MIAMI -- The Mets twice tried to get the tying run across the plate in the eighth inning Friday night -- with a single and with a challenge. They failed both times in what became a crazy 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.
The game ended when left fielder Marcell Ozuna threw out a runner at the plate for the second straight inning.
With the bases loaded in the top of the eighth, pinch hitter Eric Campbell singled to left field, scoring Eric Young Jr. as the Mets pulled within a run. David Wright also attempted to score from second on the play after being sent by coach Tim Teufel. However, Wright was out by a comfortable margin on Ozuna’s throw to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Or was he?
Terry Collins asked for a review, challenging whether Saltalamacchia had provided a lane to the plate for Wright.
Arguably, the Marlins catcher did not in the strictest sense, although the baseball beat Wright by a considerable margin. The home office in New York nonetheless upheld the call on the field that Wright was the inning’s second out. And the Mets never did pull even.
MLB had acknowledged earlier in the day that it erred in reversing a similar call Wednesday in a game between the Reds and Pirates. So it undoubtedly would have been doubly wary about giving the Mets a run they seemingly did not deserve.
Meanwhile, trailing 3-2, the Mets also threatened to pull even in the ninth. Pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a leadoff double against Steve Cishek in the outfielder's first at-bat since April 25. He was bunted to third base, then the unbelievable happened. Ozuna again fired to the plate on Chris Young's seeming sac fly and nailed Nieuwenhuis at the plate to end the game.
Alibi: We can safely conclude it was not Dave Hudgens’ fault.
The Mets were held scoreless until posting two runs in the eighth. In their past 10 games, they have scored 21 runs. And that’s with a six-run outburst last Friday against the San Diego Padres.
The Mets have scored three runs in their past 41 innings at Marlins Park.
Henderson Alvarez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings Friday. He shut out the Mets on May 6 and has now tossed 18 1/3 straight scoreless innings against the Amazin’s.
Jake Marisnick singled, stole second, stole third and scored on Recker’s errant throw. Wright later tried to barehand Hechavarria’s two-out grounder but could not come up with the baseball as the Marlins took a 3-0 lead. The play initially was scored an E-5 and changed to a double a half-inning later.
The Mets finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth with a one-out RBI single by Wright (2-for-4) against Kevin Gregg. Left-hander Mike Dunn entered and walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases. Campbell then had the run-scoring single in which Wright was thrown out at the plate. Wilmer Flores then made the final out to strand Granderson at second base.
Tough luck: Matsuzaka suffered his first loss since Sept. 2, snapping a personal six-game streak of winning decisions, despite limiting the Marlins to one run in 5 1/3 innings. Matsuzaka was making his first start since getting pulled from Sunday’s appearance at Citi Field after one inning with a severe stomach issue.
With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Matsuzaka surrendered consecutive singles to Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee that placed runners on the corners with none out. Matsuzaka then struck out Saltalamacchia looking on pitch No. 85.
With lefty-hitting Garrett Jones due up, Terry Collins inserted Josh Edgin. However, Marlins manager Mike Redmond countered by pinch-hitting with Jeff Baker. Edgin proceeded to coax an inning-ending double play to hold the deficit at 1-0.
Collins said pregame that it was undetermined who would lose a rotation spot when Dillon Gee eventually returns from the disabled list. Gee (lat strain) will make his first minor league start Tuesday, in the Gulf Coast League. He will need multiple rehab appearances before being activated from the DL.
Ouch! Recker was struck in the left arm by Ozuna’s backswing as the Marlin struck out to end the fourth inning. Recker shook the arm heading to the dugout, but led off the next half-inning and completed the game.
Heating up: After a woeful 12-game stretch, Wright now has a five-game hitting streak. He also doubled with one out in the sixth, but was stranded at third base when Granderson and Bobby Abreu consecutively flied out.