Before the Marlins’ divisional game with the New York Mets on Wednesday, Miami president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest explained why his team made no moves at the trade deadline.
“We made a bunch of deals in the last year,” Beinfest said. “[Wednesday] wasn’t our day.’’
It turns out he was only half right.
Wednesday was the Marlins’ day, as they defeated the Mets in a performance buoyed by the players Beinfest acquired in last November’s blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Henderson Alvarez dealt his third consecutive gem from the mound, and rookie center fielder Jake Marisnick smashed his first career home run en route to the Marlins’ 3-2 win over the Mets.
“It’s fun to see these guys all come together,” manager Mike Redmond said. “I think you realize how good players we got in that trade, and how much those guys are going to be a big part of not only this team this year, but the future. These guys can play.”
Alvarez continued a recent streak of dominance. He entered the game on a 13-inning scoreless streak, and he stymied the Mets for 5 2/3 innings before giving up a run.
In the top of the sixth, Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single. Then Ike Davis brought Byrd home on an RBI double after a nine-pitch at-bat.
Alvarez left the game to Chad Qualls with a runner on third after 7 1/3 innings. A passed ball allowed Eric Young to score during the next at-bat. But Qualls would combine with Mike Dunn to end the inning with the lead preserved.
Dunn also pitched the ninth for his third career save.
The 23-year-old Alvarez seems to have found his groove after spending much of the season on the disabled list. Since giving up seven runs in his first two starts, Alvarez has allowed only four runs in his past 27 innings.
“I feel like I prepared well,” Alvarez said. “I feel like all of my pitches were working well. I was just focused, hitter by hitter.”
The defense aided its starter with timely plays, including three double plays. The last double play came in the top of the seventh with the tying run at the plate.
Marisnick opened the scoring with an estimated 409-foot shot to left field in the second inning. His home run even caused the center-field sculpture to malfunction, as one of the rays on the sun remained sparkling for the next few innings. When he returned to the dugout, Marisnick’s teammates pretended to ignore him before mobbing him in celebration.
“I was going to try to play it off and sit down, but I was too excited, so I had to jump up,” Marisnick said. “Honestly, [my first home run] was the farthest thing from my mind. I was just kind of worried about putting good at-bats together.”
The Marlins tacked on two more runs in the third.
Alvarez beat out a dribbler to the pitcher to start the inning with an infield hit, his first of two singles. Christian Yelich pushed Alvarez to third with a double to deep left. Placido Polanco brought in Alvarez and moved Yelich up on a sacrifice fly. And then Giancarlo Stanton drove home Yelich with another sacrifice fly.
The bullpen also rebounded after struggling to start the series. On Monday, Dunn and A.J. Ramos blew a 5-3 lead in the seventh. On Tuesday, Steve Cishek gave up two runs in the 10th inning. But on Wednesday, Qualls and Dunn combined for 1 2/3 innings and no earned runs.
Mets starter Jenry Mejia threw six innings and allowed three runs, all earned. He struck out four and walked one, and threw a wild pitch.
“Every one of these games we play is close,” Redmond said. “Every run is huge. It seems like both sides have trouble adding on runs. They’ve been tight, but today we got on the right end.”
With the win, the Marlins gave themselves a chance to split the four-game series with the Mets on Thursday.