The Marlins poured out their emotions Monday night in a series of unforgettable moments that ended in victory.
The agony of three arduous days of grief over the death of teammate Jose Fernandez seemingly took its toll one night later.
The Mets grabbed an early lead on a pair of two-run home runs off starter Tom Koehler and tacked on eight combined runs over the final two innings to rout the Marlins 12-1 Tuesday night.
“It was different pitching this game and getting warmed up,” Koehler said. “It’s hard to explain. I think everybody is doing the best they can right now. No one here is trained to handle something like this.
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“I think that was the first home start of my career that [Fernandez] wasn’t here with us. It was tough but when the game started, you have a job to do and you have to find a way to do it no matter the circumstances.”
The Marlins (78-79) slipped a little closer to the brink of elimination with the loss.
“It’s a tough time to talk about that,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I’m really proud of our guys for going out there and continuing to get ready. They’re still dealing with a lot of stuff right now.”
Dee Gordon led off Monday’s game with a memorable home run that brought him, his teammates and countless others watching in person and remotely to tears.
Gordon got on base again to lead off Tuesday’s game, but this time with a bunt single.
After stealing second, Gordon scored the Marlins’ lone run when Marcell Ozuna ripped a single to right field.
Mets’ ace Noah Syndergaard would not allow any more Marlins to cross home plate.
Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60 ERA) pitched six innings, allowed five hits and struck out eight.
“Our guys are exhausted, but I think it was a game that was really controlled by their guy and we just couldn’t put any runs across,” Mattingly said. “You can think of any reason [we lost], but I look at Syndergaard. The rhythm of the game is controlled by that starting pitcher.”
Koehler wasn’t nearly as sharp, lasting only 3 2/3 innings in what was likely his final start of the season. Koehler struck out three but walked four and gave up six hits, including home runs to Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes.
Koehler (9-13, 4.15 ERA) failed to record a victory in his ninth consecutive start.
One positive from the game was reserve infielder Yefri Perez picking up his first career hit.
Perez, the young speedster called up twice from the minors this season, stole four bases this season before recording that first-ever hit.
“I’m really happy for Yefri because he’s going to be a special one,” Mattingly said. “He’s come so far in a year. He was instructional league last year and his on-base percentage was something like .200. He’s coming and he’s got a big future.”