New York Mets: Justin Ruggiano

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Cubs 3

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
9:49
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Now that the undercard is over, it's on to the Boyz II Men postgame concert!

Vic Black bailed the Mets out of a precarious predicament in the seventh, and the Amazin’s held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 on Saturday at Citi Field.

Jonathon Niese had cruised into the seventh with a six-run lead, having only allowed a Welington Castillo solo homer, when things quickly cratered.

Justin Ruggiano led off with a homer, and the next four batters singled. By the time Niese departed, the Cubs had pulled within four runs, and the bases remained loaded, still with none out.

Black rescued the Mets.

He coaxed a fly out to left field from Chris Coghlan, and the runners decided to hold. Black then got Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo to pop out in the infield to preserve the 7-3 lead.

Black has now stranded 19 straight inherited baserunners.

Oh captain: Eric Campbell replaced David Wright at third base for the seventh inning, a half-inning after the captain was drilled by a pitch from Cubs starter Dan Straily in the left shoulder blade. The Mets labeled the injury shoulder soreness.

Early lead: After Wilmer Flores drove in two runs with a single to stake the Mets to a 3-0 lead in the second, Straily retired 12 straight batters in his Cubs debut. Things then unraveled for the former Oakland Athletics right-hander in what became a four-run sixth, despite the Mets' producing only one hit in the frame.

With one out, Straily drilled Wright, walked Lucas Duda, surrendered a single to Travis d'Arnaud and walked Matt den Dekker to force in a run and give the Mets a 4-1 lead.

Cubs manager Rick Renteria pulled Straily at that point.

Kyuji Fujikawa inherited loaded bases and immediately experienced a letdown behind him. Center fielder Arismendy Alcantara had Juan Lagares' line drive glance off his glove for a sacrifice fly and E-8, as two runs scored. After an intentional walk to Flores with first base open, Niese followed with a run-scoring groundout, and the Mets grabbed a 7-1 lead.

Buddy! Buddy Carlyle tossed a scoreless ninth to extend his scoreless-innings streak to 11 1/3 innings.

What’s next: Rafael Montero makes his second and potentially final start as a sub for Jacob deGrom at 1:10 p.m. Sunday. Montero (0-3, 6.12 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77).

DeGrom is due to throw off a mound Sunday and, if all goes according to plan, should return Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Montero allowed homers to Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond and was charged with five runs in five innings Tuesday against the Washington Nationals in the rookie’s return to the majors. He also made four major league starts in May.

Series preview: Mets vs. Cubs

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
12:29
AM ET

David Banks/USA TODAY SportsJavier Baez has a ton of homers and strikeouts during his brief major league career.
METS (57-65, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (52-68, fifth place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53) vs. LHP Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (6-8, 3.46) vs. RHP Dan Straily (1-2, 4.93), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77), 1:10 p.m. ET

Monday: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85) vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-1, 1.79), 12:10 p.m. ET

Cubs short hops

• Right-hander Dan Straily, who was acquired in the July 5 trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics, will be promoted from Triple-A Iowa for a spot start Saturday against the Mets. That gives the other Cubs starters an extra day of rest and pushes Tsuyoshi Wada out of the Mets series. The crown jewel of that Cubs-A’s trade is shortstop prospect Addison Russell, who is assigned to Double-A Tennessee. Straily, 25, made seven starts for Oakland this season, going 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA.

• Rookie Javier Baez produced three homers in his first three major league games. However, after a four-strikeout performance Thursday, the hard-swinging Baez has K’d in 17 of his 45 major league at-bats. He has yet to walk. Baez became the third player in major league history to have a pair of four-strikeout games in his first 10 games in the majors, joining infielder Esteban German (2002) and pitcher Norm Bass (1961), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 21-year-old shortstop prospect was promoted from Iowa on Aug. 5 and has manned second base. Baez’s only professional experience at second base before his promotion came in 16 games this season in Triple-A.


David Zalubowski/Associated PressRookie Kyle Hendricks has a 1.01 ERA in his last five starts.


Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 13 games Thursday. It is the longest streak by a Cub this season. Castro’s career high is a 14-game streak, done twice. Castro tweaked his left knee this week, but remained in the lineup.

• Rookie Kyle Hendricks has completed seven innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his first six major league starts. He is the first Cub to accomplish that since Frank Castillo in 1991. Hendricks, 24, was acquired from the Texas Rangers at the non-waiver trade deadline two years ago for Ryan Dempster. He has drawn comparisons to Greg Maddux because of his quick pace and a fastball that only has averaged 88 mph. Since allowing four runs in his July 10 major league debut, Hendricks has produced a 1.01 ERA in five starts.

• Left fielder/leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan, a former NL Rookie of the Year with the Miami Marlins, is hitting .345 (48-for-139) with 16 doubles, four homers and 19 RBIs in his last 39 games. Coghlan’s average sat at .139 on June 1 and .206 on July 1.

• First baseman Anthony Rizzo ranks second in the National League with 27 homers, trailing only Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (31). Eleven of Rizzo’s homers have come on first pitches, a major league high.

• The Cubs acquired right-hander Jacob Turner in a waiver-claim trade from the Marlins on Aug. 8 for right-handers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer. Turner, 23, tossed 2 1/3 perfect innings Thursday in relief. He could get starts in September in place of Edwin Jackson.

• Outfielder Justin Ruggiano returned to the lineup Thursday. He had departed Tuesday’s game after seven innings and missed Wednesday’s game with a groin injury.

• The Cubs traded Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28. L.A’s motivation partly may have been to prevent Barney from being acquired by the rival San Francisco Giants to play second base. Barney had been designated for assignment by Chicago five days before the deal.

