NEW YORK -- After watching the Marlins send 11 to the plate and score six times in the fourth inning, the Mets responded with their own big frame in the seventh. Eleven hitters went to the plate, and backed by T.J. Rivera's two-run double and Wilmer Flores' two-out bases-loaded walk,
NEW YORK -- After watching the Marlins send 11 to the plate and score six times in the fourth inning, the Mets responded with their own big frame in the seventh. Eleven hitters went to the plate, and backed by T.J. Rivera's two-run double and Wilmer Flores' two-out bases-loaded walk, New York stunned Miami, 8-7, on Friday night at Citi Field to take the series opener.
"It's a huge lift," said Mets manager Terry Collins, whose club has scored five runs or more in eight straight games. "You've got to be resilient. You've got to play all nine innings and put good at-bats on."
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Rivera, who hit a homer in the first, matched his career high with three RBIs, and Curtis Granderson contributed a two-run homer.
Granderson's shot in the fourth inning cut the margin to four runs, and Rivera said "that changed the momentum and put us back in the ballgame."
The Marlins scored six two-out runs in the fourth, chasing Rafael Montero after 3 2/3 innings. Giancarlo Stanton knocked an RBI double, and Justin Bour and Miguel Rojas each delivered two-run doubles.
Montero did not do a good job filling the spot vacated by Noah Syndergaard, who tore a lat muscle over the weekend. Still, Collins expects him to remain in the rotation.
"He has enough ability to pitch here," Collins said. "He has to command his stuff better."
The Mets' bullpen held off the Marlins over the final five innings and worked out of potential jams, as Miami had a runner on second with no outs in the fifth and sixth. The Marlins (12-16) are a season-worst four games under .500.
"You have a lead, and you have your right guys in there, and nothing goes your way at the end," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Striking back in seventh: Down by four in the seventh, the Mets came back with six straight hits off Brad Ziegler, who didn't record an out. The rally started with Flores' opposite-field single, followed by Jose Reyes' hard liner, which whistled past Bour at first. The Mets also found holes against Miami's shifts. Rene Rivera and Asdrubal Cabrera recorded back-to-back RBI singles. Michael Conforto, with three Miami infielders on the first-base side of second, singled to short, and Rivera's two-run double led to Ziegler being lifted. Ziegler is the first Marlins pitcher since Frankie De La Cruz (June 25, 2008) to allow five earned runs without an out. With the go-ahead run on third and no outs, Kyle Barraclough struck out Jay Bruce and Neil Walker, but after intentionally walking Granderson, he walked Flores, forcing in the go-ahead run.
"My last outing, I had some walks and a little command issue," Ziegler said. "Today, I told myself I was going to go out and challenge them and throw strikes. Make them beat me instead of me beating myself. They did it." More >
Marlins stranded at third: On a night when seven runs weren't enough, the Marlins ended up lamenting missed chances in the fifth and sixth. In both innings, they stranded runners at third base at a time they could have padded their four-run lead. Dee Gordon was hit by a pitch, stole second and eventually advanced to third. But Noel Salas retired Stanton on a popout to third. In the sixth, Marcell Ozuna doubled to open the inning and J.T. Realmuto had a one-out single. Miami left runners on the corners with one out when Hansel Robles retired Rojas on a foul popup and pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki on a popout to second.
"You talk about adding on," Mattingly said. "The guys swung the bats well, but we did let a couple of chances get away there late. Today, it came back to haunt us. You never know how many you're going to need."
"I've got to shut that down. I've got to think that like 15 or 16 of my runs this year have come on homers. So, that's really bad. But it also doesn't tell the full story because I feel like I'm throwing the ball really well, outside of those. They're just coming at bad times. You hit a leadoff batter, the next guy hits a homer, it changes your outing. Why would your manager want to put you back out there in the sixth if guys are starting to hit the ball hard? I've got to do a better job of finding a way to keep the ball in the park." -- Tom Koehler, on allowing two homers Friday and nine for the season, despite liking how he's throwing the ball
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Bour entered Friday batting .176 with one RBI against left-handed pitching. But in Miami's six-run fourth inning, he knocked a two-run double off southpaw Josh Smoker.
The Mets' last comeback of six runs or more was also against the Marlins on July 4, 2016. Miami led, 6-0, but the Mets rallied for an 8-6 win.
Marlins: Miami had to shake up its rotation because Wei-Yin Chen went on the disabled list with a tired arm. The Marlins recalled right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from Triple-A New Orleans, and he gets the nod in the second of three at Citi Field. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Mets: Cabrera is expected to return to the starting lineup and Robert Gsellman (1-2, 6.75 ERA) will get the start in the second of a three-game series with the Marlins on Saturday. Cabrera leads the club with a .529 batting average with runners in scoring position (9-for-17) after a pinch-hit RBI single Friday.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Roger Rubin is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the Mets on Friday.