Marlins’ Mejia shuts down Mets in MLB debut

Francisco Cervelli’s three-run homer highlighted a four-run second inning Friday night for the Miami Marlins, who continued their unlikely hot start as six pitchers — including starter Humberto Mejia, a rookie making his big league debut after never pitching above Class A prior to this season — combined to six-hit the host New York Mets in a 4-3 victory.

The Marlins, who had seven games postponed from July 27 through Aug. 3 after 18 players tested positive for the coronavirus, have won six straight and are 7-1 for just the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since 2009. The Mets have lost seven of nine.

The 23-year-old right-hander struck out the side in the first and allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out six over 2 1/3 innings. The strikeouts are tied for the sixth-most by a Marlins pitcher in his big league debut even though Mejia’s debut is the third-shortest by a starter in team history.

The win was awarded to Stephen Tarpley (1-0), who struck out two in two perfect innings as the Marlins’ third pitcher. Nick Vincent, another one of the new additions, inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth and got the final five outs for his first save since Sept. 26, 2016.

Jonathan Villar had a two-out RBI double in the second for the Marlins, who received two hits apiece from Matt Joyce and Jesus Aguilar.

Dominic Smith homered in the bottom of the second for the Mets, who nearly tied the game in the eighth. With the bases loaded and one out, Richard Bleier induced Michael Conforto to ground to third, but Brian Anderson’s throw sailed wide of Cervelli as Amed Rosario scored.

Vincent entered and gave up an RBI single to J.D. Davis before retiring Smith and Wilson Ramos. He threw a perfect ninth.

Pete Alonso had two hits for the Mets.

Michael Wacha (1-2) allowed the four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out nine over five innings.