MIAMI (AP) — Bryan De La Cruz had three hits, including a game-winning single off the center-field fence in the bottom of the 10th inning that gave the Miami Marlins a 2-1 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
Miami starter Sandy Alcantara struck out a career-best 14 and allowed one run in nine innings. The right-hander gave up four hits, walked one and hit a batter with a pitch. His 114 pitches also were a career high.
Automatic runner Jazz Chisholm Jr. advanced to third on Magneuris Sierra's sacrifice bunt against reliever Edwin Díaz (5-6) in the 10th. Jesús Sánchez struck out before De La Cruz drilled Díaz's pitch over the head of center fielder Albert Almora Jr.
With two outs and first base open, Mets manager Luis Rojas made the curious decision to let Díaz face De La Cruz, who raised his batting average to .342, rather than walk him and pitch instead to Lewin Díaz, a .108 hitter.
The move certainly backfired in a costly loss for the third-place Mets (70-70), who began the day four games behind NL East leader Atlanta and 3 1/2 back for the league's second wild card.
Anthony Bender (3-2) worked a scoreless 10th for the win. New York's free runner, Michael Conforto, reached third with two outs but Bender retired pinch-hitter Patrick Mazeika on a soft grounder.
Mets reliever Seth Lugo escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. Alex Jackson hit a one-out double, and Isan Díaz and pinch-hitter Joe Panik walked before Lugo struck out Miguel Rojas and retired Chisholm on a groundout.
Conforto's solo shot in the seventh tied it 1-all. Alcantara had limited the Mets to two hits and retired 10 straight before Conforto drilled a changeup into the seats in right-center for his 12th homer.
New York starter Rich Hill was lifted after six innings. The left-hander allowed one run, five hits, struck out eight and hit a batter with a pitch. Hill remains winless with the Mets since he was acquired from Tampa Bay on July 24.
Jackson's RBI single in the second gave Miami a 1-0 lead. De La Cruz hit a one-out double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored as Jackson's line drive got past leaping shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) has played catch the last couple of days at Citi Field after completing COVID-19 quarantine.
Marlins: 1B Jesús Aguilar (left knee inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Aguilar was a late scratch Tuesday.
RHP Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.93 ERA) will pitch the series finale Thursday for the Mets against LHP Jesús Luzardo (3-3, 7.15).