MIAMI — Mark Canha’s unspectacular start to September was emblematic of the Mets’ overall recent offensive blahs, but Saturday night the veteran outfielder became the life of the party.
The Mets were already rolling when Canha came to the plate for the second time in the fourth inning. By the time Canha was finished against reliever Andrew Nardi, Mets manager Buck Showalter could start considering when he might begin resting starters.
Canha hit his first career grand slam to provide the most bang for the Mets in an 11-3 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park. The win meant that at worst, the Mets were going to enter Sunday a half-game behind the Braves (who played a later game in Seattle) in the NL East.
Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar also smashed homers for the Mets a night after the offense went flat in a loss to the reeling Marlins. The Mets will try for the series victory on Sunday to complete the road trip after they won two of three in Pittsburgh.
Canha was among the Mets’ hottest players in August, when he produced a .979 OPS, but hadn’t been heard from much over the team’s previous eight games.
His grand slam was the highlight of an eight-run fourth inning in which the Mets sent 11 batters to the plate. The scoring output was the Mets’ largest in an inning since July 9 of last season, when they had a 10-run outburst in the sixth inning against the Pirates.
After Canha walked against Pablo Lopez to lead off the fourth inning Saturday, Daniel Vogelbach singled and Escobar doubled in a run to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. James McCann followed with an RBI single and Brandon Nimmo walked to load the bases. Lindor singled in a run before Jeff McNeil brought in another with a sacrifice fly. Tyler Naquin extended the inning with a two-out walk, ending Lopez’s game, before Canha homered over the left-field fence against Nardi.
Lindor’s solo home run in the fifth inning was his 22nd of the season. In the seventh, Escobar went hit his fourth homer in eight games.
McNeil delivered an RBI single in the third inning that tied the score 1-1. Lindor doubled with one out to start the rally after he had hit into a double play in his previous two at-bats, dating to Friday.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead on Carlos Carrasco on Garrett Cooper’s RBI double in the first inning. Carrasco received a double play to help him escape the second inning, then got rolling.
In his second start since returning from the injured list, Carrasco pitched six innings and allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts. He was removed after 74 pitches.
With the Mets ahead by 10 runs in the seventh, Showalter replaced Lindor and Pete Alonso on defense. Nimmo was removed in the eighth.
Bryce Montes de Oca pitched one inning for the Mets and allowed one run. Trevor Williams entered for the eighth and allowed one run. Alex Claudio pitched a scoreless ninth.