Stanton powers Chen, Marlins to 5-2 win over Reyes, Mets
NEW YORK (AP) Giancarlo Stanton lost his way for a while. He never lost his prodigious power, though.
Miami's muscular slugger homered twice to match a career high with five RBIs and made a crucial play on defense, sending Wei-Yin Chen and the Marlins to a 5-2 victory that snapped the New York Mets' five-game winning streak Tuesday night.
''I'm coming back,'' said a smiling Stanton, who had three hits to raise his batting average to .226. ''It's a long road from here. That's why you don't worry about where you're at on the season stats. Just keep plugging away.''
Chen (5-3) tossed seven innings of three-hit ball, spoiling Jose Reyes' return to the Mets in his first major league game since a 59-day domestic violence suspension.
Back with his original team, the speedy switch-hitter received a warm welcome from the Citi Field crowd of 29,477 but went 0 for 4 with a strikeout in his first big league appearance this season. Batting leadoff after getting called up from the minors, Reyes quickly doffed his helmet to cheering fans when he stepped to the plate in the first inning. Some were standing and applauding.
''They showed me a lot of love and I respect that and I just tipped my hat as appreciation,'' he said. ''I didn't know what to expect when I came here today and to see the crowd reaction like that, that was good.''
The four-time All-Star shortstop also played a new position, third base, but the ball was never hit his way.
All-Star starter Yoenis Cespedes and pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza homered for New York.
Mets starter Steven Matz (7-4) sailed into the seventh with a 1-0 lead before first-time All-Star Marcell Ozuna hit a leadoff single. Stanton then lined a 1-2 changeup over the left-center fence to put Miami ahead.
The Mets put two runners on in the bottom half, but Stanton prevented them from tying the game when he charged in to make a sliding catch of Juan Lagares' two-out liner to right field.
Christian Yelich was hit by a pitch with two outs in the eighth and Ozuna singled again before Stanton sent a 3-1 fastball from Erik Goeddel into the second deck in left-center for his 17th home run, making it 5-1.
''He's the most powerful guy in the league,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
It was the slugger's 17th career multihomer game and first since June 9, 2015, at Toronto. Four of those multihomer games have come against the Mets, his most vs. any opponent.
''You feel like he's going to be there,'' Miami manager Don Mattingly said. ''If he gets hot at all, it's going to be a big boost for us.''
After slumping through much of a subpar first half, Stanton has started to break out with five homers, 16 RBIs and a .324 batting average over his past 17 games.
He hit .118 with two homers and five RBIs in his previous 29 games from May 7 to June 15.
''That's what I've been working to get to for a long time now. Just happy that the work finally showed on the field,'' Stanton said. ''I've just been in there doing it over and over again with no results.''
Cespedes homered in the fourth, his first at-bat after the Mets put his picture on the big video board to inform fans the slugger had been elected to the National League squad. Cespedes tossed his bat aside after connecting on a drive that clanked off the facing of the second deck in left field.
''I know that Stanton can hit further than me,'' Cespedes said through a translator.
One night after the Marlins squandered a six-run lead in an 8-6 loss to the Mets, Chen struck out five and walked one before giving way to a pair of All-Star relievers. Fernando Rodney gave up De Aza's first career pinch-hit homer, but A.J. Ramos worked a hitless ninth for his 25th save in 26 chances.
New York had won seven straight at home.
YES AND NO
Though he's not on the All-Star team, a grinning Stanton said he would participate in the Home Run Derby next Monday in San Diego if asked. ''Unfortunately, I missed two Home Run Derbies that I was supposed to be in. I've got some catching up to do,'' he said. ''Tell `em to ask.'' Cespedes, who won the contest in 2013 and 2014, said he'd rather not take part this time.
Stanton has six home runs in his last 11 contests at Citi Field. He has 24 career homers against the Mets, fourth-most among active players, and six of his last nine hits vs. New York have been home runs.
Matz fell to 0-3 in his last seven starts after winning seven straight. He is 5-2 in 10 career outings at Citi Field, with both losses coming against the Marlins this year.
Marlins: 1B Justin Bour went back to Miami for an MRI on his sprained right ankle.
Mets: RHP Jim Henderson (right biceps tendinitis) was tagged for four runs and four hits in one inning of a rehab appearance with Double-A Binghamton against Hartford.
Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (2-4, 5.34 ERA) starts the series finale Wednesday afternoon against RHP Jacob deGrom (4-4, 2.62), who halted a 10-start winless streak last Friday against the Chicago Cubs.