MIAMI (AP) — Brandon Nimmo broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run double, sending Max Scherzer and the New York Mets past the Miami Marlins 5-3 on Thursday.
Scherzer (1-0) coughed up a three-run lead but threw six solid innings in a matchup with NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara as the Mets improved to 41-21 on opening day — the best record in baseball.
Garrett Cooper tied it 3-all in the sixth with a two-run homer off Scherzer. Jacob Stallings led off the inning with a single and scored on Luis Arraez’s double.
Nimmo had three RBIs from the leadoff spot after re-signing with the Mets in the offseason for $162 million over eight years. He ripped a low slider from reliever Tanner Scott (0-1) into center field to put New York ahead 5-3 in the seventh, propelling the Mets to their 41st win in the past 53 openers.
Nimmo also had a sacrifice fly that scored Daniel Vogelbach for a 1-0 lead.
Before the opener, the Mets placed Justin Verlander on the injured list with a strained upper back muscle, sidelining the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner before his first appearance with the team.
Miami fell to 12-19 on opening day as rookie manager Skip Schumaker began his Marlins tenure with a loss.
Arraez was 2 for 4 and had a leadoff single in his first Marlins at-bat after Minnesota traded him to Miami in the offseason. The addition of last year’s AL batting champion was meant to be a huge lift for Miami’s offense, which was among the worst in the majors last season.
Scherzer permitted four hits, struck out six and walked two in his first opening-day start with the Mets.
Drew Smith and newcomers Brooks Raley and David Robertson combined to strike out six over three shutout innings of one-hit relief.
Robertson, filling in as closer after Edwin Diaz suffered a season-ending injury in the World Baseball Classic, got three outs for the save.
Alcantara was lifted after giving up two walks and two singles that led to two runs in the sixth. He finished with an uncharacteristic four walks and struck out two.
The Mets made it 2-0 in the sixth when Lindor’s sacrifice fly drove in Nimmo. Big league batting champ
The series continues Friday with New York LHP David Peterson facing LHP Jesus Luzardo.
New York Mets’ Brandon Nimmo, bottom left, collides with Miami Marlins third baseman Jean Segura, top, as he is safe at third on a single hit by Starling Marte (not shown) during the sixth inning of an opening day baseball game, Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)