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Bruce, Mets jump out early, hold on in Miami

June 29, 2017

MIAMI -- Given an opening Thursday night, Jay Bruce took advantage -- twice. The Mets' veteran right fielder laced a two-out RBI single in a two-run first inning, and after a Miami error in the third, he delivered a run-scoring double in a three-run frame.Seth Lugo capitalized on the early

MIAMI -- Given an opening Thursday night, Jay Bruce took advantage -- twice. The Mets' veteran right fielder laced a two-out RBI single in a two-run first inning, and after a Miami error in the third, he delivered a run-scoring double in a three-run frame.
Seth Lugo capitalized on the early run support, turning in a six-inning quality start, and the Mets defeated the Marlins, 6-3, at Marlins Park to jump ahead of Miami into third place in the National League East.
• Heating up, Mets see potential opening
New York is now 10 1/2 back of the division-leading Nationals, with Miami 11 back of Washington and in fourth place.

"To get the momentum early is huge," Bruce said. "I think the person it's probably biggest for is the pitcher. To get them some momentum, and get us going as a team, was huge."
Giancarlo Stanton blasted a home run off Lugo and scored a second run on a play in which he nearly was involved in an ugly collision with catcher Rene Rivera, who was shaken up but stayed in the game.

"I think you can't continually ask your guys to fight out of holes all the time," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It has to be where there's some pressure on the other guys, too. ... For me, the approaches went backwards a little bit. We were really good there for a while, and we kind of gotten out of staying with a plan nearly as much as I'd like to see. I don't know if guys are getting tired, but we've kind of gotten away from staying in the middle of the field, getting what we wanted to hit. I feel we've chased a lot more pitchers' pitches lately."
Curtis Granderson reached and scored in the first inning for the third straight game. The Mets' center fielder doubled to lead off the game, and he came home on Bruce's two-out single. T.J. Rivera's double made it 2-0 off Miami starter Jose Urena.

Granderson jump-started the three-run third by reaching on shortstop JT Riddle's throw, which forced first baseman Justin Bour off the base. Bruce had an RBI double and Rivera a run-scoring single. One of the runs was earned.

"That [Granderson] play was kind of close and they called safe, and that was the beginning for me," Urena said. "That happens. It went to the review. We kept fighting."

Grandy groundout: The Marlins chipped back to make to a 5-3 with two runs in the sixth inning, and they were building momentum heading into the seventh. The Mets responded in the seventh with Matt Reynolds' leadoff triple off Nick Wittgren, the only batter he faced. The Marlins went with lefty Jarlin Garcia to face pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores, who lifted a fly ball to short right field. Granderson had a key full-count showdown with Garcia, and on the 10th pitch, he hit a hard grounder that Riddle made a nice stop on, but Reynolds scored to give New York a three-run lead.

The Edge in the eighth: Whenever the Marlins had a chance to make things interesting, the Mets were able to come up with the necessary outs. The eighth inning turned out that way for lefty Josh Edgin. Dee Gordon led off with a single to left, but Edgin didn't let the top of Miami's order mount a rally. Edgin struck out Stanton, and on a 3-1 pitch to Christian Yelich, enticed a 4-6-3 double play.

"We can't afford those. We played pretty solidly, though. That's all right. We had some hiccups. We just have to have a good road trip." -- Stanton, on losing the last two games after taking the series opener with New York
T.J. Rivera set career bests with his 11th multi-hit game, and fourth three-hit game of the season. Rivera has recorded at least three hits in eight of his first 57 starts as a big leaguer. His career batting average is .303.
Granderson was involved in a close play at first base to lead off the third inning, on which he was called safe. The leadoff man tapped a grounder up the middle, Riddle shifted to the second-base side of the bag and gathered the ball, but his throw pulled Bour off first base. Granderson was called safe, and Miami challenged. After a review of three minutes and 16 seconds, the ruling was that the call on the field stands.
Mattingly wasn't happy with that. He'd prefer the review process to have the replay officials make a call either way, safe or out.
"Make a call in the booth," Mattingly said. "They don't need to know what the call is; just make a call. They don't need to know who called what or what the play was called out or safe. They're going to get 10-12 views in the replay booth. Make a call. Safe or out. And they don't need to know if they're overturning it or if it stands. You think he's out or safe? He had a chance to look at it. It needs to be blind."
Mets: An opportunity to gain additional ground on their NL East opponents awaits the Mets on Friday, when they return to Citi Field for their final homestand before the All-Star break. Easily the Mets' best pitcher in June, Jacob deGrom (7-3, 3.71 ERA) will start a 7:10 p.m. ET opener Friday against the last-place Phillies, opposite rookie right-hander Ben Lively.
Marlins: The Marlins open a three-game series at Miller Park against the Brewers on Friday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Miami reshuffled its rotation, and Edinson Volquez (4-8, 4.15) will start things off. Milwaukee's Matt Garza (3-4, 4.43 ERA) will go for Milwaukee.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. 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.