• The Cubs traded outfielder Brett Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor-league right-hander Blake Cooper on Thursday.

Series preview: Mets at Cubs

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
9:00
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Jake Arrieta, Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood at Wrigley Field.
METS (28-29, third place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (20-34, fifth place/NL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.31) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20), 8:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-0, 2.45) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81), 8:05 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-2, 2.42) vs. LHP Travis Wood (5-5, 5.15), 7:05 p.m. ET

Cubs short hops

• UConn product and New Haven native Mike Olt leads National League rookies with nine homers and 24 RBIs. The righty-hitting third baseman was acquired last July 22 with three other players in a swap with the Texas Rangers for Matt Garza. Olt, 25, became the first Cubs rookie since Geovany Soto in 2008 with nine homers before June 1.


Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesUConn product Mike Olt leads NL rookies in homers and RBIs.


Olt experienced blurriness and depth-perception trouble with his vision last year while with Texas after being struck in the head the previous November while playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. It affected his ability to catch baseballs in the field, not just to judge pitches at the plate. It since has been managed through eye drops.

Olt and lefty-hitting Luis Valbuena share duties at third base. The Cubs used six different players at the position last year.

Valbuena has been out since Friday with a sore abdominal muscle, but is expected to be available for the series opener against the Mets. He has started 21 games at third base and 14 games at second base this season. Ex-Marlin Emilio Bonifacio made his first third-base start of the season Saturday with Valbuena unavailable.

Bonifacio, who was released by the Kansas City Royals in February and signed by the Cubs, otherwise has 33 starts in center field and 14 starts at second base this season.

• The Cubs signed 42-year-old Manny Ramirez to serve as a player-coach with Triple-A Iowa. There is no intention of bringing Ramirez, who last appeared in the majors in 2011, to the big leagues.

“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs’ major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said in a statement. “Manny will coach full time and play part time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here.”

• Wednesday’s game will feature two of baseball’s more deliberate pitchers. Edwin Jackson averages 25.1 seconds between pitches, tied for seventh slowest in MLB among qualifiers. Opponent Daisuke Matsuzaka checks in at 23.9 seconds, which is actually the fastest pace of his career.

Anthony Rizzo (.267, 10 HR, 28 RBIs) had his fifth career multi-homer game Saturday when he twice took Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta deep. A day later, the 24-year-old Rizzo was ejected by plate umpire Jerry Meals in the fourth inning with the Cubs already trailing by eight runs for demonstrably arguing a called third strike. Rizzo has started 53 of the team’s 54 games at first base. He received his lone day off Friday, preceding his big day at the plate. Rizzo has lifted his on-base percentage to .398 this season, up from .323 a year ago.

• CBSChicago.com’s Bruce Levine reports the Baltimore Orioles are in the lead for soon-to-be-traded ace Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija’s ERA swelled from 1.68 to 2.54 after he was charged with eight earned runs in three innings at Milwaukee on Sunday. The Mets miss Samardzija and Jason Hammel (6-3, 2.78 ERA) in the three-game series. Hammel’s 0.869 WHIP ranks third in the majors, trailing only Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (0.758) and San Francisco’s Tim Hudson (0.866).

Starlin Castro has the most hits by a shortstop in the majors since 2011 with 612, considerably ahead of runner-up Alexei Ramirez (575) of the Chicago White Sox. Castro (.272, 7 HR, 26 RBIs) has started all 54 Cubs games this season. He was due to be given Sunday off, but talked his way into the lineup. Castro had missed the bulk of Cactus League action with a spring-training hamstring injury. He started 159 games at shortstop in 2013.

• Left fielder Junior Lake has 60 strikeouts in 160 at-bats. His vulnerability is balls on the lower half of the plate.

Jake Arrieta opened the season on the disabled list with right shoulder tightness. He made his season debut May 3. Arrieta had been acquired from the Orioles last July 2 with Pedro Strop and two international signing bonus slots for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. Strop returned Friday from a DL stint for a left groin strain.

• Right fielder Nate Schierholtz went homerless in his first 42 games, which included 150 at-bats, but since has two homers in the past week.

• Former Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan was promoted from Triple-A on May 3. He replaced fellow outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who landed on the DL with a right hamstring injury. Another backup outfielder, Justin Ruggiano, was activated from the DL last Monday after missing a month with a left hamstring strain.

Travis Wood enters Thursday’s start off his shortest outing of the season. He allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Brewers.

• The Cubs’ .231 batting average ranks 29th in the majors, better than only the San Diego Padres (.226).

• Closer Hector Rondon (6-for-7 in save opportunities) missed the weekend series against Milwaukee while on paternity leave but will be back for Tuesday’s opener against the Mets. Neil Ramirez, also acquired in the Garza trade, filled in as closer during Rondon’s absence.

• The Cubs are 0-11-3 in their past 14 road series. They have a 10-13 record at Wrigley Field this season.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Marlins 1

September, 14, 2013
9/14/13
10:29
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Daisuke Matsuzaka may have a little left in the tank.

Matsuzaka limited the Miami Marlins to two hits in seven innings and the Mets split a doubleheader with a 3-1 victory in Saturday’s nightcap at Citi Field.

Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda produced back-to-back third-inning homers against right-hander Jacob Turner to give the Mets a three-run cushion. It marked only the third time this season Mets teammates consecutively went deep. (The last instance: Marlon Byrd and Ike Davis on Aug. 16 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.)

Matsuzaka did not allow a hit until Justin Ruggiano produced a solo homer with one out in the fourth.

