Sanabia, Ruggiano hand Redmond first big league win
Righty throws six scoreless as bats come up big in five-run seventh
NEW YORK -- A series of firsts fell into place for the Marlins on Friday night.
They celebrated their first lead and their first big inning, and capped it off with win No. 1 of the new season. The night had more meaning because it was Mike Redmond's first victory as a big league manager.
Greg Dobbs homered and drove in two runs, while Alex Sanabia threw six scoreless innings in the Marlins' 7-5 win over the Mets in front of 24,935 at Citi Field.
Swept in their first three games at Washington, the Marlins had something to rejoice about after their series opener in New York.
To honor Redmond's first win, team owner Jeffrey Loria, along with president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and others in the front office toasted Redmond. They popped three bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne in the manager's office.
"It was pretty cool, obviously," Redmond said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy, and it sure wasn't. I was happy with the way we went out and swung the bats."
Miami built a six-run lead on an uncomfortable, chilly, windy 57-degree night where seemingly nothing was ordinary.
"It was crazy from pitch one, in terms of conditions, for the whole game," said Justin Ruggiano, who had two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases. "I mean, that wind was swirling. Eyeballs were getting dry. Balls were flying. I know there weren't many home runs tonight, but the balls were carrying, and then on certain ones, they would die.
After building a six-run lead in the top of the seventh, the Mets mounted a comeback, starting with a three-run homer from Daniel Murphy in the bottom of the inning. New York tacked on two more runs in the ninth off closer Steve Cishek, who entered in a non-save situation.
That's the nature of these guys in this clubhouse," Mets starter Jeremy Hefner said. "We're a resilient bunch, and we're not ever going to give up. I was just hoping to keep them close, and eventually we did come back. We just ran out of outs."
Cishek closed the game by getting pinch-hitter Justin Turner to tap a ground ball to first base.
As the Marlins players were exiting the field, Redmond's wife, Michele, and sons, Ryan and Michael, offered their congratulations on the field.
"We didn't do a great job late in the game shutting them down," Redmond said. "But there are no easy wins in the big leagues. For my first one, I'll remember that for the rest of my life."
In anticipation of his first win, Redmond had a bottle of champagne in his office for all three games at Washington. But when the team was swept, Redmond left the bottle in the visiting managers office.
"I had a bottle in the office in Washington, and I just left it there," Redmond said. "It's too much pressure."
Juan Pierre was a teammate of Redmond on Miami's 2003 World Series title team. The veteran outfielder said it was a relief to get that first victory.
"People were saying around here, 'Relax, it's OK,'" Pierre said. "But nobody was relaxed. Everybody wanted to get that first win, especially for him. It is something I'll always remember. It's my first teammate I've seen manage. I think it was a good feeling all the way around."
The Marlins are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season, as their first game ever was played on April 5, 1993, a day they beat the Dodgers in Miami. Exactly 20 years after the franchise's first win, the Marlins picked up their first victory of 2013.
Dobbs' home run to open the second inning off Mets' starter Hefner gave the Marlins their first lead of the year.
Limited to one run in three games against the Nationals, the Marlins' offense came to life. Still, it took a while. In the seventh inning they batted around, scoring five runs, with four runs (one earned) charged to reliever Greg Burke.
Donovan Solano reached on an error by Ruben Tejada to open the inning, and the Marlins capitalized. Placido Polanco had a two-run single. Dobbs added a sacrifice fly, while Rob Brantly and Ruggiano each had RBI doubles to make the score 6-0.
The Marlins' first multi-run inning came in their 34th inning of the season.
"The bats finally came out a little bit tonight," Ruggiano said. "Cool weather aside, it was nice to get that first win, and we look forward to the next one."
The Marlins needed the six-run cushion, considering Murphy's homer off Chad Qualls in the seventh and the Mets' rally in the ninth. In the eighth, the Mets loaded the bases on Miami reliever A.J. Ramos, but Murphy grounded to second for the final out to end the threat.
Sanabia was added to the rotation on Sunday, the day before the season started. The 24-year-old right-hander was called up from Triple-A due to injuries to Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi.
Sanabia last pitched in the big leagues in 2011, and this was his first win since Sept. 22, 2010, also against the Mets.
"To get that first 'W' is awesome," Sanabia said. "To get it for Red, it's amazing. You can't image what he's feeling -- his first win as a big league manager. It has to be awesome."