NEW YORK — Jacob deGrom overpowered the first eight Miami hitters, and all that stood between him and sole possession of a major league record was the opposing pitcher.
Line drive, base hit. “I had no idea,” Marlins starter Jarred Cosart said. “Any time you can keep the other pitcher out of the history books, it’s a good thing.”
By striking out eight in a row to begin the game, deGrom matched a big league mark Sept. 15 before the Marlins finally started making contact and rallied late for a 6-5 victory over the New York Mets.
Adeiny Hechavarria hit a two-run single and Jeff Mathis put the Marlins ahead with an RBI single that capped a three-run eighth inning. But with both teams under .500 and only two weeks left in the season, it was deGrom who provided some early and unexpected excitement.
On a night when New York’s goofy mascot, Mr. Met, wore a shaggy wig to mimic deGrom’s long hair, the rookie finished with a career-best 13 strikeouts in seven innings.
He whiffed eight consecutive Marlins at the start, tying a record set by Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 23, 1986.
Deshaies and deGrom are the only pitchers to accomplish the feat since 1900. “That felt good. I had a good fastball early on,” deGrom said. “My two-seamer was moving a lot.”
Now a Chicago Cubs broadcaster, Deshaies had fun noting the occasion on Twitter: “Congratulations to Jacob Degrom for tying one of the most hallowed records in all of sport,” he posted.
A top contender for NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom equaled Deshaies’ mark by freezing Mathis with a 95 mph fastball. The right-hander then gave up a sharp single to Cosart on a 1-0 pitch and received a warm ovation from the Citi Field crowd of 23,027.
“I threw ball one so I thought maybe he would take the next one,” deGrom said. “I was trying to go outside corner and I just left it over the middle.”
Despite squandering a two-run lead, deGrom was in line to win before Miami scored three in the eighth against New York’s best relievers. Jeurys Familia (2-5) gave up four straight hits, and Mathis delivered a two-out single off closer Jenrry Mejia.
“We got a couple soft hits but at the right time. Sometimes you need those,” Miami Manager Mike Redmond said. “Had some great at-bats and that was a great team win.”
With the bases loaded, Sam Dyson (3-1) threw a called third strike past Dilson Herrera to end the seventh. Steve Cishek closed for his 36th save in 40 chances.
Miami finally solved deGrom in the seventh, when Hechavarria doubled and ex-Met Jordany Valdespin looped a two-run single that tied it 2-all. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson added a sacrifice fly.
Dating back to Aug. 23, deGrom had gone 28 innings without allowing an earned run.
Casey McGehee’s error at third base helped the Mets take a 5-3 lead with three unearned runs in the bottom half. Daniel Murphy hit an RBI single, Travis d’Arnaud broke his bat on a go-ahead double and reliever A.J. Ramos walked three consecutive batters to force in a run.
Wilmer Flores hit a two-run double off Cosart in the first.
(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Sports Writer)