It hasn’t been the best of Aprils for Michael Morse and Steve Cishek.
On Tuesday night, they got a chance to redeem themselves and made the most of it.
Morse, batting just .224, delivered the go-ahead single in the eighth, and Cishek, who failed to protect a 1-0 lead Monday night, locked down his second save of the season as the Marlins finally beat the Mets for the first time in six tries this season, 4-3, in front in front of 17,255 fans at Marlins Park.
“Whenever you have a night like last night you want to be able to come back the next day and get the job done,” said Cishek, who survived a leadoff walk to Curtis Granderson in the ninth by retiring the next three batters he faced.
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“Can’t really draw it up any better than that.”
After blowing leads in four of their first five games against the Mets, the Marlins (9-12) blew another one Tuesday. Leading 3-0 in the seventh, the Mets (15-6) tied it on one Juan Lagares swing — a bases-clearing double off Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos to the center-field wall.
With a 3-all tie in the eighth, Mets reliever Carlos Torres walked Martin Prado to open the frame and then Marcell Ozuna with one out. That proved to be the opening Morse needed. He drilled Torres’ first offering, and Prado was able to beat the throw to the plate by Lagares to give the Marlins the lead.
“It’s been a tough month,” said Morse, who picked up his first RBI since April18 and ended a 5-for-30 slide at the plate with the hit.
“I think that’s what I needed.”
Before things got wild late, the game was another scoreless pitchers duel — this time between Mets spot starter Rafael Montero, who was sent back to the minors after the game, and David Phelps, who found his way into the Marlins rotation after Henderson Alvarez went on the disabled list.
Phelps became the seventh consecutive Marlins starter to go at least six innings Tuesday, giving up seven hits and just the two earned runs charged to him on Lagares’ double. Over their past seven games, Marlins starters have allowed only seven earned runs combined over 452/3 innings (1.38 ERA).
Afterward, Phelps was lamenting the two hits he gave up to start the seventh but was happy the Marlins were able to get the win.
“It’s nice to prove to ourselves that we can beat them,” Phelps said of the Mets.
“This was shaping up to be just another frustrating game against these guys.”
The Marlins got their offense going thanks to a bobble by Granderson in right field. It turned a Dee Gordon leadoff single into a two-bagger.
After Giancarlo Stanton singled home Gordon with one out for his 18th RBI of the season, J.T. Realmuto slapped a two-out single to center to score Stanton before Marcell Ozuna scored on a wild pitch.
But Ramos couldn’t protect the lead.
The woes for Ramos and the Marlins bullpen are nothing new. Despite having a 1.42 ERA, Ramos has now allowed six inherited runners to score on him in 11 appearances. That puts him second behind teammate Sam Dyson for the most in baseball, according to sportingcharts.com.
The Marlins already came in with the second-worst ERA in baseball at 4.64.
Reliever Bryan Morris had arguably the most impressive defensive play of the game, though. After a leadoff double by Daniel Murphy in the eighth, the Mets tried to bunt him over to third. Instead, Morris fielded the bunt and threw Murphy out.
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria helped delay Murphy’s jump from second. Right before Morris delivered his pitch, he pounded his glove and got Murphy to take a step back toward second base.
“That was the play of the game right there,” Marlins infield coach Perry Hill said. “Not many people saw it. But I did.”
▪ Tuesday’s game was the 44th one-run game since 2010 between the Mets and Marlins, the most of any series in baseball over that time.
▪ Gordon had two more hits Tuesday, bringing his season total to 36 and tying him with Hanley Ramirez for the second-most in April by a Marlin. He’s four behind Mike Lowell’s record of 40 April hits set in 2002.
▪ Stanton had probably the most embarrassing baseball moment of his young career Tuesday night, dropping a routine fly ball in right field.