The Marlins flopped in prime time.
Making a rare appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, the Marlins came up short to the New York Mets, 5-2.
The loss prevented the Marlins from sweeping the Mets, completing a winning road trip, and returning home to South Florida in sole possession of first place in the National League East.
Instead, they’ll take a 3-3 record into their home opener on Tuesday.
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“Once you’ve won two, you’re really not happy losing one,” said manager Don Mattingly. “You’re trying to win every game.”
After taking the first two games in the series at Citi Field, the Marlins were stymied by Mets starter Noah Syndergaard.
The Marlins mustered only two runs (one earned) over seven innings against Syndergaard who struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. Marlins starter Edinson Volquez didn’t fare quite so well.
The Mets batted around in the first, scoring three runs that were partly fueled by catcher J.T. Realmuto’s fielding miscue . With runners at the corners and one out, Jay Bruce grounded to first baseman Justin Bour.
Bour fired to the plate, catching Asdrubal Cabrera in a likely rundown.
But Realmuto took his eye off the throw, the ball sailed past to the backstop, and Cabrera scored. The Mets went on to score two more runs in the inning, including one on a bases-loaded walk by Volquez.
“I think tonight we lost the game in that inning,” Volquez said. “That was the whole game.”
Bruce and Michael Conforto added solo homers later off Volquez.
“But solo shots don’t beat you,” said Volquez, who retired 10 batters in a row after the bases-loaded walk in the first.
The only scoring for the Marlins came in the second after Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes dropped Miguel Rojas’ fly ball. Two batters later, Dee Gordon’s double scored two runs.
But that was the extent of it for the Marlins.
“Dee ends up with the big hit, and then we just didn’t really mount anything after that,” Mattingly said. “[Syndergaard] handcuffed our guys.”
Miguel Rojas, who was filling in for injured shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, appeared to injure his shoulder when he made a diving play up the middle for the last out of the eighth inning.
Rojas said he just jammed his shoulder and thought he would be okay, and Mattingly didn’t think it was serious, either.
“Nothing wrong with my shoulder,” Rojas said. “Nothing to worry about.”
After spending the first week of the season on the road, including a Mets series that was played in chilly weather, the Marlins were happy to be returning home to warmer weather.
“It’s really tough playing in cold weather, especially when we’re coming from Miami,” Volquez said. “We’re really happy to go back.”