Despite the struggles of a rebuilding season, the Miami Marlins can at least say they have continued to find ways to win against New York Mets ace and National League Cy Young contender Jacob deGrom.
That continued Tuesday when clutch hits by the Marlins in the fourth inning and another strong outing by pitcher Jose Ureña proved to be enough for Miami to top the Mets 5-3 at Citi Field.
deGrom has gone 0-2 with a pair of no-decisions and a 3.11 ERA in four starts against the Marlins this season. That includes a May 23 outing in which he pitched seven shutout innings before the bullpen blew a save in a 2-1 Marlins win at Citi Field. For comparison, deGrom has a 1.49 ERA in his other 25 starts this year and only gave up more than two runs in four of those outings.
deGrom still put on a dazzling performance Tuesday, striking out nine while giving up just three hits over seven innings and setting an MLB record with his 26th consecutive game this season where he allowed no more than three runs.
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But those three Miami hits all came with two outs in the fourth inning to give the Marlins (57-86) an early lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Rookie Brian Anderson started the push with an infield single that neither Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil nor shortstop Amed Rosario could properly field. Derek Dietrich struck next with a single to left field before rookie Lewis Brinson drove them both home with a double off the center-field wall.
“Brinson’s hit I thought was big early to get us on the board,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “And then we kind of tacked on.”
Shortstop JT Riddle, who entered the game as a defensive substitution in the seventh, added another run in the eighth on a solo home run to right field. It was Riddle’s first action since Sept. 3 after dealing with left wrist soreness.
“It’s good to get him back,” Mattingly said. “We were patient with him. ... He’s showing some signs here late with his swing and it’s good to get him back on the field. It gives us a little more flexibility.”
Riddle added: “I got to face some life today. ... [I] just trusted everything I was doing before the injury happened.”
The Marlins added two more runs in the ninth on an Anderson RBI triple that plated J.T. Realmuto and a Dietrich double one at-bat later.
Ureña, meanwhile, earned his third win in his last four starts after scattering four hits and giving up one run — a sixth-inning home run by Michael Conforto — over 6 1/3 innings before handing it off to his bullpen. In fact, in those four starts since his Aug. 15 ejection for hitting the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr., Urena has gone posted a 2.22 ERA over 28 1/3 innings with 18 strikeouts, eight walks and no hit batters.
“He had good stuff tonight,” Mattingly said. “He kept his pitch count down to a point. He got us deep [into the game].”
Adam Conley pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts before the Mets (65-78) attempted to rally in the ninth.
A two-out, two-run home run by Kevin Plawecki off Drew Steckenrider cut the Marlins’ lead to two. A walk then brought the tying run to the plate.
But Steckenrider ended it when Rosario grounded into a fielder’s choice.