NEW YORK — In tribute to Keith Hernandez, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso sported blue stirrups and a mustache on Saturday. Then he hit the left field line, the ball landing a few levels below where Hernandez’s retired number now hangs at Citi Field.
But it was a substitute receiver off the bench who delivered the kind of brutal win Hernandez must have loved.
Tomás Nido hit an even double with two outs in the 10th inning and scored on a throwing error from reliever Tanner Scott as New York rallied to beat the Miami Marlins 5-4 after honoring Hernandez.
“You really want to find a way to try to win a game on Keith’s day,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “So the baseball gods shone on us.”
Francisco Lindor lined up a two-run homer for the NL East leaders, who overcame injuries to right fielder Starling Marte and receiver James McCann. Both came out mid-innings and are heading to MRIs on Sunday.
Miami designated hitter Garrett Cooper and manager Don Mattingly were ejected for falling out in the seventh with plate umpire Mark Ripperger.
After a pre-game ceremony to remove the No. 17 from Hernandez, the Mets released a home-and-away game in front of a sold-out crowd of 43,336. New York picked up its fourth victory and improved to 7-0 in extra innings.
The last time the Mets won on a game-ending error with two outs in extra innings was the famous Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against Boston — with Hernandez in uniform.
“He means so much to this organization,” Alonso said.
Jesús Aguilar hit a game-tying homer in the eighth for Miami, and pinch runner Billy Hamilton scored on Lindor’s pitch error at shortstop in the 10th to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead.
Scott (4-3) retired the first two batters in the bottom half before Nido, who replaced McCann behind the plate, hit a ground ball to the third base line. The ball went under Brian Anderson’s glove and rolled into left field, allowing auto-runner Mark Canha to score from second base.
Brandon Nimmo then hit a return to Scott, who fumbled the ball twice before scooping it off the mound and rushing a low, wild pitch first.
Nido scored easily and the excited Mets swarmed Nimmo near second base.
“Terrible play on my part,” Scott said. “I’m the one to blame for that.”
Colin Holderman (4-0) worked an inning for the win. After the Marlins scored at 10th, Jon Berti was picked at second base by Nido, costing them a good chance to add more.
“There were a lot of weird things that happened during that game,” Nimmo said. “I guess winning that way is how the game was going. So I’m glad I got a W. It was a long and hard match.
Anderson hit an RBI double for Miami in the sixth, but Mets second baseman Luis Guillorme made an incredible twisting throw to home plate to take down another runner on the play. McCann injured himself making a swipe tag.
Miami took a 2-1 lead on wild pitch by reliever Seth Lugo, but Lindor put the Mets up 3-2 with a two-run homer in the bottom half that chased rookie starter Braxton Garrett.
Alonso had a two-out solo shot in the fourth for New York’s first hit. It was his 70th RBI of the season – breaking a career-worst 10-game drought without one.
Aguilar also doubled, singled and scored twice for the Marlins, who had won seven of nine games. It was their seventh loss this season, tied with Boston for most in the majors.
Mets starter Carlos Carrasco came out of trouble, allowing two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“A lot happened today,” Mattingly said. “Basically, I just didn’t play well enough.”
Mets: Marte was retired in fourth with left groin tightness. … McCann came out in sixth with discomfort on his left side. … 2B/OF Jeff McNeil was out of the starting lineup to rest. He’s scheduled to play Sunday and then go on paternity leave, which means he’ll likely miss some or all of Atlanta’s three-game streak at second place that begins Monday night. McNeil came off as a pinch hitter in the eighth and stayed to play in right field. … RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in right shoulder blade) is expected to pitch in the fourth inning at least for Triple-A Syracuse in his third minor league rehab start in the coming week.
Marlins: Hours before he’s likely to be picked for the NL All-Star Team, RHP Sandy Alcantara (9-3, 1.82 ERA) kicks off Sunday’s four-game series finale. Alcantara is a top contender to start for the National League on July 19 at Dodger Stadium. He struck out 10 batters in eight two-hit shutout innings Tuesday against the Angels.
“Sandy has been tremendous,” Mattingly said. “Basically, every day he pitches, your ‘pen has a day off.”
Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.86), also a potential All-Star contender, has won four straight decisions.