MIAMI – The New York Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes last week, hoping he would be a big hit in the middle of their lineup.
On Monday night, he helped them slug their way into first place.
Cespedes hit three doubles and drove in four runs, leading the Mets over the Miami Marlins 12-1 and putting them atop the NL East.
“Very nice, a good night for him,” manager Terry Collins said. “That’s why we got him. ”
The Mets obtained Cespedes from Detroit right before Friday’s trade deadline. Playing for the third time with New York, he tied the team record for doubles in a game.
Fresh off sweeping Washington, the Mets won their fourth in a row and moved a game ahead of the Nationals for the division lead.
“It’s obviously a great spot to be in at this point in time in August to say that you have yourself either in contention or on top of the division,” said Curtis Granderson, who got three hits, drove in two runs and scored twice.
The Mets topped the 10 total runs they scored while sweeping three from Washington. This win, coupled with the Nationals’ loss to Arizona, put the Mets in first place for the first time since June 19.
Michael Conforto hit his first career homer, a three-run drive.
“It was just a blur,” Conforto said. “The whole trip around the bases was just a flash in my mind. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
Bartolo Colon (10-10) won for the first time since June 12 after dropping his previous six decisions. He pitched eight innings, allowing one run and seven hits.
“That’s a big outing for Bartolo because we need him,” Collins said. “If you’re going to stay in the race you’ve got to get outings and innings from all of your pitchers.”