The Marlins saw how good they could be someday on Friday and Saturday.
On Sunday, they were reminded of how far they still need to go.
Dan Straily pitched seven innings with an extra day’s rest after serving a five-game suspension, but the three runs he allowed early proved too much for the Marlins to overcome in a 5-2 defeat against the Mets.
The Marlins (34-51) slipped back into last place in the National League East after climbing above the Mets (33-48) on percentage points a day earlier thanks to their first two victories this weekend.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"It was good to see our young kids," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Dan gave us a chance. Our pitching is doing what we asked. These are our kind of games. This is the kind of game we have a chance to win. We keep them in check were within a pitch or two or a big hit or two of being able to put runs on the board and be back in the game or change the game."
Straily gave up a run with two outs in the second, third and fourth innings.
In the second, Straily walked Todd Frazier and then gave up a double to Kevin Plawecki. The next inning, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo home run to right.
Straily gave up singles to Wilmer Flores and Frazier to open the fourth, but induced Plawecki to ground into a double play. But even after intentionally walking Amed Rosario to get to the pitcher Steven Matz, he gave up an RBI single to him that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.
Straily (3-4, 4.70 ERA) threw 106 pitches and struck out seven, but walked four (two were intentional) and allowed five hits.
“I just had kind of a lack of fastball command at times today,” Straily said. “We were able to make adjustments and kind of throw some more offspeed to get through the outing.”
The Mets, who went 5-21 in June marking their worst record ever in that month, committed three errors in the first four innings.
But the Marlins took little advantage, scoring only one run in the fourth when Straily bunted and drove in Miguel Rojas from third when Mets’ starter Steven Matz couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Rojas stole two bases in a game for the first time in his career.
“Being real honest I was not seeing the ball well off [Matz] at all and I figured that was my only chance to get Miggy home there was to push a bunt down the first base line,” Straily said.
Matz went 5 1/3 innings and gave up only three hits and struck out six.
The Marlins had their best chance to retaliate in the seventh inning, but fell victim to good Mets defense and their own ballpark’s dimensions.
JT Riddle pinch hit for Yadiel Rivera and scorched a line drive to left field that Michael Conforto snared with a diving catch. The ball had a 73 percent hit probability according to Statcast.
After Starlin Castro walked two batters later with two outs, Brian Anderson nearly repeated his heroics from a day earlier when he tied the game with a two-run home run.
Anderson hit a ball 365 feet to left field that Statcast logged as having an 83 percent hit probability. It landed in Conforto’s glove as he had room to run it down near the warning track.
A couple of costly mistakes allowed the Mets to plate two insurance runs in the eighth when Lewis Brinson couldn’t come up with what appeared to be a makeable catch in center field on what was ruled a double for Todd Frazier. A batter later, J.T. Realmuto threw wide of third on a pickoff attempt allowing Frazier to score from third.
Cameron Maybin smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the inning with a 421-foot solo blast to center field. It was the 57th home run of Maybin's career, but his first since Sept. 26, 2017 at Texas when he was playing for the Houston Astros.
"It [felt good]," Maybin said. "It's always unfortunate when you're on the losing end but it was a good series win, we played some good baseball. I still like the energy and effort we continue to play with. The fans were great this home stand. We keep playing with energy and coming out like we do, it'll be fun."