NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Conforto drove in three runs, Jason Vargas pitched six effective innings and the Mets downed the Miami Marlins 5-2 on Thursday night to sweep a doubleheader.
Conforto clubbed a hard-hit double in front of the visitors’ bullpen in right-center field in the fifth inning, scoring two runs and putting New York in front 3-2. The hot-hitting outfielder added an RBI single in the seventh.
In the first game, Conforto and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back solo homers with two outs in the ninth to give New York a 4-3 win. The Mets had been held to just two hits up to that point, including starter Steven Matz’s first career home run.
The Mets have hit 14 homers in their last seven games. It was the fourth time they’ve swept a doubleheader at Citi Field, which opened in 2009, and the first time in seven years.
The Mets took three of four in the series and have won nine of 12.
Rookie Tomas Nido got New York on the board in the fifth inning of the nightcap with his first big league homer, a solo shot into the left field seats off Jeff Brigham. Vargas and Amed Rosario followed with consecutive singles, chasing Brigham (0-2) for reliever Jarlin Garcia.
Vargas (6-9) allowed two runs on three hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out seven. The veteran left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA over his last six starts.
Seth Lugo hurled two scoreless innings in relief, fanning the first five Marlins he faced. Robert Gsellman worked around a two-out walk in the ninth for his 11th save.
Brigham led off the third with his first big league hit, a single up the middle. Miguel Rojas followed with his 11th homer, driving a 2-1 fastball into the lower deck in left-center field to give Miami a 2-0 advantage.
The Marlins managed just one more hit the rest of the game.
Brigham lasted 4 1/3 innings in his second major league start, charged with three runs on five hits and a walk.
The opener was the first time in franchise history that the Mets hit back-to-back homers for a walk-off win, according to Elias. The Mets have five game-ending homers in this otherwise forgettable season. Only the 1962 and 1963 teams had more, with six.
Embattled reliever Kyle Barraclough entered with one out in the ninth and retired Smith before Conforto lined a 1-0 changeup into the second deck in right to tie the game. Frazier followed by hitting a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field, prompting his teammates to rush from the dugout and mob the veteran third baseman as he crossed home.
“I was hoping that Michael got on. He did his job, and in my mind I was trying to hit a home run,” Frazier said. “Those rarely happen. Got a pitch to hit and kind of squeaked one over, so we’ll take it.”
Barraclough (0-6) blew a save for the seventh time in 17 opportunities.
Jerry Blevins (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
Marlins: OF Austin Dean was a late scratch from game one because of nausea. He did not play in the second game.
Mets: 3B David Wright (back/shoulder) is expected to be activated from the 60-day disabled list when the team returns home Sept. 25, and is slated to start at third base on Sept. 29 against Miami in what could be the final game of his major league career. … C Devin Mesoraco (bulging disk in back) is almost pain-free and could be close to returning, manager Mickey Callaway said.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-10, 4.72 ERA) opens a weekend series in Philadelphia on Friday night.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (11-3, 3.44) takes on baseball’s best team Friday as New York heads to Fenway Park for a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox. Syndergaard is 5-1 over his last seven starts.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports