Saturday night was more of what is becoming the usual for the Mets’ rookie starting pitcher.
Cheers — the fake kind — filled Citi Field for David Peterson’s home debut, and the left-hander was certainly worthy. Fifteen outs came quickly, leaving the bullpen to finish the job, albeit with a brief snafu, in an 8-4 victory over the Marlins.
Early homers from Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso and a late blast by J.D. Davis provided the run support for Peterson, who allowed two earned runs over five innings and was removed at 86 pitches.
Filling the rotation spot vacated by Marcus Stroman, who tore his left calf during summer camp, Peterson (2-1, 3.78 ERA) has outshined veterans Steven Matz, Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello, which could lead to one of the three receiving a reassignment to the bullpen once Stroman returns. Unclear is how close the rehabbing Stroman might be to forcing that decision.
Peterson, the Mets’ top selection in the 2017 draft, has lasted at least five innings in each of his three starts and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of those appearances.
Logan Forsythe homered against Peterson leading off the fifth to slice the Mets’ lead to 4-2, but the lefty rebounded to retire three of the next four batters.
Jeurys Familia kept this one too interesting from the Mets’ perspective, walking three batters in the sixth and allowing two runs that pulled the Marlins within 6-5. It was the worst outing of the season for Familia, who exited before getting the third out.
Corey Dickerson walked and Brian Anderson singled to begin the rally before Familia got Francisco Cervelli to hit into a double play. Matt Joyce and Forsythe then walked in succession to load the bases, prompting manager Luis Rojas to summon Drew Smith, who allowed a ground-ball two-run single to Monte Harrison. It snapped a 14-inning scoreless streak by the Mets bullpen over the previous four games.
Robert Gsellman, in his first appearance in nearly a year, worked a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts before Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson each fired a shutout inning.
Davis provided a cushion in the seventh with a three-run homer that extended the Mets’ lead to 8-4. The homer was Davis’ third this season.
Alonso’s line drive cleared the left-field fence with two outs in the third for a two-run homer that gave the Mets a 4-1 lead against lefty Daniel Castano, who was the second straight pitcher facing the Mets in his major league debut. The scrambling to fill rotation spots has occurred after a COVID-19 outbreak nearly two weeks ago forced the Marlins to overhaul roughly half their roster.
The homer was the second of the season for Alonso, who in recent days has begun to resemble the hitter who carried the Mets lineup last season.
“I think Pete was pressing a little bit, but I think the last couple of games Pete played, that was more Pete,” hitting coach Chili Davis told The Post before the game. “He’s coming back. I think he will be fine. We have got to get the homers out of his head. He’s just got to hit.”
Conforto’s two-run homer in the second accounted for the Mets’ initial scoring. Alonso walked leading off the inning before Conforto hit his third homer of the season, all of which have come against lefties.
Peterson allowed three straight two-out singles in the first inning to fall into a 1-0 hole. Brian Anderson delivered the last of those hits to drive in the run.