The New York Mets lost a heartbreaker to the Miami Marlins 3-2 Friday night in Miami. Mets runners were gunned down twice at home plate by Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna, including the final out of the game.
Mets centerfielder Chris Young hit a fly ball to left that Ozuna caught for the second out of the ninth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis tagged up at third and broke for home as Ozuna fired a strike to the plate. Nieuwenhuis slid hard, but was tagged out to end the game.
Daisuke Matsuzaka took the tough luck loss for the Mets, dropping to 3-1 on the year. The veteran lasted 5 1/3 innings allowing just one run on six hits, walking one batter while striking out four. Henderson Alvarez earned his fourth win of the year for the Marlins improving to 4-3. Marlins closer Steve Cishek notched his 17th save of the season.
After the Mets failed to score in the top of the first, Marlins second baseman Rafael Furcal led off the bottom of the first by lining a shot to dead center that went over the head of centerfielder Curtis Granderson. Furcal raced around second and landed safely at third with a stand up triple. Shortstop Adieny Hechavarria then grounded out to second for the first out, but Furcal scored to give the Marlins an early 1-0 lead. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton followed by flying out to right, and third baseman Casey McGhee struck out looking to end the inning. Both teams failed to score in the next two innings, with the Mets going 1-2-3 in the top of second and third.
Leading off the top of the fourth second baseman Daniel Murphy lined a single to center. But next batter third baseman David Wright grounded into a double play, Murphy was forced out at second and Wright was out at first. Curtis Granderson then singled to right and right fielder Bobby Abreu singled up the middle to put runners at first and second with two outs. First baseman Lucas Duda hit a ground ball back to the pitcher to retire the side.
In the bottom of the fourth Casey McGhee grounded back to the pitcher for the first out. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia ripped a double to left field. First baseman Garret Jones then rocketed a shot down the right field line for a home run making it 3-0 Miami. But the umpires reviewed the call and it was deemed the ball hooked foul and it was still 1-0. Jones later grounded out to first for out number two. Saltalamacchia advanced to third on the play. Marcell Ozuna followed with a strikeout swinging to end the inning. Neither team scored in the next two innings, and the Mets did not bring home a run in the top of the seventh.
Vic Black came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh, replacing lefty reliever Josh Edgin who entered to relieve Dice-K and induced a ground ball double play to end the sixth. Ozuna opened with a strike out swinging. Centerfielder Jake Marisnick followed with a single up the middle and immediately stole second base. Infielder Justin Bour pinch-hit for reliever A.J. Ramos who got the final two outs of the top of the seventh. Bour walked to put runners at first and second. With Rafael Furcal batting, Marisnick took off for third base, and Anthony Recker threw the ball into left field allowing Marisnick to score and make it 2-0 Marlins. Bourn took second on the errant throw. Furcal then grounded out to second, but Bour moved over to third. Adieny Hechavarria lined a double past David Wright at third and into left field. Bour scored to extend the Marlins lead to 3-0. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging to end the inning.
Outfielder Chris Young pinch-hit for Vic Black to lead off the top of the eighth and walked. Left fielder Eric Young Jr. followed with a single to right putting runners at first and second with no outs. Daniel Murphy hit a towering pop up to first. The infield fly rule was called and Murphy was out. David Wright then lined a single to center. Young scored to cut the lead to 3-1 Miami. Young Jr. advanced to third on the play.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond pulled veteran reliever Kevin Gregg, who entered at the start of the start of the inning, and in came lefty reliever Mike Dunn. Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases. Utility player Eric Campbell pinch hit for Bobby Abreu and lined a single to left. Young Jr. scored to bring the Mets to within a run. Wright raced home but Marcell Ozuna unleashed a one-hop bullet to the plate that beat Wright’s feet first slide. Infielder Wilmer Flores pinch-hit for Lucas Duda and struck out swinging to retire the side.
Jeurys Familia entered to pitch the bottom of the eight for the Mets, Curtis Granderson shifted over to right, Chris Young stayed in the game to play center, and Campbell replaced Duda at first. The Marlins went in order in the bottom of the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, newly recalled outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis blasted a double over the head of Giancarlo Stanton in right. Shortstop Ruben Tejada laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Nieuwenhuis over to third. All the Mets needed was a fly ball to tie the game. Chris Young did exactly that. Young flied out to left, but Ozuna again unleashed a strike to the plate. Nieuwenhuis was doubled off at the plate and the game was over.
The two teams face off again tomorrow afternoon when rookie starter Jacob deGrom toes the rubber for the Mets against Tom Koehler for the Marlins.