Dice-K faced runners on the corners with two outs in the seventh, but struck out Rob Brantly looking with a 78 mph slider to preserve a 3-1 lead and end his outing.

After producing a 10.95 ERA in his first three starts with the Mets, Matsuzaka has now limited the Cleveland Indians and Marlins to a combined two runs and five hits in 12 2/3 innings.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.61 ERA) opposes right-hander Tom Koehler, a Stony Brook University product, at 1:10 p.m. Sunday. The Mets are 7-11 against the Marlins this season entering their final 2013 meeting.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

July, 28, 2013
7/28/13
6:08
PM ET

Wilfredo Lee/Associated PressJake Marisnick and Christian Yelich were promoted from Double-A Jacksonville last Tuesday.
METS (46-56, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (40-63, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.17) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (3-3, 2.49), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (4-1, 3.72) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 3.54), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-1, 2.64), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Matt Harvey (8-2, 2.11) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (2-6, 4.67), 12:40 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• First-year hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned Sunday. He allegedly grabbed rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich by the neck and neck chain and verbally assaulted other players this season, the Miami Herald reported. "I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior," Martinez said, according to the Associated Press. "I have made some comments to certain players at certain times that I thought was more constructive criticism. Obviously, they didn't feel that way, and it kind of backfired on me."

• The Marlins promoted top outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from Double-A Jacksonville last Tuesday.


Robert Mayer/USA TODAY SportsGiancarlo Stanton has heated up with the Marlins.


Yelich, a left fielder who started in the Futures Game at Citi Field, is the only two-time organizational player of the year in Marlins history. He became the second player in franchise history to record a hit in each of his first three major league at-bats, joining current manager Mike Redmond (May 31, 1998). He is only the fourth major leaguer since 1980 to have hits in his first three ABs, joining Daryl Boston (White Sox, 1984), Jose Offerman (Dodgers, 1990) and Jay Bruce (Reds, 2008).

Marisnick, a center fielder, was hitless in 14 at-bats to open his career before singling. It was the second-longest drought in Marlins history to open a career. Nigel Wilson, the first pick in the expansion draft in 1992, went 0-for-16 as a Marlin and eventually was hitless in his first 26 at-bats in the majors before getting a hit three years after his debut, with the Cleveland Indians in ’96.

Fellow rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna landed on the disabled list Thursday with a ligament tear and fracture in his left thumb and required surgery. Ozuna had been demoted with Dietrich after Monday’s game to make room for Yelich and Marisnick, but Ozuna’s demotion was rescinded after the extent of his injury attempting a diving catch became known.

Adding Yelich and Marisnick to an outfield that already includes Giancarlo Stanton in right field makes it a formidable trio. After a mostly quiet July at the plate, Stanton is 9-for-13 in his last four games. He has four homers in his past six games at Marlins Park.

Justin Ruggiano is 0-for-his-last-32. Adeiny Hechavarria replaced Ruggiano in the leadoff spot a week ago.

Jacob Turner, who was acquired at last year’s trade deadline from the Detroit Tigers as part of a package for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante, has suffered consecutive hard-luck defeats. He was tagged with losses at Milwaukee and Colorado despite allowing two runs in each outing. Turner has allowed only three homers in 10 starts since making his season debut with seven scoreless innings against the Mets on May 31.

Henderson Alvarez -- acquired in November in the trade that sent Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to Toronto -- earned his first Marlins win Friday. He tossed six scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He topped out at 98 mph with his fastball.

Kevin Slowey, who struggled in the rotation before getting reassigned to the bullpen, landed on the DL during the weekend with right forearm discomfort. Right-hander Steve Ames took the roster spot Sunday. Ames was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 6 with fellow minor leaguers Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall for Ricky Nolasco.

Logan Morrison, who has settled in at first base, has reached base in 26 straight games.

• The Marlins snapped a franchise-record 37-inning scoreless streak last Monday at Colorado.

• Closer Steve Cishek has an MLB-best 17 saves since June 8, without a blown save during that span.

Morning Briefing: Byrd migration to Texas?

July, 25, 2013
7/25/13
7:17
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler, who tossed six scoreless innings in his major league debut at Turner Field in Atlanta, albeit with five walks, gets another crack at the Braves in an early start this afternoon.

Wheeler (3-1, 3.58 ERA) opposes rookie left-hander Alex Wood (0-2, 2.45) as the Mets look to salvage a split of the four-game series. First pitch: 12:10 p.m.


Tom Lynn/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler pitches on turn, despite recently dealing with a blister issue.


The Mets earlier this week debated delaying Wheeler’s start a day to allow a blister to further heal, but ultimately decided it was a nonissue and kept him on regular rest. Wheeler has dealt with blister issues throughout his pro career -- both as a San Francisco Giants farmhand and with the Mets.

Wood steps in for fellow southpaw Paul Maholm, who landed on the disabled list on the eve of the series with a bruised wrist.

With the Mets facing a left-hander, Josh Satin should start at first base and Juan Lagares in center field. Justin Turner also is due for his first start since returning from the disabled list.

Terry Collins planned for Turner to be used at a middle-infield position, but Turner might start at third base if David Wright needs a day for a sore back/neck. Wright inadvertently hit himself with the shattered bat during his own swing in the fourth inning Wednesday night.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Texas Rangers are scouting Marlon Byrd among a bevy of outfield options, writes CBSSports.com. Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox appears Texas’ primary target, according to the report. Writes Jon Heyman:

Ideally, Texas would have loved to make a run at young Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton, Hunter Pence (a local, being a U-T Arlington product) or perhaps Michael Cuddyer, but with those three apparently unavailable at the moment, the Rangers are surveying a market that's heavy on far lesser talents. Pence would seem to have the best chance to be traded of those three, and Texas would target him if he becomes free. Nolan Ryan is said to be a fan.

Seattle, which has Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse, isn't ready to trade anybody yet. And most believe they'll ultimately keep at least Ibanez and Morales now that they are showing decent signs of life. …

The Rangers reportedly have looked at Norichika Aoki, as well, and Danny Knobler reported they are scouting Marlon Byrd, their former player. Other outfielders who could go in trades include Justin Ruggiano, Chris Denorfia, Nate Schierholtz and Alejandro De Aza.

• Tim Hudson suffered a gruesome fracture of his right ankle when he was stepped on while covering first base by runner Eric Young Jr. on Wednesday night. Hudson had taken a scoreless effort into the eighth inning when the injury occurred.

“I saw them get tangled up,” Dan Uggla told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I was just hoping he Charley-horsed him or something. I didn’t see the extent of it. Once I saw Huddy’s reaction, I was like, ‘Oh, no. This isn’t good.’ …

“He was kind of in disbelief, obviously in a lot of pain. You could see just the thoughts going through his head, ‘This can’t be happening. … This is unbelievable.’ That sort of thing. I know he was in a lot of pain.”

Young expressed remorse for what happened.

"I'm hustling down the line like I always do, going for the base," Young said. "I saw his foot, as I'm going for the base, right there in the middle, as I came down, I knew I didn't get any of the base. I know I got all of his foot. I pretty much knew it was probably broke right as I did it, and that's why I sprinted right back to him and tried to console him as much as I could and apologize.

"I was able to see Tim before they took him to the hospital. He told me it wasn't my fault, just one of those freak plays that happened."

Read more on the injury and reaction in the Post and Daily News.

Evan Gattis, Uggla and Andrelton Simmons all homered against Jeremy Hefner as the Braves beat the Mets, 8-2 at Citi Field. Hefner surrendered six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings. He became the first Mets pitcher to allow three homers in a home game this season. Hefner has allowed 13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings over his past two starts. Daniel Murphy had two doubles, but also committed two errors.

Columnist John Harper in the Daily News summarizes the night.

Read game recaps in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and MLB.com.

• Read more on Wright’s status after getting struck with his own bat in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud returned to game action for the first time Wednesday, in the same Gulf Coast League game. D’Arnaud went 1-for-3 and caught five innings in his first official action since fracturing the first metatarsal in his left foot on April 17 with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Duda, who landed on the DL with an intercostal muscle strain on his left side after a June 21 game, went 0-for-2 with a walk. He played five innings in left field. It would have been far more noteworthy because of the implications for Ike Davis if Duda had played first base, but that was not the case. Read more in the Post.

Jonathon Niese, on the DL with a shoulder issue, is ready to pitch in a Gulf Coast League game this weekend or shortly thereafter. He likely will need multiple rehab starts before returning, so rejoining the Mets in mid-August is most likely. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Jenrry Mejia joined the Mets in advance of Friday’s start opposite Jordan Zimmermann in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park. Matt Harvey opposes Ross Ohlendorf in the nightcap that day. The other matchups that series: Dillon Gee versus Dan Haren on Saturday and Carlos Torres versus Taylor Jordan on Sunday.


Adam RubinThe San Francisco Giants annually host a sleepover for fans on the night of a day game at AT&T Park.


Mejia told Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger that he has bone spurs in his right elbow that will need to be surgically removed during the offseason. Doctors proposed removing them during spring training when the issue first flared up, but Mejia preferred taking anti-inflammatory medication to get through the discomfort and to deal with it after the season. Read more in the Journal and Record.

• Matching an event annually staged at San Francisco’s A&T Park, the Mets will host a sleepover for fans at Citi Field on Aug. 10. Unlike with the Giants, it will not occur the night of a home day game. Tickets, which range $175-$200 per person and include admission to the Sept. 28 game against the Milwaukee Brewers, go on sale at 10 a.m. today at Mets.com/sleepover. The Mets also announced PR man Jay Horwitz bobblehead day will be held Aug. 23. There’s also a Third Eye Blind concert after that game against the Detroit Tigers.

• Columnist Larry Brooks in the Post suggests the Mets are laying the groundwork for a brighter future.

• Mark Cohoon became the all-time innings-pitched leader in Binghamton history and closer Jeff Walters matched Jerrod Riggan’s B-Mets single-season record with save No. 28 in a 6-3 win against Reading. Read the minor league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Wagner, now spending time with his alpacas, turns 42. … Where’s Mota? Guillermo Mota is celebrating his 40th birthday.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets hold onto Marlon Byrd unless overwhelmed by a trade offer?

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 8, Mets 4 (10)

June, 9, 2013
6/09/13
4:46
PM ET
NEW YORK -- If only the Miami Marlins played the Mets every day.

The Mets failed to protect an eighth-inning lead and were swept for the second straight weekend by the Marlins, this time with an 8-4 loss in 10 innings Sunday at Citi Field before an announced paid crowd of 21,747.

After Bobby Parnell allowed consecutive singles to open his second inning of work, Daniel Murphy errantly fielded Adeiny Hechavarria’s grounder to allow the go-ahead run to score from second base. Robert Carson entered and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Greg Dobbs and two-run homer to Miguel Olivo as the Marlins ultimately posted four runs in the 10th. Parnell was charged with three runs (two earned).

At least this time it did not take 20 innings, like Saturday’s loss.

Miami is 8-3 against the Mets and 10-41 against the rest of baseball this season.

The Mets (23-35) matched their season low-water mark at 12 games under .500, although they're still seven games ahead of the Marlins for fourth place in the National League East.

Fried rice: Scott Rice, summoned for his MLB-leading 34th relief appearance to begin the eighth with the Mets leading 4-3, surrendered a game-tying leadoff homer to Derek Dietrich and departed. Lefty batters had been hitting .143 (9-for-63) against Rice with one extra-base hit -- an April 5 double by Miami’s Rob Brantly -- before Dietrich’s homer.

Shouldering the load: Jonathon Niese, who missed his last rotation turn with a shoulder issue, then had his rotation reentry delayed by rain, allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk while striking out four in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches in what became a no-decision.

Niese made his first start since May 27.

The southpaw departed with a 4-3 lead in the seventh after allowing consecutive two-out singles to opposing pitcher Tom Koehler and Juan Pierre. LaTroy Hawkins entered and retired 31-year-old rookie Ed Lucas on a groundout to strand both inherited runners.

Niese had taken a 4-1 lead into the sixth, when he surrendered a two-run double to Marcell Ozuna. The second run was unearned because Juan Lagares misplayed the ball in right-center. Niese did strand Ozuna at third base to preserve the one-run lead. He retired Logan Morrison on a shallow flyout and coaxed a groundout to third from Justin Ruggiano.

Wright stuff: David Wright, who entered Sunday hitting only .200 (13-for-65) over his last 16 games, broke a 1-all tie in the third with a two-run double against Koehler.

Murphy, in his first start in the cleanup spot this season, followed with a run-scoring groundout as the Mets took a 4-1 lead. Murphy’s solo homer in the second accounted for the Mets’ opening run.

JV caliber: After bunting for a base hit in the first, Jordany Valdespin made the final out at third base that inning when he was caught stealing with Murphy at the plate.

In a pinch: Terry Collins used Justin Turner as a pinch hitter for Ike Davis for a second straight day.

Welcome back: Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his return as a pinch hitter in the 10th. He struck out.

What’s next: After an off-day Monday, the Mets welcome the St. Louis Cardinals. In Tuesday’s series opener, Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.36 ERA) opposes phenom Michael Wacha (1-5, 4.36) in the right-hander’s third major league start.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Marlins 6

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
3:44
PM ET


WHAT IT MEANS: Jordany Valdespin was “El Hombre” Wednesday afternoon.

With the Mets in danger of getting swept by the lowly Miami Marlins, Valdespin produced a pinch-hit three-run homer in the sixth against Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos to stake the Mets to a one-run lead.

John Buck added a two-run double an inning later -- which it turned out the Mets would desperately need -- and the Amazin’s narrowly held on to salvage the finale, 7-6, at Marlins Park. The Mets (11-15) snapped a six-game losing streak.

Scott Atchison, protecting a 7-4 lead in his second inning of work in the seventh, surrendered three straight one-out singles. On the third of those hits, by Justin Ruggiano, Donovan Solano and Greg Dobbs had stopped in scoring position. But the ball got by left fielder Lucas Duda and both restarted and scored as the Marlins pulled within 7-6 with the pair of unearned runs.

The Mets had failed to protect one-run leads with three outs to go three times in the first two games of the series. This time, they stranded the potential tying run at third base in consecutive late innings and eked out a win.

Atchison left Ruggiano at third base in the seventh by getting Chris Valaika to fly out. An inning later, after Nick Green doubled against LaTroy Hawkins and reached third with two outs, Scott Rice entered and retired Juan Pierre on a groundout.

Bobby Parnell, who was upset he went unused Tuesday in a game Brandon Lyon uncorked a game-ending wild pitch, this time handled the ninth. Parnell retired the Marlins 1-2-3 on seven pitches for his third save.

SPIN-SANITY: Valdespin had set a franchise record with five pinch-hit homers a season ago. He had been 1-for-10 with a single, RBI and four strikeouts this season as a pinch-hitter before Wednesday’s three-run shot.

Six of Valdespin’s 10 career homers have come as a pinch hitter, which is one reason Terry Collins uses to justify using Valdespin in that role rather than as a more frequent starter.

That pinch-hit homer total does not include his walk-off grand slam last Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which came two innings after Valdespin entered that game as a pinch hitter and then took over in center field, also for Juan Lagares.

This afternoon, Ramos had inherited two baserunners with two outs from left-handed starter Wade LeBlanc. The righty reliever’s insertion prompted Collins to counter with the lefty-hitting Valdespin for the righty-hitting Lagares.

GEE FIZZ: Dillon Gee surrendered four runs on nine hits and two walks in five innings. He was pulled with his pitch count at a modest 70 after Valdespin provided the 5-4 lead. Gee’s ERA ballooned to 6.16.

WRIGHT STUFF: David Wright and Buck each had three hits. Wright scored three times.

Wright put the Mets in position for Valdespin’s three-run shot to be meaningful. He pulled the Mets within 3-1 with a solo homer in the fourth. And Wright doubled to lead off the sixth against LeBlanc and scored on Marlon Byrd’s two-out single to make it 4-2.

Wright has three homers this season. The other two came against Juan Nicasio in Colorado on April 16.

WHAT’S NEXT: After an off-day in Atlanta, the Mets play a weekend series against the first-place Braves at Turner Field. Shaun Marcum (0-2, 7.94 ERA), who pitched in relief on Monday, starts Friday night’s series opener opposite left-hander Mike Minor (3-2, 3.13).

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 4, Mets 3 (15)

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
12:46
AM ET


WHAT IT MEANS: The New York Mets were three outs from victory twice.

Which made the ending doubly gut-wrenching.

