Dominican Republic’s Jerar Encarnacion hit a grand slam with his first major league hit and compatriot Sandy Alcantara again pitched well from the mound as the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 2-6 on Sunday.
Encarnacion came to bat in the seventh with three teammates on, one out and the Marlins down 1-0, when he hit a grounder off Puerto Rican-born reliever Seth Lugo, sending the ball over the right field wall for Miami to take command of the game.
The Bayaguana, Dominican Republic-born outfielder, who struck out in his first at-bat in the second inning and grounded out in the fifth with a grounder to shortstop before hitting his decisive home run, became the first Dominican to hit a grand slam with his first major league hit.
Encarnacion is also the first Marlins player to hit a four-run homer with his first hit since Jeremy Hermida, who did it in the 2005 campaign.
Alcantara (7-2) went eight two-run innings and struck out eight batters to earn the win for the Marlins.
With his work on Sunday, Alcantara has now recorded eight consecutive starts of six innings or more and three runs or less, qualifying for quality starts by Major League standards.
The Mets took the lead in the sixth act of the game on a tow-away single by Puerto Rico’s Francisco Lindor, which drove in Dominican Starling Marte.
The Mets held a 1-0 lead until Encarnacion knocked the ball out of the park in the seventh inning.
In the seventh inning, Jon Berti hit a single to give the Marlins their fifth run of the game.
Venezuelan Luis Guillorme added the Mets’ second run of the game with a single to left field in the eighth inning.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. scored the Marlins’ final run in the ninth inning.
Right-hander Chris Bassitt (5-5) started for the Mets and pitched 6.1 innings of three-run ball and struck out nine to take the loss.
For the Marlins, Encarnacion hit a home run, scored twice and drove in four runs in four at-bats; Dominican Bryan De La Cruz had one hit and one run scored in three at-bats; and Venezuelan Miguel Rojas had two hits and toed the rubber once in four at-bats.
For the Mets, Lindor went 4-1, with one hit; Marte went 4-1, with one run and Guillorme batted 3-1, with one run batted in.