MIAMI — Brett Baty needed this one.
In his return to the lineup Wednesday, amid a poor rookie season that had gotten worse since his return to the majors this month, Baty demolished a 440-foot home run off Marlins reliever Johnny Cueto, a highlight in the Mets’ 8-3 win.
His shot came in the top of the eighth, with the Mets already ahead by four runs thanks in part to Mark Vientos’ pair of homers. When Cueto offered a fastball inside, Baty crushed it into the upper deck in rightfield. Rightfielder Jesus Sanchez barely took a step before ceasing his pursuit.
“That one did feel really good,” said Baty, who is hitting .212 with a .605 OPS.
That was Baty’s eighth long ball of the season and first since July 19. For three-and-a-half weeks in between, he was with Triple-A Syracuse, the Mets feeling he needed a reset in the minors after prolonged struggles.
Baty missed the previous six games because of a strained left groin.
“It’s been tough on him, sitting over there watching his friends and teammates play,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I was telling [bench coach Eric Chavez] before the game, I’d really like to see Baty finish up real strong. I hope that’s the start of that.”
In his second-to-last start of the season, Kodai Senga (12-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. His ERA is 2.96.
Miami went 2-for-3 against Senga in the fifth inning, but rightfielder Jeff McNeil bailed him out by recording two assists, including throwing out Jorge Soler at the plate for an inning-ending double play.