Jason Vargas returned to the rotation with five excellent innings, A. J. Ramos pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 2-0, on Monday night at Citi Field.
The Mets won their fourth straight, following up a three-game sweep of National League West-leading Arizona. The Mets are 6-2 in their last eight games, 5-1 on this homestand and 24-19 over all.
Vargas (1-3) was skipped in his previous turn after starting the season with three sloppy outings, but he shut down Miami with changeups and guile for his first victory with the Mets. Ten of his outs came via the changeup, and he struck out seven without reaching 90 miles per hour even once with his fastball. He had allowed two hits and a walk when he left after 86 pitches.
The Mets used three pitchers in a scoreless, but eventful, sixth inning. Paul Sewald got two outs but put two on before the left-hander Jerry Blevins entered to face the lefty slugger Justin Bour. Blevins walked Bour on a full count and was replaced by the right-handed Ramos, who got pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich to strike out swinging, leaving the bases loaded and preserving a 1-0 lead.
Ramos followed with a scoreless seventh, ending the inning by beginning a bold 1-6-3 double play on pinch-hitter J. B. Shuck’s hit-and-run comebacker. Ramos’s throw to second just nabbed Miguel Rojas.
Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo made a diving catch on Brian Anderson’s two-out line drive, helping Seth Lugo escape the eighth unscathed. Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth, capping a five-hitter for his 13th save and the Mets’ second shutout this season.
The game ended when shortstop Amed Rosario went deep in the hole to field Lewis Brinson’s grounder and threw out the sliding Brinson by a hair at first base. The Marlins challenged, but a replay review upheld the call.
Miami starter Elieser Hernandez (0-1) held the Mets to a run and five hits over five innings.