Jerar Encarnación made a spectacular major league debut with a go-ahead, seventh-inning grand slam for his first hit and also threw out a runner at third base from right field and stole a base, lifting the Miami Marlins over the New York Mets 6-2 Sunday.
A 24-year-old who started with the Marlins in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, Encarnación became the first player since at least 1901 with a grand slam and an outfield assist in his debut. He also stole a base in the ninth inning.
Encarnación began this season at Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A on May 17 and was brought up to the big leagues Friday after hitting 13 home runs in the minors this year.
Wearing unfashionably high uniform No. 64, Encarnación struck out and grounded out in his first two at-bats, then came to the plate with the Marlins and Sandy Alcantara (7-2) trailing 1-0 in the seventh.
Seth Lugo relieved Chris Bassitt (5-5) with the bases loaded and fell behind 3-1 in the count. Encarnación took a called strike and then drove a 92.6 mph fastball 371 feet to the opposite field and over the right-field wall. He raised his right arm in triumph while rounding first base.
Encarnación gave the Marlins a 4-1 lead, becoming the second Miami player with a grand slam for his first big league hit after Jeremy Hermida against St. Louis pitcher Alberto Reyes on Aug. 31, 2005. The last player to achieve the feat was San Diego pitcher Daniel Camarena against Washington’s Max Scherzer last July 8.
Encarnación showed an impressive arm when he threw out Tomás Nido in the third inning trying to stretch a single into a double after a one-hop drive off the right-field wall.
Jon Berti tacked on an RBI single in the seventh and Jazz Chisholm Jr. a run-scoring double in the ninth.
New York, an NL-best 44-24, lost for only the second time in 12 home games. Miami stopped a three-game skid and won for just the second time in 10 games at Citi Field.
Bassitt stretched his scoreless streak to 14 innings before the seventh, when the Marlins loaded the bases on singles by Miguel Rojas and Jacob Stallings followed by Bryan De La Cruz’s one-out walk.
Alcantara, whose 1.72 ERA is second in the major leagues behind San Diego’s Joe Musgrove, allowed six hits in eight innings, struck out eight and walked one. He has pitched seven innings or more while allowing two earned runs or fewer in eight straight starts, the longest such streak since 16 in a row by Seattle’s Félix Hernández in 2014.
Francisco Lindor put the Mets ahead with a run-scoring single in the sixth, his 52nd RBI, Luis Guillorme added an RBI single in the seventh.
Bassitt struck out a season-high nine while allowing three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Before Lewin Díaz made his first appearance of the season at first base on Saturday, a Marlins coach broke in a new mitt for him by taking a bat to the leather.
Berti on Saturday became just the fourth player to steal three bases in a game against the Mets three times, joining Maury Wills, Vince Coleman and Tim Raines. … Nido threw out Chisholm for a strike-’em-out, throw-’em double play in the sixth, ending a streak of 15 consecutive successful steals against the Mets.
LHP David Peterson (3-1, 3.60) is scheduled to start Monday’s season finale, but manager Buck Showalter said the Mets were making contingency plans in case Peterson’s wife goes into labor. Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers (3-5, 5.87) is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in four starts vs. the Mets.