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Home runs and solid pitching extend the Mets' win streak to six

Pete Alonso celebrates his first-inning, two-run homer against

Pete Alonso celebrates his first-inning, two-run homer against the Marlins with J.D. Davis at Citi Field on Aug. 7, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The mind-blowing good times kept rolling at Citi Field on Wednesday afternoon as the Mets won their sixth in a row and 13th in 14 games by beating the Marlins, 7-2, before 26,349.

Steven Matz allowed two runs in 6 2⁄ 3 innings, and Michael Conforto (twice), Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil all homered as the Mets swept the four-game series and moved to within one game of the Phillies for the NL’s second wild-card spot. Philadelphia played at Arizona on Wednesday night.

After his first home run — the 100th of his career — Conforto accidentally elbowed Matz in the face at the end of a high-five. Matz, who was wearing his batting helmet, was unhurt. Conforto could barely suppress a grin.

Conforto also was grinning after the game when he showed reporters a baseball with the stitches cut up and writing on it. His teammates had tried to convince him that was his 100th home run ball.

“This is a joke that the bullpen thought would be funny,” Conforto said. “So you can see we’re still having fun out here.”

Conforto said the real milestone ball is “safe. It’s not all messed up.”

No. 100 was a two-run homer just inside the rightfield pole in the third. Conforto also hit a solo shot to left in the seventh.

“I think that’s a good sign,” Conforto said. “Pull the breaking ball, hit the fastball the other way.”

Conforto joined Darryl Strawberry and David Wright as the only Mets to reach the 100-homer mark before their 27th birthday. Conforto will turn 27 on March 1.

“It’s been a really fun career up to this point,” said Conforto, who debuted in the Mets’ World Series season of 2015. “Hopefully, I hit a lot more. But today was special.”

Matz (7-7) rebounded from a poor outing that followed his first career complete game and shutout. The lefthander gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out seven.

Alonso gave the Mets a 2-0 lead with a long, high home run to left-center in the first off Jordan Yamamoto (4-3). It was Alonso’s 37th home run and third in as many games. Alonso is within four of the Mets’ season record of 41 set by Todd Hundley in 1996 and equaled by Carlos Beltran in 2006.

The Marlins made it 2-1 in the second on Lewis Brinson’s RBI single. Miami got four baserunners in the inning, but two were thrown out on the bases. Brinson was nailed at second trying to stretch his single, and Starlin Castro was thrown out at the plate by Todd Frazier.

After Conforto’s two-run shot made it 4-1, Miami catcher Bryan Holaday homered in the sixth to make it 4-2.

McNeil hit a two-run homer off Jose Quijada in the seventh to give the Mets a 6-2 lead. McNeil’s 15th home run was followed two batters later by Conforto’s second homer. Conforto has 25 homers, including seven in his last 11 games.

The Mets finished a soft spot in their schedule against the Padres, White Sox, Pirates and Marlins by going from 10 games under .500 to three games over at 59-56. The Mets hadn’t been three over since they were 13-10 on April 23.

The Mets are 19-6 since the All-Star break. Their starters are 11-2 with a 2.62 ERA in that span. The Mets are 32-20 at home and will play 29 of their final 47 games at Citi Field.

After a day off, the Mets on Friday will host one of the teams they are chasing in the wild-card race — the Nationals, who hold the top spot. Marcus Stroman will make his first home start as a Met against Stephen Strasburg.

“You’ve got to slay the giant, so to speak,” Alonso said. “You’ve got to go through these tough teams in order to get to the playoffs. When you get to the playoffs, it’s going to be that much harder. So we just need to keep rolling and take it day by day because nobody’s going to make the playoffs tomorrow.”

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