Seth Lugo pitched 5 1/3 innings to extend his personal winning streak to five, while James Loney and Jay Bruce backed him with two-run homers. The loss officially eliminated the Marlins from postseason contention. Entering the night, they needed to win their remaining games and have the Giants lose all of theirs just to force a Wild Card tiebreaker.

Now, the Giants and Cardinals are left for the Mets, who remain in a tight race with those two teams. Wednesday’s win temporarily moved the Mets one game ahead of the Giants for the best record among Wild Card contenders and two games ahead of the pursuing Cardinals. San Francisco and St. Louis are both scheduled to play on Thursday, while the Mets are idle.

Martin Prado gave the Marlins an early lead with a two-run homer off Lugo in the first inning, but starting pitcher Jose Urena could not hold it. The Mets finished the season 12-7 against the Marlins, who are locked into third place in the NL East.

Catching fire: Bruce’s longtime reputation for streakiness did not do much to calm folks in Flushing, who booed the slumping outfielder throughout the Mets’ last homestand. But the team’s primary non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition has turned things around on the road, homering for the third time in five games. His two-run shot off Urena in the fifth inning gave the Mets a 5-2 lead.

Bruce's two-run home run

Bruce’s two-run home run

NYM@MIA: Bruce lifts a two-run homer to right

Jay Bruce connects and drives a two-run shot to right field to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning

Prado connects early: At a time of grieving, the Marlins turned to their leader for a lift. And Prado, like he has done all year, delivered. The veteran third baseman connected on a two-run homer in first inning that gave Miami a short-lived lead. Prado now has eight home runs, and his 75 RBIs match Marcell Ozuna for second most on the Marlins behind Christian Yelich‘s 95. According to Statcast™, Prado’s homer was projected to land 404 feet from home plate with an exit velocity of 102 mph.

Brief but effective: Collins did not give Lugo much rope, pulling the rookie after he allowed a one-out single in the sixth, on his 82nd pitch. But the Mets’ bullpen held, handing Lugo his fifth consecutive victory. He allowed nothing more than Prado’s homer in the first, retiring seven straight Marlins before that sixth-inning single.

Cespedes' shoestring catch

Cespedes’ shoestring catch

NYM@MIA: Cespedes makes a fine shoestring grab

Yoenis Cespedes ranges to make a nice running shoestring catch to rob Dee Gordon of a hit in the bottom of the 2nd inning

Squandered seventh: Dee Gordon tried to make something happen in the seventh inning for Miami in a 5-2 game. The speedster singled with one out off Fernando Salas before stealing second and dashing to third on catcher Rene Rivera‘s throwing error with one out. But the Marlins were unable to cash in on the error, as Salas struck out Ozuna and retired Prado on a grounder to first.

Originally in the starting lineup, Mets first baseman Lucas Duda was a late scratch due to general soreness. That resulted in a start for Loney, who tied the game with his two-run homer in the second inning. The Mets didn’t trail again.

Mets: Following an off-day on Thursday, the Mets will head to Citizens Bank Park for their final series of the year against the Phillies. Robert Gsellman is currently scheduled to start Friday’s opener for the Mets, though the team is considering using Bartolo Colon on short rest in his place. That would line Colon up to start the NL Wild Card Game, if Noah Syndergaard is unavailable. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Marlins: Miami will spend its off-day on Thursday attending the funeral of Jose Fernandez in Miami. Following the services, the Marlins will travel to Washington D.C., where they will face the Nationals at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday at Nationals Park. Andrew Cashner (5-11, 5.13 EAR) makes his final start of the season. The Nationals have yet to announce their starter.

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This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Mets News / Loney, Bruce homer as Mets stay atop WC