MIAMI - Mark Vientos had his first career multi-homer game, Brandon Nimmo hit a home run, double and single, and the New York Mets beat the Miami Marlins 8-3 on Wednesday night.
Kodai Senga threw six innings of two-run ball while Brett Baty also went deep for the Mets, who clinched the three-game series against the playoff-contending Marlins. Miami remains one-half game behind the Cubs - who also lost Wednesday - for the third NL wild-card spot.
Senga (12-7) gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked two. The rookie from Japan has allowed two runs or less in his last eight starts.
"When it comes to today, it's all about the defense," Senga said through a translator. "The defense helped me. If it weren't for them, I probably would have been out of the game a lot sooner."
Marlins infielder Luis Arraez missed his second straight game because of a left ankle sprain. Arraez, who leads the major leagues with a .354 batting average, stepped on a baseball during pre-game infield drills on Tuesday.
Vientos gave New York an early lead with his solo shot in the second, driving a slider from Eury Pérez (5-6) over the wall in left.
"That's the game. You have your rough stretches then the good times," Vientos said. "Now I'm feeling really good. I just want to take it to the end of the season."
Nimmo scored from first on Ronny Mauricio's single and two Miami throwing errors for a 2-0 lead in the third. Jesús Sánchez's throw from right-field got past third baseman Jake Burger. Burger retrieved the ball then threw errantly to home plate. Mauricio reached third and raced home on Pete Alonso's sacrifice fly.
Burger exited because of right quad tightness while fielding Sánchez's errant throw.
After scoring 36 runs in a three-game sweep of NL East champion Atlanta, Miami scored seven and made six errors against New York.
"We didn't play really well this series. That's just the bottom line," Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. "Bad timing. It wasn't lack of effort. They played hard, maybe too hard at times and tried to force some plays. Just another tough game."
Vientos, who grew up in nearby Plantation and had family and friends attend the series, hit another solo shot off reliever George Soriano in the sixth.
"I told a couple of people that I needed at least one in this city," Vientos said. "I got two so that's nice."
The two homers increased Vientos' total in September to four.
"It is always known he can impact the ball," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "He did that tonight twice."
Josh Bell hit a solo homer for Miami in the sixth.
Baty and Nimmo hit solo blasts against off Johnny Cueto in the eighth and ninth. It was Baty's first game back after missing six because of a left groin strain.
Pérez's outing ended after three innings. The 20-year-old rookie gave up three runs (two earned), three hits, walked three and struck out two. He remains winless in eight starts since his second call-up from the minors Aug. 7.
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