Harrison Bader of the Mets celebrates his first inning two...

Harrison Bader of the Mets celebrates his first inning two run home run against the Miami Marlins with teammate Francisco Lindor at Citi Field on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Credit: Jim McIsaac

At the beginning of a big night for the Mets’ bats, a 10-4 win over the Marlins on Wednesday, came a tone-setting swing from an unlikely source: Harrison Bader.

Moved all the way up to the No. 2 spot, his first time this season starting anywhere other than the bottom third of the order, Bader blasted a two-run home run to stake the Mets to a first-inning lead.

Manager Carlos Mendoza indicated before the game that he slotted Bader in there in part because the Mets were facing a lefthander, Braxton Garrett. So that arrangement might not be a regular thing. But for a game, at least, it panned out — immediately.

“Sometimes it’s going to work, sometimes it’s not going to work,” Mendoza said. “I’m glad it worked out today in that first inning, but those are some of the chances you take as a manager — knowing your players, knowing the personnel and putting them in situations where you feel like they’re going to have success. Today it worked in the first inning.”

Bader, who finished 2-for-5, said: “You could put a lot of guys in that position and they would be successful. Mendy chose me today to be that guy and switch it up there. But a lot of guys would be in that situation and find success the way I did today. It’s a dynamic lineup. We continue to prove it.”

Bader’s long ball combined with Francisco Lindor’s loud leadoff double to prove an important point: Garrett was eminently hittable. The Mets need not worry about scoring enough runs this time.

By the end, all of their position players except Jeff McNeil had a hit. Tyrone Taylor had four. Six guys had at least one RBI. Lindor and Starling Marte homered. The Mets (29-37) scored multiple runs in four of their eight turns at-bat.

 

That was plenty to avoid the embarrassment of guaranteeing another series loss to the cellar-dwelling Marlins (23-44). Now they’ll need to win the finale Thursday.

Garrett wound up yielding six runs (four earned) in 4 1⁄3 innings. His fielders hurt his cause with a pair of errors in the Mets’ three-run second.

“They were ready to go,” lefthander David Peterson said. “It’s always fun to get a lot of run support like that. It was fun to see one through nine do their thing.”

Lacking his sharp slider, Peterson grinded through five innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and two walks. He struck out just one.

Dedniel Nunez struck out five in 2 1⁄3 perfect innings behind Peterson, picking up his third hold and lowering his ERA to 2.30.

Needing to clear a roster spot for Edwin Diaz’s return from the injured list Thursday, the Mets after the game sent lefthander Danny Young, who also had been very good, down to the minors. Nunez was the other obvious option.

The Mets rewarded Nunez with a continued stay in the majors. The fans at Citi Field rewarded him with a standing ovation as he left the mound in the eighth.

“It was something that I couldn’t believe,” Nunez said through an interpreter. "When you’re watching on TV, you see fans giving applause to guys who have actually done a lot in The Show. To be on the other end and see how the fans embrace me in that moment, it was really special.”

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