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Mets rally late to clinch series over Marlins

June 4, 2016

MIAMI -- A late scratch on Saturday afternoon removed Yoenis Cespedes from the lineup, and his replacements were able to pick up the slack. Juan Lagares made a runs-saving catch on Ichiro Suzuki in the sixth inning. And in the eighth inning, Matt Reynolds, who pinch-hit for Lagares, laced an

MIAMI -- A late scratch on Saturday afternoon removed Yoenis Cespedes from the lineup, and his replacements were able to pick up the slack. Juan Lagares made a runs-saving catch on Ichiro Suzuki in the sixth inning. And in the eighth inning, Matt Reynolds, who pinch-hit for Lagares, laced an RBI single that rallied New York to a 6-4 win over Miami at Marlins Park.
"Today was a big team win," Reynolds said. "Everyone contributed. We have a lot of guys hurt, but we're still a very good team that can win some ballgames."
The Mets scratched out two runs in the eighth off David Phelps, who since May 9 had given up just two runs in his last 11 2/3 innings with 17 strikeouts. But James Loney, who belted a two-run homer to help lift his team on Friday, responded with a leadoff double. Michael Conforto snapped an 0-for-20 slide with an RBI single, tying the score. Alejandro De Aza's bases-loaded, two-out double in the ninth off Cody Hall padded New York's lead.
Phelps has a rare off night

The Marlins, now three games behind New York for second place in the National League East, claimed a 3-2 advantage in the sixth inning on Miguel Rojas' two-out RBI double. But a chance for Miami to add on slipped away when Lagares made a diving catch on Ichiro's sinking liner in left-center with two on.
Miami took an early two-run lead off Bartolo Colon, who worked five innings and collected a hit at the plate. Martin Prado's first homer of the season put the Marlins on the board in the first. The Mets put the leadoff man on in each of the first six innings against Marlins lefty Justin Nicolino. New York knotted the score at 2 in the sixth on Conforto's sacrifice fly.
Colon tries to break reality

"We haven't been able to tack on runs," Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "I think that's been one of our issues as far as, we do a pretty good job having a game plan, it seems like, for the starter. Once we get into the 'pen, we seem to kind of stall out. Maybe we have to have a little different approach with the bullpen guys, and making sure we're ready for them. Having a game plan with how they're going to attack us also."
Super sub: A quick glance down the Mets' bench revealed precious few healthy bodies in the eighth, when manager Terry Collins sought a pinch-hitter for Lagares with two men on base in a tie game. Collins' choice, Reynolds, ripped the first pitch he saw into right-center field to give the Mets a 4-3 lead, their first of the game. It was Reynolds' second career hit and first RBI in 11 at-bats.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," Reynolds said. "I saw that Phelps was throwing a lot of fastballs, and I was just looking for something over the plate that I could do some damage with. He left a fastball up and I drove it to right-center." More >

Walk, walk, hit: Mets reliever Hansel Robles made an overpowering presence in the sixth inning, striking out Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton in a tie game. Justin Bour swung the inning in Miami's favor by drawing a two-out walk, and J.T. Realmuto followed with another walk. The wild spell cost Robles when Rojas laced an RBI double to left, putting the Marlins in front, 3-2.
"You see some good things," Mattingly said of the offensive approach. "We hit a number of balls hard."

Air Force Juan: The Marlins had just taken a one-run lead when Ichiro appeared as a pinch-hitter with two men in scoring position and two outs in the sixth. Seeking career hit No. 2,966, Suzuki lifted a sinking line drive to center field, where Lagares left his feet and made a leaping grab, robbing Suzuki of a hit and the Marlins of two insurance runs. But Lagares bruised his left thumb on the play, putting his future availability in question.
"I don't feel any pain," Lagares said. "I just feel a little weird. I just want to make sure … everything's all right." More >

Prado goes deep: The Marlins' third baseman entered the game leading the National League in singles with 52, one ahead of Washington's Daniel Murphy. But Prado had yet to hit a home run. That changed with one out in the first inning. The veteran took Colon deep to left field for his first home run since Sept. 17, 2015, at Washington. According to Statcast™, Prado's homer was projected to travel 399 feet from home plate, with an exit velocity of 97 mph.

"It's not reviewable. Basically, [home-plate umpire] Greg [Gibson], I think he told [catcher] J.T., if any of the other guys would have seen it, they would have said it. He thought it hit J.T.'s glove. It puts our guy in a tough count, so he has to throw a strike with the bases loaded and 3-2. So it does change that part. But, obviously, Greg is trying to make that call." -- Mattingly, on De Aza appearing to foul-tip a pitch that the umpire ruled a ball. On the next pitch, De Aza ripped a two-run double
With their bench decimated by injuries, the Mets turned to starting pitcher Jacob deGrom as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth. Popping up to second, deGrom -- a former college shortstop -- fell to 0-for-2 lifetime with a walk in three pinch-hit opportunities.
Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki did not clearly touch home when Wilmer Flores threw to him with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning, instead moving about the plate awkwardly as he attempted to tag Bour on what should have been a force play. The Mets challenged that Plawecki's foot was indeed on the base, but the call stood after a 92-second review.

Mets: When Matt Harvey takes the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET series finale at Marlins Park, he'll look to prove that his seven shutout innings last time out against the White Sox were no fluke. Harvey lowered his ERA from 6.08 to 5.37 in the game, after posting a 10.80 mark in his previous three starts.
Marlins: The Marlins close out their seven-game homestand at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday with Jose Fernandez on the mound. The 23-year-old is 8-2 with a 2.53 ERA on the season, and he's won seven straight starts. At Marlins Park in his career, he's 22-1 with a 1.59 ERA.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.