MIAMI -- Look who’s alone in first place in the National League East.
Rookie Michael Conforto belted his first major league homer, Yoenis Cespedes produced his first four RBIs since arriving via trade and Bartolo Colon won for the first time in more than seven weeks as the New York Mets routed the Miami Marlins, 12-1, Monday night at Marlins Park.
The Mets (56-50) moved a game ahead of the Washington Nationals (54-50) for the division lead. The Amazin’s sit alone in first place for the first time since June 19. The Nats, swept by the Mets over the weekend at Citi Field, returned to D.C. and lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-4, despite rallying with four ninth-inning runs.
Even old nemesis Chipper Jones is jumping on the bandwagon with a tweet Monday night.
One team I would not wanna play the rest of the season.......the New York Mets!! They got some fellas that can flat out....BRING IT!!!— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) August 4, 2015
Conforto, hitless in 12 at-bats since his four-hit outburst, snapped that skid by delivering a three-run homer against Tom Koehler in the second inning to open the game’s scoring. The shot to right-center measured 435 feet. It gave the Mets 18 homers in their past nine games. Before the roster shakeup that included the imports of Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and Cespedes and the return of Travis d’Arnaud from the disabled list, the Mets had endured a nine-game stretch from June 28 through July 7 with zero homers.
Cespedes had a pair of two-run doubles -- one against Koehler in the fifth, the other in the sixth against Andre Rienzo -- as the Mets’ lead swelled to 9-0.
In all, Cespedes had three doubles in the game, matching the franchise record, albeit done 28 times. The last to accomplish the feat had been Scott Hairston at Washington on Aug. 17, 2012. Cespedes was replaced by Juan Lagares in center field with the Mets up a dozen runs in the seventh inning.
Colon entered Monday’s outing with an 0-6 record and 6.16 ERA in his previous seven starts. Before the Mets made it a laugher, the veteran righty stranded four Marlins in scoring position in the opening three innings. Colon (10-10) took a scoreless effort into the eighth before surrendering an RBI double to Christian Yelich. Colon notched his first win since June 12.
Even Colon got into the act at the plate, delivering a seventh-inning single against Chris Reed.
What’s next: Jonathon Niese (5-9, 3.63 ERA) opposes left-hander Brad Hand (1-2, 5.12) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Hand moves from the bullpen into the rotation with Miami’s trade of Dan Haren to the Chicago Cubs. Hand’s last start came on June 8, when he allowed six runs and was knocked out after recording only two outs at Toronto. With the Mets facing a southpaw, Lagares should start in center field, with Cespedes moving to a corner.