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Michael Conforto hitting better against lefties with more opportunities

His sixth-inning homer against Wei-Yin Chen proves to be  the game-winner.

Mets leftfielder Michael Conforto, right, celebrates with manager

Mets leftfielder Michael Conforto, right, celebrates with manager Mickey Callaway, center, and pitching coach Dave Eiland after their victory over the Marlins in Miami on Sunday. Photo Credit: AP/Joe Skipper

MIAMI — Michael Conforto’s sixth-inning homer proved to be the game-winning hit for the Mets against the Marlins on Sunday, and it was another sign of a rare positive development for this year’s team: He can hold his own against lefthanded pitchers.

The home run against Wei-Yin Chen was Conforto’s fifth in 123 plate appearances against southpaws this year. In the previous three seasons, he had a combined six homers in 177 plate appearances against lefties.

“Lefties have been, I guess, a topic of discussion,” Conforto said. “I think us lefthanded hitters who have been here the last couple of years have gotten the chance to see a lot of lefthanders this year, and it’s been a good experience for us — just to get in there and get comfortable, so now it’s not such a big deal.”

Playing against lefthanders regularly for the first time in his career, Conforto has a higher slugging percentage against them (.427) than against righthanders (.385). Brandon Nimmo has shown similar improvement.

“The fact that he’s been able to see more and more lefties, he’s been consistently playing against them, starting against them — I think that has really allowed him to be a lot more comfortable in the box against those guys,” Mickey Callaway said.    

Extra bases

Seth Lugo worked around two hits in a scoreless ninth inning for his first major-league save — and his first since he had three for Class A St. Lucie in 2014 . . . The Mets optioned Jacob Rhame to Triple-A Las Vegas. Tim Peterson will take Rhame’s roster spot . . . Jerry Blevins is creeping up on a month without allowing a run (July 15). With 6 1⁄3 scoreless innings since then, he has lowered his ERA to 3.94.

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