Mets Nip Marlins in 9th, 4-3
Throughout all the losses, there had been one positive constant for the Miami Marlins for quite a while: When Steve Cishek came in to protect a lead, they won.
The sidearming Cishek had converted a team-record 33 straight save chances – the longest active streak in the majors – before the New York Mets stung him Friday night. Slumping Curtis Granderson grounded an RBI single to cap an improbable two-run rally with two outs in the ninth inning that beat the Marlins 4-3.
“I’ll be up a while,” Cishek said. “It’s never a good feeling.”
“It’s no excuse for me to come in and not get the job done,” he said. “I just didn’t have my good command, leaving pitches down the middle.”
After Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth to put the Marlins ahead 3-2, the Mets came back.
Lucas Duda led off the ninth with a soft single against Cishek (1-1) and moved up on a sacrifice.
Left fielder Christian Yelich then made a nice running catch on pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu’s liner for the second out. But Omar Quintanilla followed with a single down the line and Yelich slipped on the dirt as he got ready to throw home, letting Duda score standing up.
“It would’ve been a tough play,” Yelich said. “But if I had stayed on my feet, I was going home.”
Pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled to put runners at second and third. Granderson stepped up, having gone 0 for 4 and with a .130 batting average, and grounded his game-winner past Jones at first base.
“He’s a great hitter,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Just because he hasn’t gotten a whole lot of hits to this point doesn’t mean he’s not a great hitter.”
Granderson also hit a game-winning sacrifice fly in the 14th inning Sunday against Atlanta.
Redmond felt confident Cishek would close out the Mets. Cishek’s string of success dated to last June, during the Marlins’ 100-loss season.
“He’s been so good,” Redmond said. “I always anticipate he’s going to get out of it. And tonight, he didn’t.”
“You just see the momentum starting to roll their way and we couldn’t stop it,” he said.
Jeurys Familia (1-2) pitched a scoreless inning for his first big league win.
Yelich’s hitting streak ended at 17 games, and the Marlins fell to 1-9 on the road.
Saltalamacchia homered two pitches after reliever Gonzalez Germen narrowly missed strike three, drawing groans from the crowd of 21,171 at Citi Field. Saltalamacchia then hit a shot to left-center and Jones followed with a drive off the right-field foul pole.
The Mets hadn’t allowed any home runs since last Saturday, a span of 57 innings.
Young starters Zack Wheeler and Henderson Alvarez both pitched well.
Wheeler, a month before he turns 24, struck out 10 in six innings. He gave up four singles and walked three in six innings.
A week past his 24th birthday, Alvarez gave up two runs in six innings. In his previous start, he pitched a two-hit shutout against Seattle.
David Wright hit an RBI single and scored on Daniel Murphy’s double in the third to put the Mets ahead 2-0.
Marcell Ozuna hit an RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-1. With runners at the corners, Giancarlo Stanton flied out to deep right-center to end the inning.
NOTES: Injured INF Rafael Furcal (hamstring) had a setback in his attempt to join the Marlins next week. Furcal left a game with Double-A Jacksonville due to tightness in his quadriceps. He got hurt running from first to third on a hit by a teammate. After scoring, Furcal angrily threw his helmet against the benches when he returned to the dugout. Suns manager Andy Barkett removed Furcal from the game when the team took the field in the fourth inning. Furcal joined the Suns on Monday on a rehab assignment for a hamstring strain he sustained in spring training. He was expected to remain in Jacksonville until the end of the week before returning to Miami. … Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.15 ERA) is set to start Saturday night against RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 1.99). … Cishek had converted his first four save chances this season.
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