NEW YORK -- Another day, another ballpark, another victory. Yoenis Cespedes hit his ninth homer in 13 September games, David Wright plated the go-ahead run with a double and the Mets won their eighth straight, 4-3 over the Marlins on Monday night at Citi Field.
The win maintained the Mets' 9.5-game hammerlock on the NL East, dropping their magic number to clinch the division to 10.
"It's just fun to win," Wright said. "It's nice to be home, a great crowd Monday night, a crowd that was into it. That energy rubs off on the players and you want to go out there and put on a good show, and get a win for them. It's nice to come through."
Home runs from Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud allowed them to hang around against the Marlins and starter Justin Nicolino, who gave up three runs in six innings. Subbing for Matt Harvey, Mets starter Logan Verrett outpitched Nicolino with just one run allowed through five, but manager Terry Collins removed him after only 63 pitches.
Wright later gave the Mets the lead for good with his tiebreaking ground-rule double off Kyle Barraclough in the seventh, before Jeurys Familia nailed down his 41st save in the ninth.
"Very uncharacteristic of what he's done," Miami manager Dan Jennings said of Barraclough. "To get into a situation right there with David Wright, he's an All-Star for a reason. He got the pitch to hit the ground-rule double."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Oh captain, my captain: Four times, Wright came to the plate. Four times, he hit the ball to the right of center field. Wright's ground-rule double in the eighth landed a few yards from the 408-foot sign, one-hopping the wall to drive home Eric Young Jr. with the go-ahead run. Had it remained in play, Curtis Granderson easily would have scored as well. More >
Nicolino's quality start: Surrendering a two-out, two-run homer to d'Arnaud in the sixth wiped out Nicolino's chance for a win, but the rookie left-hander did exit with his fifth quality start in his past six outings. The 23-year-old attacked a tough New York lineup, throwing 93 pitches with 70 strikes. His lone walk was an intentional one to Wilmer Flores in the second. Nicolino is getting up there in innings, with 169 1/3 (counting 115 in the Minor Leagues), so he will be monitored carefully in the upcoming weeks.
"I felt good. I had good command of all my pitches," Nicolino said. "The one to Cespedes in the third inning, it was a backed up cutter. Other than that, we were locating the ball, in and out, using the changeup a lot. And using the curveball when we needed to." More >
d'Arnaud goes d'eep: Quietly since returning from the disabled list, d'Arnaud has developed into one of the game's premier offensive catchers. His two-run homer off Nicolino in the sixth tied things at 3, shortly after the Marlins had taken a two-run lead.
"I just look at it as we're playing well right now," d'Arnaud said. "We got Game One of the series. Now we've got to go out [Tuesday] and try to win the series."
Realmuto's hit streak, RBI single: Rookie catcher J.T. Realmuto collected two hits, including a two-out RBI single in the sixth, which at the time put Miami up, 3-1. Realmuto has hit safely in a career-high 10 straight. The streak also matches Charles Johnson (June 25-July 6, 1995) for the longest hit streak by a Marlins rookie catcher.
"I've got to slip [manager] Terry [Collins] a few dollars to keep hitting Cespedes behind me." -- Wright, on the opportunities he received batting second in the lineup, with Cespedes third
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Cespedes' third-inning homer gave him 17 in 41 games with the Mets, compared to the 18 he hit over 102 games with the Tigers. Those 17 homers are tied with Manny Ramirez (2008) and Mark Teixeira (2007) for second-most all-time among players acquired July 31 or later. Mark McGwire holds the record with 24 homers down the stretch for the Cardinals in 1997.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins:Tom Koehler (9-13, 3.99) aims to become the Marlins' first 10-game winner Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. But his task is a tough one at the first-place Mets. Koehler comes off his best start of the season, striking out 10 in eight innings -- both season highs -- in a win over the Brewers.
Mets:Jacob deGrom will put his perfect record against the Marlins on the line when he takes the mound for Tuesday's game at Citi Field. In six career starts against Miami, deGrom is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA.