The Mets have done a good job putting an end to some impressive runs by Marlins pitchers this weekend.
Saturday, it was reliever Bryan Morris’ turn.
Less than 24 hours after New York ended Henderson Alvarez’s team-record run of 10 consecutive starts resulting in Miami victories, pinch-hitter Chris Young put an end to Morris’ team-record run of not allowing an earned run to start a Marlins career at 21 1/3 innings.
His first-pitch swinging, two-run home run in the seventh off Morris erased a two-run Marlins lead as the host Mets went on to rally for a 5-4 victory in front of a crowd of 35,283 at Citi Field.
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Eric Campbell delivered the next big hit off the Mets’ bench in the eighth with a two-out RBI single to center field off Mike Dunn. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud scored the winning run after stroking a double to left off Dunn with two outs moments earlier.
“That was one we need to be able to lock down,” manager Mike Redmond said. “We’ve lost a couple leads on this road trip, games we should have won. When you’re on the road, you’re not going to score six, seven runs every night. When we get a lead, we have to be able to nail that down.’’
Two of the Marlins’ last three losses were definitely winnable games. Wednesday in Arizona, closer Steve Cishek coughed up a 3-1 lead in the 10th inning. Now, with one game to go before the All-Star break, the Marlins are 44-49. It’s the first time all season they have been five games under .500.
Things certainly could have turned out differently. In addition to the two big pinch-hits, the Mets (44-50) got a stellar defensive play from All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy.
He denied Adeiny Hechavarria a chance at being the hero for the Marlins in the eighth when leaped high in the air to snag an Hechavarria line drive headed into the gap for the final out of the frame. The Marlins had the go-ahead run on second base.
But it was the bullpen that faltered.
Young’s eighth blast of the season tied the score at 4 and came only moments after Redmond had gone out to the mound to yank starter Tom Koehler after 6 1/3 innings. Afterward, Koehler lamented the one-out walk he gave up to Ruben Tejada, the Mets’ No. 8 hitter, to get himself taken out of the game.
“Can’t happen,” said Koehler, who gave up four walks, but only two hits and was pretty much in control most of the game.
“I felt good. But in certain situations, no matter how you’re doing, you’ve got to be able to overcome them. You get a quick out in the seventh, and you’ve got to be able to get the bats back in [the dugout]. That’s all I’m thinking about right now.”
The Marlins twice had a two-run lead but couldn’t hold onto it.
Miami took the lead in the third inning when Hechavarria doubled and then scored three batters later on a Donovan Solano ground ball that got under the glove of Mets third baseman David Wright.
With one out and runners at first and second the Marlins had a golden opportunity to add to their lead with their No. 3 and No. 4 hitters up. But Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out Giancarlo Stanton and McGehee swinging.
Christian Yelich then hit his eighth home run of the season, a line drive over the wall in center field in the fifth to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. Since coming back from the disabled list on June 29, Yelich has hit safely in 11 of his 12 games including nine games in a row.
Koehler carried a no-hitter into the fifth before d’Arnaud opened the frame with a single back through the middle. After Kirk Nieuwenheis doubled to left, Lagares drove in the Mets’ first run with a groundout to second. Nieuwenheis then tied it when Tejada laid down a squeeze bunt.
Garrett Jones broke the 2-all tie in the sixth when he scorched a line drive to left-center that just fell out of the reach of Juan Lagares. Marcell Ozuna then brought Jones home when he scorched a line drive to right field and with a liner to right that Curtis Granderson misread. The ball went over Granderson’s head and rolled all the way to the wall for a double.
But it wasn’t meant to be Saturday.
“It’s tough because we all know we’re a better team than the level we’re playing at right now,” Koehler said.
“You can see, Adeiny hit the ball on the button, and Murphy makes an outstanding play. For us, we’ve got to have the tide flip a little bit, and us be the ones jumping through the roof.”