A day after playing 20 innings and the longest game in franchise history, the Marlins decided to take it easy and beat the Mets in 10.
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who delivered the winning hit in Saturday’s 6-hour, 25-minute marathon 2-1 victory, once again broke the tie in extras Sunday.
He sent a bouncer off the glove of second baseman Daniel Murphy, allowing Logan Morrison to score the go-ahead run from second base on a fielding error.
The play jump-started what turned out to be a four-run rally and eventually an 8-4 Marlins victory in front of 21,747 fans at Citi Field.
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“I’d rather win in nine, but I guess anything less than 20 is good,” joked manager Mike Redmond. “We don’t have a lot of wins, but we’ve earned them all.”
Miami, which came in 10-41 against the rest of baseball, trailed 4-1 in the third inning before rallying behind a few big hits from rookies Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich to beat the Mets (23-35) for the fifth time in a row.
Of the Marlins’ eight come-from-behind wins this season, five have come against New York, which fell to 3-8 against Miami and blew its 10th save opportunity of the season.
The Marlins (18-44) pounded out a season-high 17 hits including a solo shot by Dietrich, who tied the game at 4 in the eighth when he crushed a 3-2 fastball off left-hander Scott Rice into the seats in right.
All five of Dietrich’s homers this season have either tied the score or given the Marlins the lead.
“He’s the kind of kid that is going to go up and make a great play or get a big hit,” Redmond said. “As a manager and as a former player you want guys on your team like that. Whether they contribute on that at-bat or not you want guys who want to be up there in big situations. I have a lot of faith in him. He’s given us a lot of great at-bats.”
Catcher Miguel Olivo had the last Marlins hit, a two-run home run to left in the 10th off Robert Carson to provide the final cushion. That was preceded by a run-scoring sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs.
The Marlins, who have won five of their past eight games, welcomed back Morrison to the lineup Sunday, his first game since last July 28. He had two hits including a single to right to open the 10th.
“Just having him here for the first day was a boost, an energy boost for the guys,” Redmond said. “He was a little shot of energy in the dugout. After playing 20 innings, let’s face it, you need it. You need guys to get you fired up and he did that.”
Sunday’s game didn’t start out like the homecoming Marlins starter Tom Koehler was hoping for. But it ended well.
The Bronx native, who became just the third pitcher from the cross-town borough to start a regular season against the Mets, received an early 1-0 lead when Hechavarria stroked a two-out RBI single to right in the second, scoring Ozuna.
But the Mets rallied. Murphy crushed a 1-1 pitch into the seats in right field to open the second to tie it and then the Mets scored three runs in the third — two on a David Wright double with the bases loaded — to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Koehler, though, settled in and retired 14 of the last 15 hitters he faced, going seven innings and scattering six hits, providing a big lift for a tired bullpen.
“No matter what happened in that third inning I just knew I had to reset myself and fight as long as I could,” said Koehler, who singled in his last at-bat for his first major-league hit and had over 100 family members and friends in the stands cheering him on.
“Jeff Mathis did a really good job getting me back in the zone and attacking the hitters and we got into a good little groove.”
Ozuna, who will be moving to center field when All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton returns this week, trimmed the Mets lead to 4-3 when he stroked a double off Mets starter Jonathon Niese off the bottom of the wall in center field in the sixth.
The Marlins had a few chances to tie the score after that but couldn’t get the big hit they needed until Dietrich stepped to the plate to open the eighth.
“[Saturday] was a mentally taxing day,” Dietrich said. “But we like playing the Mets, I guess.”
The Marlins return home Monday to open a six-game homestand against the Brewers and Cardinals.
“Hopefully, we can build off this momentum,” Redmond said. “Get a little streak going here.”