Steven Matz makes Mets’ season midpoint slightly less miserable

MIAMI — Now the Mets can say they are halfway through their latest season to nowhere.

From an aesthetics standpoint, their 5-2 victory over the Marlins in Game No. 81 was hardly their crispest, but for this beleaguered bunch it might as well have been a masterpiece.

The Mets (33-48) snapped a three-game losing streak and departed Marlins Park outside the NL East basement, one game ahead of these maturing Fish.

“We have to win more games than we have, for the fans’ sake, for the organization’s sake, for [the media’s] sake,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “So we have to definitely monitor [the clubhouse] and pay attention to it and make sure that guys are motivated and continue to come here believing in themselves and that they can get the job done.”

The Mets overcame three errors, thanks largely to Steven Matz. The lefty allowed only one run — it was unearned — over 5 ¹/₃ innings to continue his dominance on the road, where he has posted a 2.25 ERA this season.

Seth Lugo, in his first appearance since returning to the bullpen, pitched 1 ²/₃ scoreless innings in relief before Tim Peterson and Jeurys Familia finished it.

Todd Frazier’s gift RBI double in the eighth — the ball was dropped by center fielder Lewis Brinson — gave the Mets a 4-1 cushion before catcher J.T. Realmuto’s throwing error allowed another run.

Matz delivered an RBI single in the fourth that extended the Mets’ lead to 3-0. It was the third hit of the season for Matz, who drove in Wilmer Flores following his leadoff single. Frazier also singled in the inning, but Kevin Plawecki’s double-play grounder prevented the Mets from a potential big inning.

Asdrubal Cabrera’s solo homer with two outs in the third gave the Mets their second run. The blast was Cabrera’s team-leading 14th of the season.

Plawecki’s RBI double an inning earlier gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. Frazier drew a two-out walk to spark that rally.

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