Ketel Marte delivered the tie-breaking RBI double in the ninth inning Monday night for the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, who extended their lead in the race for the third and final National League wild card spot by edging the New York Mets, 4-3, in the opener of a four-game series.
With their fifth win in six games, the Diamondbacks (76-69) moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Miami Marlins, who lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 12-0, and inched within 1 1/2 games of the second wild card, the idle Chicago Cubs.
The Mets (65-78) fell to 4-6 this month.
Pinch-hitter Alek Thomas singled with one out in the ninth against Drew Smith (4-6). Marte was jammed on an 0-1 pitch, but his opposite-field blooper landed in shallow left field and bounced into foul territory. Jeff McNeil lost the ball while trying to make the transfer and Thomas, running on contact, scored standing up.
Kevin Ginkel (9-0) struck out two in a perfect eighth and Paul Sewald earned his 33rd save during an eventful ninth in which he walked two before retiring Brandon Nimmo on a fly out to center to leave the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
Tommy Pham, who opened the season with the Mets before being traded to the Diamondbacks on Aug. 1, went 3-for-5 with a game-tying homer in the eighth. Emmanuel Rivera (sacrifice fly) and Evan Longoria (single) had RBIs in the fourth inning.
Marte and Seby Zavala had two hits apiece.
The Mets scored all their runs in the fourth, when Ronny Mauricio ripped a two-run double and McNeil homered. McNeil had three of the Mets’ six hits.
Diamondbacks starter Zach Davies allowed three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five over four innings. The Mets’ Jose Quintana surrendered two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings.