Marlins bust out vs. Harvey, rally for first sweep
Miami chases ace early; Lucas, Coghlan, Ozuna among hitting heroes
MIAMI -- Journeyman Ed Lucas was promoted to Miami from Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday after spending 10 years in the Minors.
Only four days into his MLB career, the 31-year-old rookie is making the most of his chance to prove he belongs.
Lucas finished 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Marlins' 11-6 comeback win against the Mets on Sunday afternoon in front of 18,434 at Marlins Park.
The victory clinched Miami's first sweep and matched a season-best three-game winning streak.
"It's been an unbelievable ride thus far," Lucas said. "It's been a lot of fun. The first couple of days here, I was just getting acclimated and trying to knock all of those original milestones out of the way. I got my first hit, and we've been winning.
"I saw my name in the lineup today, and today was the first time I got to the park and said, 'OK, I'm here. Let's play baseball. Let's get a win.' It's not so much about me anymore. Now it's about the team."
Lucas was one of four Marlins to knock in a run and one of seven to get a hit in the team's highest-scoring performance since a 14-2 win against the Phillies on May 5.
Miami tallied three-run innings in the first, sixth and eighth to bury New York, the biggest one being the sixth.
After Miami jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first two innings, New York responded with five runs in the next three frames to take a 6-4 lead.
But the Marlins would not be deterred.
Juan Pierre, Lucas and Derek Dietrich drew walks with one out, setting up an RBI chance for Marcell Ozuna.
The rookie right fielder delivered, tying the game at 6 with a two-run double to left field. Chris Coghlan followed with the go-ahead RBI on a groundout to second base.
Ozuna finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs, falling a home run short of the cycle.
"I knew those guys weren't going to just roll over, and they didn't," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "I was really happy with the way that we answered back. They came back, and then we came back again and had some great at-bats."
The Marlins' first four runs came against Mets ace Matt Harvey, who led the Majors with an 0.82 WHIP and ranked fourth with a 1.85 ERA before Sunday's game.
Miami -- ranked among the worst-hitting teams in MLB -- chased Harvey sooner than any other opponent.
The right-hander lasted just five innings, surrendering four runs on a career-high 10 hits. The outing made Harvey's ERA jump from 1.85 to 2.17.
"He's been unbelievable this year," Lucas said. "He's got explosive stuff. I think that actually kind of helped me calm down a little bit, because I knew that I couldn't do more than I wanted to. I wasn't going to swing for the fence every time. I was just trying to make solid contact."
Miami did the most damage against Harvey in the first.
Back-to-back singles from Pierre and Lucas set the table for Ozuna, who tripled to deep center and gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
One batter later, Coghlan extended his hitting streak to nine games with a bloop double to shallow left field that brought Ozuna home and upped the lead to 3-0. Coghlan finished with four hits and a pair of RBIs.
Lucas singled home Rob Brantly one inning later to give Miami a 4-1 lead.
"I loved the energy for a day game," Redmond said. "We came out ready to play and ready to play for that first pitch."
But while the Marlins gave starter Kevin Slowey some early run support, the right-hander could not keep the Mets off the board. He surrendered three home runs to Lucas Duda, Omar Quintanilla and Ike Davis that tied the game at 4 through four innings.
Slowey then put two runners on base early in the fifth, ending his day after 4 1/3 innings.
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who the Marlins announced will be designated for assignment on Monday, surrendered back-to-back RBI singles to Marlon Byrd and Davis after coming in for Slowey, giving the Mets a 6-4 lead.
All six runs were charged to Slowey, who has recorded an 8.87 ERA and given up eight homers in his past five starts, none of which have lasted more than 5 1/3 innings.
"It's been a tough three or four weeks now where I just haven't been consistent," Slowey said. "I haven't been able to make pitches consistently and [I'm] leaving the ball up in the zone with some consistency.
"I'm giving up home runs at this rate. You see the ball kind of up in the zone, and these hitters are taking good swings at pitches. It's something I need to work with. It's not for lack of effort, but it's just lack of execution right now for me, and it's something that needs to be addressed."
After a Lucas RBI double in the seventh extended Miami's lead to 8-6, the Marlins tacked on three more runs in the eighth on a home run from Greg Dobbs.
Dobbs's dinger was the first home run Miami has hit at home since Pierre went deep against the Reds on May 16.
"I guess that home run statue out there must be on nuclear power or something reserved," Redmond said of the structure at Marlins Park that lights up when the Marlins hit a home run. "I know it took a long while for that thing to light up again. I know it works, because they test it every single night during batting practice."
Redmond asked his team to step up following a 5-2 loss to the Rays on Thursday that dealt the Marlins their ninth straight defeat -- a season-worst slide.
Miami responded with a series sweep of New York, a positive sign Redmond hopes is a much-needed jolt.
"I'm hoping maybe the whole series was a turning point," Redmond said. "The fact that we lost nine games in a row. Obviously, probably nobody gives us a chance to come in and win a ballgame, and we go out and sweep.
"When you win ballgames, it feels good. It just kind of flows through the clubhouse, that good feeling, and that's what we're trying to hold onto. We don't have a lot of wins, and we've earned every single one of these wins."