Outside of one Jose Fernandez masterpiece, it had been nothing but misery for the Marlins on the road this season.
On Saturday night, they finally put an end to it.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s opposite-field solo home run off Kyle Farnsworth in the 10th inning — his second blast in as many nights — helped rally the Marlins from an early four-run deficit to a 7-6 victory over the Mets in front of 21,492 fans at Citi Field.
Steve Cishek, who had his franchise-record consecutive-saves streak snapped at 33 games with a two-run, two-out rally by the Mets in the ninth inning Friday night, pitched the 10th and picked up his fifth save of the season.
It was just the kind of bounce-back night manager Mike Redmond had been hoping for.
“When I was coming to the ballpark [Saturday] I was thinking, ‘Man we’ve got to get Cishek back in there,’ ” Redmond said. “It looked maybe we weren’t early.
“Thankfully, we battled back and scored some runs, had a big inning in the sixth inning, lot of great at-bats. Guys kept fighting, and we got Cishek in there. It was a nice win.”
Cishek retired Curtis Granderson — the Mets’ Friday night hero — on a sharp ground ball to first. Then he walked David Wright. But when it mattered, Cishek punched out Daniel Murphy looking and got Bobby Abreu to line out to shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to end it.
“I lost some sleep [Friday] night,” Cishek said. “I was more fired up to get back out there [Saturday]. I had that feeling like we were going to have another opportunity, and sure enough we did. It’s just disappointing. We should be 2-0 against the Mets right now.”
“We’ve still got a chance to win the series, and that’s the bottom line.”
Mike Dunn, who came in with a 1-3 record and an 8.31 ERA, pitched two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win.
“Dunner was awesome,” Saltalamacchia said. “Brad [Hand] came in and helped [Kevin] Slowey out and kept us in that ballgame as well. Jennings kept us in there as well. It was a collectively great outing by all the guys.”
Before pulling out Saturday’s game, the only road win of the season had been Tuesday night’s 1-0 shutout of the Braves, authored by Fernandez.
The other three games on the trip had all ended in maddening defeats.
On Friday, it was Granderson who delivered the big hit. On Monday and Wednesday, Braves catcher Evan Gattis pulled out Atlanta victories with a walk-off home run and a two-run double to left in the eighth.
On Saturday, the Marlins used a five-run sixth inning to erase a 5-1 deficit.
A lead-off double to left by Marcell Ozuna was quickly followed by Giancarlo Stanton’s seventh home run of the season — a long blast to right-center field that landed in the Mets bullpen. Five batters later, Adeiny Hechavarria came through with a two-out, RBI single to center field, trimming the Mets’ lead to 5-4 and ending starter Jenrry Mejia’s night.
Carlos Torres came in from the bullpen and promptly gave up the lead when pinch-hitter Reed Johnson drilled a double down the right-field line to make it 6-5.
The Mets answered quickly. After a four-pitch, two-out walk to Travis d’Arnaud by Dan Jennings, and a passed ball, Omar Quintanilla sent a hard-hit grounder to short. Hechavarria made a nice play to backhand it in the hole, but his right foot slipped on the edge of the grass and his throw to first sailed over the head of Garrett Jones at first base, allowing d’Arnaud to score easily with the tying run. It was Hechavarria’s third error of the season and second in his past three games.
The Mets jumped all over Kevin Slowey in the first inning, scoring three runs on a David Wright sacrifice fly to center and then a Bobby Abreu two-run home run to right field. It was Abreu’s first home run since Sept. 28, 2012. New York then tacked on two more in the third on a two-out RBI single by Lucas Duda in the third to make it a four-run lead.
Slowey, filling-in for the injured Jacob Turner in the rotation and being used so the Marlins can provide more rest for their young pitchers, lasted only four innings. He gave up five hits with two walks.
The Marlins’ bats, though, finally woke up in the sixth. The five-run inning tied the team’s most productive of the season, done twice before.