The Marlins did three of the most difficult things in baseball on Tuesday: battering Jacob deGrom, beating the New York Mets and taming Yoenis Cespedes.
With the 9-3 win, the Marlins (62-83) snapped the Mets’ eight-game winning streak, which had been the longest active one in baseball. They scored six runs off deGrom, who entered the night’s action with a 2.40 ERA, the fourth-lowest in the National League. And the pitching staff kept Cespedes, who had hit nine home runs in his previous 13 games and 17 since the Mets acquired him at the trade deadline, hitless.
“If you’re going to eventually become a good team that’s going to be in the race, you have to play well against the best teams,” manager Dan Jennings said of beating the Mets, who lead the NL East by 8.5 games. “For us to grow to where you want to be, you need to know you can play with these guys.”
After a David Wright double handed New York (83-62) a one-run lead in the bottom of the first off Tom Koehler, Miami’s bats did most of the work with two consecutive three-run innings in the fourth and fifth. Christian Yelich, Martin Prado, Justin Bour and Marcell Ozuna began the top of the fourth with four consecutive hits, plating two runs. J.T. Realmuto added a sacrifice fly to widen the lead to 3-1.
In the next inning, the Marlins picked up where they left off, with Koehler sparking the rally with a double. Dee Gordon and Yelich followed that up with back-to-back hits, and a sacrifice fly from Prado and a single from Bour increased the lead to 6-1. The Marlins’ 15 total hits were their sixth-most all season.
Gordon has owned the Mets all season, capping off his 4-for-5 night with his fourth home run of the season in the ninth. Gordon is the only player with more than 30 hits against New York this season with 33, owning a .429 batting average. “I got lucky,” Gordon said of the long ball. Prado has also thrived against the Mets, batting .348 against them in 2015 after his 1-for-3 performance.
Overall, the 10 hits the Marlins tagged to deGrom (13-8) were the most he allowed all season and the second most of his career. The six runs charged to him tied a season-high.
“He was still pretty good,” Gordon said. “But you’ve got to kind of tip your hats because our guys went out there and had really good at-bats.”
Meanwhile, Koehler (10-13) turned in his third consecutive quality start with six innings and one run, allowing five hits and four walks with four strikeouts. But he danced in and out of dangerous spots throughout the evening.
In the one-run first inning, he threw 26 pitches, only 10 of which were for strikes, and stranded the bases loaded when he consecutive pop outs. In the second inning, Ozuna potentially saved a run off the bat of Curtis Granderson when he made a leaping catch at the wall. Later, in the fourth, Koehler again stranded two runners in scoring position when he got an inning-ending ground out.
And in the seventh inning, reliever Mike Dunn helped Koehler get out of one final jam. After Koehler allowed consecutive walks to start the inning, Jennings brought in Dunn, who recorded three consecutive strikeouts of Granderson, Cespedes and Daniel Murphy. Bryan Morris allowed two Mets runs to score in the eighth, but that was all the Mets — who have made a habit of late-inning comebacks lately — could muster late.
“With this team, if you give them a crack, they’ve shown this year they can kick the door in,” Jennings said.
▪ Marlins minor-league catcher Felix Castillo was suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. A member of the Marlins’ organization since 2010, Castillo hit .252 with two home runs in 39 games for Single-A Greensboro (North Carolina) this year. The Grasshoppers’ season is over, so the suspension will begin next season.
▪ The Marlins looked to run on Travis d’Arnaud early in the game, but to no avail. Gordon, who led off the game with a hit, was caught attempting to steal third base in the first inning, and Ozuna was later caught stealing second in the fourth. Gordon’s 18 times being caught stealing lead baseball.