Mets maul Marlins 10-0 behind Davis, McCann and Williams

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — J.D. Davis hit his first major league grand slam, James McCann launched a three-run homer and the New York Mets routed the Miami Marlins 10-0 on Thursday night behind a splendid start from Trevor Williams.

Davis set a career high with five RBIs and Williams (2-5) pitched seven innings of two-hit ball as the NL East leaders won easily in the opener of a four-game series to improve to 6-2 against Miami this season.

Starling Marte and Davis each had three of New York’s 12 hits. Davis also scored three times and combined with McCann to give the Mets eight RBIs from the bottom two spots in their batting order.

“Hitting is contagious from a team standpoint,” McCann said. “It’s not just one guy or two guys in the lineup getting the job done. If you look across the season it’s been a different guy really every day. ”

Davis scored on Brandon Nimmo‘s double in the third to put New York in front and delivered an RBI single in the fourth. McCann followed with his second home run of the season, connecting off starter Daniel Castano (1-2) to make it 6-0.

“I was just looking for a pitch,” McCann said. “Elevate (and) I could do some damage on, and drive it into the outfield. I got one and was able to do that.”

Davis came up with the bases loaded in the fifth and hammered a hanging breaking ball from reliever Jimmy Yacabonis over the left-field wall.

“Pretty excited to get my first grand slam,” said Davis, who thought his last one came in college. “That was my first pro one, so that’s pretty cool.”

Williams, a long reliever and spot starter, struck out seven, walked none and retired 13 straight batters during one stretch.

“It seemed like he had pretty good stuff early on,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s not a guy who throws the ball in the middle of the plate much. He’s going to be on both edges. You’ve got to get him up in the zone. You’ve got to try to get him in the middle. If you’re chasing edges at all you’re going to be in for a little bit of a long day. So he kind of kept us off balance.”

Jake Reed worked two innings to finish the two-hitter. It was the Mets’ 12th shutout this year, tied with the New York Yankees for most in the majors.

The Mets scored in double digits for the ninth time and won their fourth in five games overall.

Castano was tagged for six runs – five earned – and nine hits in four innings. His ERA rose from 2.42 to 3.60.

“I thought he was making pitches,” Mattingly said. “Obviously the three-run homer hurt him and drove his pitch count up.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr. went through a workout at Class A Jupiter as he recuperates from a lower back strain. … LF Jorge Soler hit off a tee and did some running agility exercises as he rehabs from bilateral pelvis inflammation.

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom is scheduled to make his second rehab start Friday for Class A St. Lucie. He’s been sidelined all season because of a stress reaction in his right scapula. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has gone a year without pitching in the majors. He was out after July 7 last season due to right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow.

BULLPEN SHUFFLE

Reed was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day when RHP Adonis Medina was optioned down.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (5-4, 2.97 ERA) starts Friday night at Citi Field.

Mets: RHP Chris Bassitt (6-5, 4.01) makes his first start since June 25. He missed his last turn in the rotation after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Matt Olson knew the Atlanta Braves were too talented to stay in a season-long slump.

That’s why no one panicked when the New York Mets’ division lead swelled to double digits in May. Now the Braves are on the cusp of another NL East title.

“It’s a clubhouse full of guys who want to win,” Olson said. “That’s all it’s been since the moment I walked in. That’s No. 1 on the program.”

Dansby Swanson and Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Braves beat New York 5-3 on Sunday night, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closes out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

“We’ve felt this confidence since the beginning of the year,” d’Arnaud said. “It just didn’t go our way early in the year, but pulling on the same rope, having each others’ backs, not trying to do too much. We’re just trying to play the game of baseball and have fun with it.”

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

“We still have three games left in the regular season, we’re still going to the postseason, that doesn’t change, but there’s a lot of learning points that we can take from this series moving forward,” Mets slugger Pete Alonso said. “I thought we played well, but the Braves played better. They played excellent baseball this entire weekend.”

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

“Everyone knew we were underperforming when we were flirting around that .500 range,” Olson said. “It was one of those things where it was trusting the talent we have and the guys in the clubhouse. Everybody was solid, head down, do your work, it’ll turn around and you wind up winning.”

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).