A pair of call-ups from New Orleans, one just happy to be here and one who wanted to be here from the start of the season, played major roles in the Marlins ending a nine-game losing streak Friday night.
“How long was the losing streak?” Marlins shortstop Ed Lucas asked after his first major-league start. “I had no idea it was that long. I thought it was a couple of games.”
Lucas’ first major-league hit after 10 seasons in the minors drove in the first Marlins run of a 5-1 win over the Mets at Marlins Park. New York didn’t find the scoreboard in front of the announced attendance of 16,493 until the top of the eighth. That’s one inning after Friday call-up Jacob Turner (1-0) left his first start of the season having given up only five hits, one walk and no runs in seven innings.
Both the Marlins and Turner expected him to start the season with Miami. Turner couldn’t find the strike zone consistently during spring training, so he found himself in Triple A New Orleans.
“The things he went down to the minor leagues to work on showed tonight,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He pounded the strike zone. He really dominated the first six innings. Fortunately, we were able to get some runs, some big hits.”
Turner said, “Probably my last five or six starts, everything’s coming together. Obviously, it’s taking longer than I would’ve liked, but I’m happy to be here now.”
Marcell Ozuna went 3 for 4 and extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the second-longest for a rookie in Marlins history. Pinch-hitter Jordan Brown gave Marlins relievers Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek a buffer zone with a two-run double in the four-run seventh inning.
The Mets came in on a four-game winning streak after sweeping the Yankees, and pitcher Shaun Marcum (0-6) kept the Marlins even more impotent than Turner did the Mets for the first six innings.
The teams matched rallies being aborted by runners leaving early for second and getting nailed by alert mound-to-second throws: Marcum got Juan Pierre in the fourth, and Turner got Marlon Byrd in the fifth.
The Marlins opened the bottom of the fifth with singles by Ozuna and Chris Coghlan. Redmond ordered Lucas to bunt, which he did successfully to move Coghlan and Ozuna to second and third.
“It took me 10 years to get here. I’ll do whatever’s asked,” said Lucas, a 2004 draft pick out of Dartmouth. “Get a bunt down, get a runner in from third with one out or run into a wall.”
But that left first base open and Marcum intentionally walked .219 hitter Greg Dobbs to get to .050 hitter Jeff Mathis. Mathis hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
(The walk to Dobbs was the first one by Mets pitchers after three walk-free games. The last National League team to go four games without allowing a walk was the 1976 Eastern Division champion Philadelphia.)
In the seventh, Derek Dietrich led off with a single to center that he ran into a double. That was backed up by Ozuna’s bloop single to short center field. A Coghlan strikeout left the runners at the corners for Lucas. He singled to left field, bringing in Dietrich: 1-0.
A walk to Dobbs loaded the bases for Mathis again. This time, Mathis flew out to deep center, thus bringing in a run for a 2-0 lead. Brown’s double cleared the bases and put the Marlins up 4-0.
“It felt like there was a pretty big amount of relief,” Brown said of the win. “Guys are smiling, having a good time, the music’s playing. Always a good feeling when you win, especially on a weekend.”