Michael Jordan, who has a small ownership stake in the Marlins, was on hand for the first time on Sunday to check out his Major League Baseball investment with his own eyes.
The Marlins failed to provide the former basketball great with a win, losing 4-3 to the Mets and solidifying their spot at the bottom of the National League East standings.
For Jordan, who invested $5 million when Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman bought the franchise, the Marlins were not a sight to behold, losing for the 10th time in their past 12 games.
Wei-Yin Chen gave up a pair of home runs in taking the loss. But it was a fielding error by first baseman Derek Dietrich that hurt Chen and the Marlins more than any of the two Mets long balls, one of them struck by aging veteran Jose Reyes.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Dietrich failed to make the catch on Martin Prado’s throw in the second, allowing Jose Bautista to reach on the inexperienced first baseman’s error. Two batters later, Reyes capitalized on Dietrich’s mistake by connecting on a two-out, two-run homer that gave the Mets a 3-1 lead, one that Noah Syndergaard was able to preserve for the win.
“That one was on me for sure,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich has bounced around different positions ever since joining the Marlins. He’s played more than 125 games at three different positions: second base, third base and left field. Now, with the trade of Justin Bour to the Phillies on Friday, he’s being tasked with playing first, where he had started just 24 games before Sunday.
“Hopefully the more I play over there, the more work I get over there, the better I’ll get,” Dietrich said. “But I’ve got to catch it. The guy ends up scoring.”
Chen also accepted blame for the home runs.
“The two long balls kind of hurt me and hurt the club,” Chen said.
Syndergaard held the Marlins to three runs over seven inning and has now gone 4-0 in his seven career starts against Miami.
Bryan Holaday, who was Saturday’s hero for the Marlins with his walk-off hit in their 11-inning victory, drove in two of the Marlins’ three runs on Sunday with a pair of singles.
The Marlins managed to put the tying runner aboard in the ninth when J.T. Realmuto singled to lead off the inning. But Rafael Ortega bounced into a double play and, following a Miguel Rojas single, Seth Lugo got Starlin Castro to bounce out to end the game and give the Mets the series, two games to one.
NOTES: The Marlins will designate Merandy Gonzalez as their “26th man” for Monday’s split doubleheader in Atlanta and have him start one of the two games. It will be the first major league start for Gonzalez, who made seven relief appearances earlier in the season for the Marlins. Gonzalez has gone 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 starts for Double A Jacksonville....Outfielder Lewis Brinson will begin a minor-league rehab assignment on Tuesday with either Jacksonville or High A Jupiter. Brinson has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a bruised right hip...When Brinson returns to the Marlins, he will remain in center field. Magneuris Sierra has been working out in left and could be moved there, said manager Don Mattingly...The Marlins acquired infielder Chris Bostick from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash on Sunday and assigned him to Triple A New Orleans.
NOTE: The Miami Herald is now offering a digital sports-only subscription for $30 per year. This is unlimited access to all Herald sports and sports stories, thus allowing you to comment in the section below as many times as you wish. Click right here to get started immediately.