After Bobby Parnell failed to hold a one-run lead in the ninth, Shaun Marcum also failed to do so in the 15th.

The Mets ultimately lost to the Miami Marlins, 4-3, when Rob Brantly had an RBI single and Nick Green delivered a game-ending sacrifice fly against Marcum.

After the Mets used all seven relievers, Marcum had entered in the 14th. He had tossed 71 pitches Saturday in his Mets debut. The Mets can actually delay or skip Marcum’s next turn if necessary because Thursday is a scheduled off-day for the team. The injury-prone Marcum last pitched in relief in 2007.

Matt Harvey was deprived of the third 5-0 April in franchise history.

Bidding for his third save this season, Parnell failed to hold a one-run lead in the ninth. He surrendered a leadoff double to Justin Ruggiano, then watched as pinch-hitter/defensive replacement Collin Cowgill broke backward in center field on a ball off the bat of Brantly that dropped in front of him. Green then delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly.

The Mets had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the 15th against ex-teammate Jon Rauch on Ruben Tejada's run-scoring infield single.

The Mets (10-14) have lost five straight and fell a season-worst four games under .500. They now are 5-1 in Harvey starts and 5-13 otherwise this season.

The Mets used 21 players.

Lynne Sladky/Associated PressMatt Harvey received a no-decision after limiting the Marlins to one run in 5 1/3 innings.
Technically, it was the second blown save in four chances for Parnell this season, although the other one was the result of Tejada airmailing an eighth-inning throw in Colorado.

Pedro Martinez (2006) and Dwight Gooden (1988) remain the only Mets pitchers with 5-0 Aprils.

John Buck did match a franchise record with his ninth homer of April.

The Mets went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position before Tejada's run-scoring infield single. That would have bested the franchise record 0-for-15 set May 30, 2006, in a complete game by Miguel Batista for the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

WRIGHT STUFF: David Wright, despite suffering from a stiff neck before the game, pinch hit in the 13th with two outs against Rauch. Wright struck out looking and departed.

HARVEY’S BETTER: Harvey outlasted Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez, but not by much.

With his pitch count at a career-high 121, Harvey was pulled with two runners on and one out in the sixth by Terry Collins with the Mets leading 2-1.

In bids for redemption after a rough homestand, left-hander Robert Carson entered and retired Brantly on a flyout. Collins then summoned Scott Atchison, who retired Green on a flyout, too.

Harvey’s line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.

His pitch count matched the fourth-highest in the majors this season, trailing only starts by Justin Verlander (126 pitches), Cliff Lee (122) and Bud Norris (122).

Gooden appears to have become a sincere Harvey aficionado. He tweeted Harvey’s current K count after each of Harvey’s seven strikeouts.

The lone run against Harvey opened the scoring in the third inning. Juan Pierre and Donovan Solano singled consecutively to open the frame. Giancarlo Stanton then grounded into a run-scoring double play.

The seven hits were the most surrendered by Harvey this season.

The 20-year-old Fernandez, who has been kept on strict pitch counts, departed after four innings and 81 pitches. He allowed three hits and two runs while walking three and striking out four.

Curiously, Fernandez was allowed to hit against Harvey in the bottom of the fourth with two on and two out, even though Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler replaced him on the mound to start the following half-inning.

Fernandez struck out and Harvey maintained the Mets’ 2-1 lead.

Koehler, incidentally, tossed three scoreless innings in relief.

BUCK SHOT: In his first game back in Miami since he was traded to Toronto and then to the Mets last offseason, Buck belted a 439-foot, two-run homer off Fernandez in the fourth to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. It was Buck’s ninth homer, matching Carlos Delgado (2006) and Dave Kingman (1976) for the franchise record for April. With one day remaining in the month, Buck has 25 RBIs, one shy of matching Jeff Kent’s April franchise record, set in 1994.

Buck did strike out in the 10th inning with the potential go-ahead run at third base.

HAMMY WHAMMY: Stanton left the game with a right hamstring strain.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 5.12 ERA) opposes right-hander Kevin Slowey (0-2, 2.43) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Marlins 3

September, 21, 2012
9/21/12
9:55
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: In a battle for last place in the NL East, the Miami Marlins made a strong case for supremacy with a disgusting series of fielding gaffes that left manager Ozzie Guillen with his head at least briefly buried in his palms in the dugout.

Multiple Marlins miscues led to rookie right-hander Jacob Turner surrendering five runs in the first two innings, and the Mets went on to win, 7-3, Friday night at Citi Field.

The Mets snapped a nine-game home losing streak and improved to 5-24 at Citi Field since the All-Star break -- matching the Braves’ second-half win total in Flushing and moving to within one of the Nationals’ MLB-leading total in the ballpark during that span.

Aided by the Marlins’ gaffes, the Mets snapped a streak of 16 straight home games failing to exceed three runs. The streak ended narrowly shy of matching the MLB record -- 18 straight home games of three runs or fewer by the 1915 Yankees at the Polo Grounds.

The Mets (67-83) opened a 1-game lead over the Marlins (66-85) for fourth place in the division. The teams have five games remaining, including a season-ending series in Miami from Oct. 1-3.

Jon Niese, who surrendered three runs in 6 1/3 innings, benefited from the run support en route to his career-high 12th win.

PULLED: Lucas Duda was removed from the game for the start of the third inning and replaced by Mike Baxter in the outfield. The Mets announced the decision was made by Terry Collins and not injury-related. In his first at-bat, Duda jogged and only reached first base on a pop-up, which dropped in shallow left field after a miscommunication by Marlins fielders.

