By CHARLES O’BRIEN Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) _ Rafael Montero pitched six strong innings in his best effort of the season, Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki each hit long two-run homers to help the New York Mets snap a five-game losing streak with an 8-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday night.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Conforto each drove in a run for the Mets, who scored seven runs in the sixth _ their season high for an inning _ after being held to just three base runners over the first five innings by Vance Worley (2-3). New York began the day with an NL-worst .221 batting average in August.
Aided by five double plays, Montero (2-8) kept the Marlins off-balance with a fastball-slider combination to allow a run and six hits. The right-hander walked three and struck out five. Montero entered the game with a 5.80 ERA and has dealt with wildness and inconsistency over his four-year career.
Marcell Ozuna drove in Dee Gordon for the lone Miami run.
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Matt Reynolds pinch-hit for Montero and walked to open the inning. Brandon Nimmo singled to send Reynolds to third. After Cabrera’s sacrifice fly tied the score, Marlins manager Don Mattingly brought in Drew Steckenrider, who hadn’t allowed a runner in his last three outings. Yoenis Cespedes greeted him with a sharp single to left and joined Nimmo in advancing a base on a wild pitch.
After working the count full, Conforto hit a hard grounder up the middle, but the ball sailed under the glove of shortstop Miguel Rojas, giving the Mets a 3-1 lead. Miami made three errors in the inning, leading to three unearned runs. The Marlins entered the game with the third-fewest errors in the majors.
After Rojas’ error, Flores drove a pitch into the left field stands for his 15th home run of the season. Rookie Dominic Smith reached on the third error of the inning before Plawecki drove a pitch from Steckenrider into the stands for his first of the year and the first given up by Steckenrider this season.
Smith homered in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Marlins: LHP Adam Conley (5-5, 5.32 ERA) has been a far better pitcher on the road in 2017, allowing 12 earned runs in six road starts as opposed to 27 earned runs over six outings at Marlins Park.
Mets: Jacob deGrom (13-6, 3.35 ERA) struggled in his last outing, allowing five runs in 7 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees and has alternated wins and losses over his last four outings.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)