon game against the Nationals was set to commence. The Mets are 8-12 since the All-Star break, but will awaken Friday in first place for a 90th straight day.

The Mets fell to the Marlins on Thursday.

In his best start in three since joining the Mets last month, Hill allowed three hits and one walk over five innings in which he allowed one run (unearned). The veteran lefty has pitched five innings in each of his three appearances for the team, limiting his exposure to the third time through the lineup.

Hill surrendered an unearned run in the third, after Michael Conforto misplayed (actually kicked) Miguel Rojas’ single, allowing the runner to reach second. Rojas stole third and scored on Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s sacrifice fly.

Jonathan Villar’s RBI single in the sixth tied it 1-1 after Albert Almora Jr.’s third hit of the afternoon, a double, started the rally. Brandon Nimmo drew a pinch-hit walk and Villar delivered a bloop single. But after a walk to Pete Alonso loaded the bases, Dominic Smith was retired for the final out.

The Mets missed a big opportunity in the first inning, when they loaded the bases with nobody out but failed to score. J.D. Davis and Javier Baez struck out in succession and Michael Conforto was retired to end the inning after Pete Alonso sandwiched a walk in between singles by Jonathan Villar and Dominic Smith.

Another chance was wasted in the fifth by the Mets when Baez struck out after Smith’s two-out single and a walk to Davis.

Drew Smith allowed consecutive singles to Brian Anderson and Joe Panik to start the seventh, but escaped with help from an unorthodox double play: Bryan De La Cruz hit a grounder to Baez, who flipped to Villar at second for the first out. Villar then alertly threw to third and got the lead runner Anderson caught in a rundown for the second out.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Mike Puma

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