Seemingly fearful of losing his players, Collins had retracted pregame his previous night’s insinuation that players had quit. Still, Collins must have been on the lookout for an opportunity to make a point.

MILESTONES: After a scoring change on his first-inning grounder, Ike Davis was credited with an RBI. Davis then passed David Wright for the team lead with his 83rd RBI on a solo homer in the seventh. Davis’ 28 homers are the fourth most by a first baseman in franchise history. Carlos Delgado had 38 twice (2006 and 2008) and Dave Kingman had 37 in 1982. Davis passed Eddie Murray, who had 27 in 1993.

Scott Hairston’s first-inning homer was his career-high 18th long ball.

Wright went 0-for-4 and remained four shy of matching Ed Kranepool’s franchise-record 1,418 career hits.

LOL MARLINS: Had the official scorer not changed his original ruling -- an error on Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano -- to a single for Davis with two outs in the first, the first six runs the Mets posted would have been unearned.

Hairston followed the Solano-error-turned-Davis-single with a two-run homer off Turner.

In a two-run second, Thole doubled off left fielder Justin Ruggiano’s glove. Later in the inning, Jose Reyes had Thole nailed at third base on a grounder to shortstop, but the ex-Met errantly bounced the throw to Gil Velazquez and Thole was ruled safe.

The Mets’ sixth run also scored after some lackluster Marlins fielding. Daniel Murphy reached first despite striking out on a passed ball in the fifth. Later in the frame, Davis lined out to Reyes, and the shortstop had Murphy dead to rights -- having strayed too far off second base. But Reyes showed no awareness and Murphy successfully scampered back with Reyes making no attempt at a double play. Hairston followed with a run-scoring triple for a 6-1 lead.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey bids for his 19th win Saturday at 1:10 p.m. Dickey (18-6, 2.67 ERA) opposes left-hander Mark Buehrle (13-12, 3.78).

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

September, 21, 2012
9/21/12
12:46
PM ET

US Presswire
The Mets are due to face (l to r) Jacob Turner, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Nolasco this weekend.
METS (66-83, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (66-84, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (11-9, 3.46) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (1-2, 3.75), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (18-6, 2.67) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (13-12, 3.78), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Chris Young (4-8, 4.37) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-12, 4.42), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton is expected to return for the weekend series. He has been sidelined with a left intercostal strain for the past three games.


Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Jose Reyes returns to Citi Field this weekend.


In Stanton’s place, Justin Ruggiano started twice and Austin Kearns once in right field. Stanton’s 90 homers rank sixth in MLB history for a player before turning 23. Those ahead: Mel Ott 155, Eddie Mathews 112, Tony Conigliaro 104, Alex Rodriguez 95 and Frank Robinson 93. Stanton turns 23 in November.

• Right-hander Jacob Turner was acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 23 in the deal that shipped out Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. He is 2-4 with a 6.06 ERA in 10 career major league starts between the two teams, but is coming off tossing seven scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Turner, 21, was the ninth overall selection in the 2009 draft -- three picks after the Giants selected Zack Wheeler.

• The Mets snapped the career-high 26-game hitting streak of Jose Reyes on Aug. 9 at Citi Field. Reyes’ 35 steals are tied with Juan Pierre and Carlos Gomez for third in the NL. Michael Bourn leads with 39, followed by Shane Victorino with 37.

• Former Mets farmhand Gil Velazquez was promoted Sept.14 -- two weeks after completing his minor league season with the Marlins -- because third baseman Donnie Murphy suffered a season-ending concussion.

• Team president Larry Beinfest is expected to be fired, USA Today reported.

Last series results

Mets won, 3-0, at Marlins Park, Aug. 31-Sept. 2 (AP game recaps)

Mets 3, Marlins 0: R.A. Dickey pitched a five-hit shutout and Ike Davis backed him with a homer. More

Mets 5, Marlins 3: Kelly Shoppach hit a go-ahead two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning that cleared the bases when center fielder Justin Ruggiano misplayed the ball. The Mets had been frustrated most of the night by Josh Johnson. He allowed a run and three hits in eight innings and held the Mets hitless until the fifth. Johnson departed leading 3-1. More

Mets 5, Marlins 1: Jason Bay hit his fifth career grand slam in the Mets' five-run first inning. More

Mets morning briefing 9.2.12

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
5:56
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Trailing by two runs entering the ninth after being stymied by Josh Johnson, the Mets rallied for four runs and beat the Miami Marlins, 5-3, Saturday night. Lucas Duda had an RBI single, then Kelly Shoppach cleared the bases on a single that was misplayed by Justin Ruggiano in center field.

The Mets aim for the sweep this afternoon when Chris Young (3-7, 4.64 ERA) opposes left-hander Mark Buehrle (12-11, 3.62).

Sunday's news reports:

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post advocates trading David Wright and R.A. Dickey this offseason. Writes Sherman:

In the coming weeks, general manager Sandy Alderson will present ownership three avenues the Mets could follow this offseason: 1. Go the Dodgers route. Expand payroll greatly to try and purchase your way out of a variety of problems. 2. Extend David Wright and, perhaps, R.A. Dickey on long-term contracts, but essentially follow a similar course to the present: Continue to grow the farm, use about $10 million in available funds in a roughly $90 million-ish payroll to address needs and just keep running out the clock on the horrible contracts of Jason Bay and Johan Santana. 3. Think bigger picture by trading Wright, Dickey and Jonathon Niese to add eight-to-10 prospects and truly begin to address what has long been the Mets’ downfall: Lack of depth up and down the organization. I would pick Door No. 3, because the Mets can’t lie to themselves any longer that they are close to success.

