MIAMI – Francisco Lindor had three hits, including his 22nd home run, Mark Canha launched a grand slam to cap an eight-run fourth inning and the New York Mets routed the Miami Marlins 11-3 on Saturday night.
Eduardo Escobar also went deep among his three hits for the Mets, who moved back into first place in the NL East by a half-game over Atlanta. New York began the night trailing in the division for the first time since April 11. The defending champion Braves overtook the Mets by a half-game Friday but lost 3-1 at Seattle late Saturday.
Canha opened the fourth with a walk against Miami starter Pablo López and polished off the outburst by connecting against reliever Andrew Nardi for his first career slam to put the Mets ahead 9-1.
“I am trying to have a good at-bat, not really trying to go deep there,” Canha said. “Just wanted to hit something hard and knock in a couple of runs. And it worked out.”
For the 33-year-old Canha, the drive finally satisfied an elusive goal.
“My very first major league hit was inches (from) being a grand slam,” Canha said. “I was joking with (teammate Brandon) Nimmo that I haven’t even come close since. I finally got my first one after seven years.”
Escobar had an RBI double, James McCann and Lindor added run-scoring singles and Jeff McNeil hit a sacrifice fly in the Mets’ highest-scoring inning of the season.
Lindor made it 10-1 with his solo shot against Nardi in the fifth. The four-time All-Star also doubled and singled.
“Obviously, Mark had the big blow but we had a lot of good at-bats today,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “We just kept putting good at-bats together. We weren’t trying to do too much.”
Carlos Carrasco overcame an early Marlins advantage and pitched six innings of one-run ball. In his second start since returning from the injured list, Carrasco (14-6) allowed four hits and struck out six. The right-hander retired 11 straight before Jon Berti’s one-out double in the sixth.
“I just went out there and put zeros on the board,” Carrasco said of his approach after the Mets’ big inning. “I went out as if the game was still 1-0. That’s the key for me.”
Escobar led off the seventh with his 16th homer against Jeff Brigham. The veteran switch-hitter, who signed with the Mets as a free agent in the offseason, has homered four times in September after a six-week stint, which included a stretch on the injured list, without going deep.
“Now and at the beginning of the season are the best two times I’ve felt physically,” Escobar said through a translator. “I think going to the IL did me a lot of good. I was able to recover from the little injuries that I was dealing with.”
López (8-10) gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He has allowed 14 runs and 22 hits in his last two starts against New York.
“It just happened very quickly after the leadoff walk,” Lopez said. “A lot of missed execution and when I didn’t execute my pitch they hit it hard.”
Garrett Cooper hit an RBI double off Carrasco in the first before New York tied it on McNeil’s run-scoring double in the third.
AWAY FROM HOME
The Mets (42-29) clinched a winning record on the road. It marks the first time New York will finish above .500 at home and away since 2016.
The Mets recalled INF Mark Vientos from Triple-A Syracuse. The 22-year-old Vientos has 24 homers and 72 RBIs with the club’s top minor league affiliate this season.
Mets: RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 7. With the fracture being non-displaced, there was optimism Marte would heal quickly, but the club opted for the IL stint.
Marlins: OF Avisaíl García exited after the top of the first because of left hamstring discomfort.
Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (10-4, 3.60 ERA) seeks his fourth win against Miami this season when he starts the series finale Sunday.
Marlins: LHP Jesús Luzardo (3-6, 3.36) has completed at least six innings in each of his last four outings.