NEW YORK (AP) — All of a sudden, the New York Mets are putting on a pitching-and-power show at Citi Field.
David Wright went 4 for 4 with a mammoth homer, Lucas Duda also hit a long two-run shot and New York rocked recent nemesis Henderson Alvarez in a 7-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Zack Wheeler shut down Miami again and Juan Lagares had three hits as the fourth-place Mets (43-50) improved to 6-2 on a 10-game homestand that takes them into the All-Star break.
"We can do some damage in the second half," Wright said.
After struggling at the plate most of the season, the Mets began the night with the most home runs in the National League since June 17 and increased their total to 25 in the last 23 games.
As for the pitchers, New York starters own a 1.29 ERA in 42 innings over the past six games. Add it all up, and the Mets have won 12 of their last 18 at spacious Citi Field to even their home record at 23-23.
"It's really hard to describe what it's like playing here in the early season when it's cold and it's damp and the ball just doesn't go anywhere," manager Terry Collins said. "We told them, 'Look, when it starts to warm up, it's a different park. It's a fair park.'"
Wheeler (5-8) pitched 6 2-3 strong innings and helped himself with an RBI double. He moved to 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins, including a three-hitter in a 1-0 win June 19 that was his first major league complete game.
"It's always nice to go out there and pitch with some runs on the board," Wheeler said.
Alvarez (6-4) had been on quite a roll, allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last nine games. He was 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA during that stretch, and the Marlins had won his last 10 outings — a club record for one of their starters.
He was particularly tough on the Mets, too, going 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his past five starts against them. But this time, Alvarez was tagged for a season-high six earned runs and eight hits in five ineffective innings.
"He made a lot of mistakes over the plate on the center-cut fastballs and they did some damage with them," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He didn't have the type of movement he's had over his last few starts. That ended up being the difference."