Vargas sharp after being skipped, Mets beat Marlins 2-0

New York Mets’ Jason Vargas delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins Monday, May 21, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The New York Mets probably won’t skip Jason Vargas’ next start.

Vargas returned to the rotation with five excellent innings, AJ Ramos pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 2-0 on Monday night.

Asdrubal Cabrera had an RBI double and Wilmer Flores added a run-scoring single as the Mets got their fourth straight win, following up a three-game sweep of NL West-leading Arizona. New York is 6-2 in its past eight games, 5-1 on this homestand and 24-19 overall.

The 35-year-old Vargas (1-3) had his previous turn skipped after three sloppy outings to open the season, but he shut down Miami with changeups and guile for his first victory with the Mets. Ten of his outs came via the change, and he struck out seven without reaching 90 mph even once with his fastball. He allowed two hits and a walk before leaving after 86 pitches.

“I think the more weak contact you get or miss-hit balls or swings and misses that you get are going to give you more confidence,” Vargas said.

New York used three pitchers in a scoreless — but eventful — sixth inning. Paul Sewald got two outs but put two on before left-hander Jerry Blevins entered to face lefty slugger Justin Bour. Blevins walked Bour on a full count and was replaced by Ramos, and the right-hander struck out pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich swinging to leave the bases loaded and preserve a 1-0 lead.

“He’s making big pitches when he needs to,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.

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’ throw to second narrowly nabbed Miguel Rojas.

“We’ve just got to do a better job of stepping on the gas,” Bour said of Miami’s missed chances.

Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo made a diving catch on Brian Anderson’s two-out line drive to help Seth Lugo escape the eighth unscathed. Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth to cap a five-hitter for his 13th save and New York’s 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 speedster by a hair at first base. The Marlins challenged, but a replay review upheld the call.

Rosario got a big cheer for a single in the third inning a day after his first multihomer game as a pro. He scored from first on a double to right field by Cabrera that made it 1-0.

Miami starter Elieser Hernandez (0-1) pitched through a sore throat and held New York to a run and five hits over five innings. The Rule 5 draft pick from Houston was making his second major league start and dropped his ERA to 2.08 in four appearances.

“He attacks,” manager Don Mattingly said of the 23-year-old. “He’s always coming after you. Doesn’t matter really who you are, he’s coming to get you.”

Tayron Guerrero pitched for Miami a day after allowing Dansby Swanson’s game-ending, two-run single as the Marlins blew a five-run lead in the ninth inning of a 10-9 loss to Atlanta. Guerrero worked around a single and a walk in a scoreless eighth.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off