MIAMI — Taijuan Walker carried much of the load in the Mets rotation during a stretch in which the team’s stars were injured.
But then Max Scherzer returned from nearly seven weeks on the injured list with a strained left oblique. And on Tuesday, the Mets plan to activate Jacob deGrom from the IL to reclaim his spot atop the rotation.
It leaves the Mets with a strong No. 3 in Walker, who easily could have been selected to the National League All-Star team for a second straight year.
Walker was given a six-run lead Sunday and rolled into the middle innings. The Marlins scored three times against Walker in the fifth and sixth to prevent him from continuing a streak. Removed after 5 ²/₃ innings, Walker failed to complete the sixth for the first time in 10 starts, dating to June 2. Walker threw 101 pitches.
“I didn’t like it,” Walker said after the Mets’ 9-3 victory at loanDepot park. “I didn’t think I had my best stuff. The offense did a real good job of scoring runs early. I really wanted to go out and finish the sixth inning … it was all right.”
It was a second straight start in which Walker allowed three earned runs. In his Tuesday outing against the Yankees, he allowed homers to Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo in the first inning before settling in to get the Mets through the sixth.
Starling Marte received a day off, as manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to push his luck playing the outfielder three straight days on the artificial turf. Marte has battled groin soreness on two separate occasions this season.
“He’s had a lot of volume, running,” Showalter said. “It’s his own fault, triples and running around the field, but he’s fine and will be back in the lineup [Monday].”
Trevor May’s next appearance will potentially come with the Mets. The reliever pitched a scoreless inning Sunday for Triple-A Syracuse, giving him back-to back appearances for the first time in his rehab from a stress reaction in his right arm. If May feels good in the next few days he will likely be activated on Wednesday in Washington.
James McCann is progressing in his rehab from an oblique strain and could rejoin the Mets this week. McCann homered for Double-A Binghamton on Sunday.
“I am hoping to get the trifecta, it would be nice with Jake [deGrom] and May and Mac,” Showalter said.