Friday, May 11, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Marlins 6, Mets 5
By Adam Rubin
WHAT IT MEANS: The Miami Marlins turned the tables on Frank Francisco and the comeback kids.
Charged with protecting a one-run lead in the ninth, Francisco suffered a blown save after Giancarlo Stanton produced a leadoff double and Emilio Bonifacio plated him with a one-out single.
Bonifacio then swiped second -- his franchise-record 18th straight successful steal to open the season -- and scored the winning run in Miami’s 6-5 victory when Greg Dobbs singled with two out.
Francisco (1-2) suffered his second blown save in 10 chances.
To that point, the Mets had been poised for their MLB-high 12th comeback win of the season.
Pinch hitter Mike Baxter delivered a tiebreaking two-run double with the bases loaded against reliever Ryan Webb in a three-run eighth to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.
Instead, the loss snapped the Mets’ five-game winning streak.
RALLY RECAP: Ike Davis began the rally from an early 3-0 deficit, delivering a solo homer in the fifth against Mark Buehrle. It was Davis’ second straight game with a homer. He belted a mammoth three-run shot off the second-deck façade against Jose Contreras in the eighth inning Wednesday at Philadelphia.
In the seventh, Mike Nickeas’ one-out RBI double against Buehrle pulled the Mets within a run, prompting Terry Collins to pinch hit for Johan Santana. But Justin Turner flied out. And after a walk to Andres Torres prompted Ozzie Guillen to go to his bullpen, southpaw Randy Choate struck out Daniel Murphy and the Mets headed to the bottom of the seventh trailing 3-2.
In the eighth, David Wright (3-for-5) dropped a leadoff double inside the right-field line against Edward Mujica. Wright moved to third on Lucas Duda’s groundout. Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch hit for Scott Hairston and delivered a game-tying double. After an intentional walk to Davis and unintentional walk to Ronny Cedeno loaded the bases, Baxter pinch hit for Nickeas against Webb and improved to 6-for-15 with five RBIs as a pinch hitter this season. Baxter’s two-run double gave the Mets a 5-3 lead.
THE NEW FELICIANO: Tim Byrdak appeared to save the day for the Mets yet again. In each of the first two games in Philly, the southpaw stranded an inherited runner at third base in the eighth inning. After Bobby Parnell surrendered a run in the eighth inning on Friday night as the Marlins pulled within 5-4, Byrdak entered with two out and Omar Infante on second base and struck out Logan Morrison to end the threat.
Byrdak is on pace for 96 appearances, which would break the single-season relief record set by Feliciano in his final three seasons as a Met (86, 88 and 92).
NO WAY, COURTESY JOSE: Jose Reyes quickly ensured game No. 8,000 would be the Mets’ 8,000th game without a no-hitter. Reyes, who went only 1-for-12 in New York last month, opened the bottom of the first inning against Santana with a triple narrowly beyond the reach of Torres, who awkwardly played the shot to center field.
Reyes (1-for-4) scored when the newly installed No. 2 hitter Infante dropped a single into shallow left field. Austin Kearns delivered a two-run homer later in the frame. Kearns had been a late replacement in left field for the scratched Morrison, after Guillen decided he liked Kearns matching up better against Santana.
Santana’s final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.
SHORT STORY: In his first action since April 20, Cedeno returned from the disabled list and went 1-for-2 with two walks. Cedeno will be in the regular shortstop until Ruben Tejada returns from the DL, Collins said.
FIELDING OF DREAMS: Santana and Wright, both former Gold Glove recipients, turned in fielding gems on consecutive plays in the fifth. Santana lunged to catch a bunt attempt from Buehrle in the air. Then, Wright barehanded a grounder from Reyes and threw to first in time to retire his former teammate. An inning earlier, Santana caught Stanton stealing with a pickoff move.
WHAT’S NEXT: Other than a postgame LL Cool J concert after Friday’s game at Marlins Park? R.A. Dickey (4-1, 3.76) opposes Ricky Nolasco (4-0, 2.72 ERA) on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.