That said, Sherman expects No. 2 -- trying to re-sign Wright with a status quo payroll while biding time until contracts for Jason Bay and Johan Santana come off the books.

•Read game recaps in the Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record, Daily News and Post.

Zack Wheeler completed his 2012 season by limiting Lehigh Valley to one run in five innings and the Bisons beat the IronPigs, 6-3. St. Lucie posted its 82nd win, breaking a 12-year-old club record. Brandon Nimmo homered and Brooklyn maintained a one-game lead over Batavia in the New York-Penn League wild-card standings. Read Sunday's full minor league recap here.

Mike Nickeas and Zach Lutz joined the Mets on Saturday. Collin McHugh is due to be promoted to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday at Busch Stadium. The other September call-ups, who will join the Mets after Buffalo's season ends Monday, are expected to be Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Elvin Ramirez, Jordany Valdespin, Fred Lewis and possibly Matt Tuiasosopo,

Terry Collins believes Dickey is Cy Young worthy. "We've had a tough time scoring runs, especially in the second half of the season, and he continues to win," Collins said, according to Anthony Rieber in Newsday. "We are [eight] games below .500 and he's [13] games over .500. That says a lot. ... I know we've had a collapse in the second half, but when you look at what he's done the entire year, he's racked up numbers against every team in baseball. No matter who he's faced, he's pitched great."

Seth Berkman in the Times looks at Collins' playing career, which included six seasons in Triple-A, but no major league experience. Writes Berkman:

Collins, who as a minor leaguer played shortstop, third base, first base and outfield and even pitched in six games (0-0, 1.00 earned run average, two strikeouts), said he stuck around the minors out of passion more than a belief that he would ever reach the majors. “I had one year where the big club, the Dodgers, had some injuries and I thought maybe, due to the fact that I played all over the place, I had a shot, but I didn’t and that was fine,” he said. “My years in Triple-A, I was not an everyday player. Backup players in Triple-A, you got to be in the right place at the right time.” During his last few years with Albuquerque, in the early 1980s, Collins was a player-coach. The Dodgers had initiated a system for developing older players into managers, who could also fill in for a game or two if a player was injured. Collins was recruited.

TRIVIA: For which major league team did the expected call-up Fred Lewis play for parts of four seasons?

Saturday's answer: Ike Davis had the Mets' first homer at Marlins Park, off Buehrle in the Amazin's first game there, on May 11.

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

August, 6, 2012
8/06/12
11:47
AM ET

US Presswire/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Wade LeBlanc, Nathan Eovaldi and Josh Johnson during the midweek series against the Marlins.
METS (53-56, third place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (49-60, fifth place/NL East)

Tuesday: LHP Jon Niese (8-5, 3.72) vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc (1-1, 1.35), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Chris Young (3-5, 4.22) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-7, 4.66), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP R.A. Dickey (14-3, 2.82) vs. RHP Josh Johnson (7-7, 3.85), 12:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Jose Reyes takes a career-high 24-game hitting streak into the series against the Mets. It’s the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, topping a 23-game streak by the Yankees’ Robinson Cano from June 24 to July 20. Reyes has the fourth-longest hitting streak in Marlins history, trailing only Luis Castillo’s franchise-record 35-game streak in 2002 as well as Emilio Bonifacio’s 26-game streak in 2011 and Kevin Millar’s 25-game streak in 2002. Reyes is hitting .371 (36-for-97) with eight doubles, two triples and four homers during the streak.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Reyes is the first reigning batting champ with a 20-plus-game hitting streak the following season since Nomar Garciaparra in 2000. His streak is the longest by a reigning batting champ since Wade Boggs had a 25-gamer in 1987. And Reyes is the first reigning NL champ with a streak of this length since Stan Musial had a 24-gamer in 1952.

• Reyes moved to the No. 3 slot in the order on July 27, with the second baseman Bonifacio moving into Reyes’ leadoff slot and Carlos Lee shifting from third to cleanup. Bonifacio suffered a sprained left thumb Friday and has landed on the DL, but Reyes remains third. Nick Green was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans. Rookie Donovan Solano started during the weekend at second base.


Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Jose Reyes takes the longest hitting streak in the majors this season into Citi Field on Tuesday.


Reyes and Bonifacio are the first Marlins tandem with 25-plus steals apiece since 2002, when Castillo (48 steals), Andy Fox (31) and Eric Owens (26) all exceeded that total.

• In their latest fire sale, the Marlins shipped Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers with Randy Choate on July 25 for Nathan Eovaldi and minor leaguer Scott McGough. Ramirez is owed $15.5 million in 2013 and $16 million in 2014.

First baseman Gaby Sanchez was dealt to Pirates six days later with minor leaguer Kyle Kaminska for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a draft pick. Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez landed in Detroit for right-hander Jacob Turner and minor leaguers Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn and a swap of draft picks. Edward Mujica was dealt to the Cardinals.

• Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (.284, 19 HR, 50 RBIs) began a rehab assignment Thursday after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He should return for the series against the Mets.

• Eovaldi faced the Mets in his final start with the Dodgers. He allowed one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in a 96-pitch effort that lasted only 4 1/3 innings at Citi Field.

• The Marlins acquired Lee from the Astros on July 4 for Matt Dominguez and minor leaguer Rob Rasmussen. Lee, who is playing first base, has an 11-game hitting streak. Houston picked up the $9 million owed to Lee, less the prorated major league minimum.

Heath Bell, who is in the first season of a three-year, $27 million deal, has not worked in a save chance since allowing three runs in a blown save at St. Louis on July 8. Steve Cishek is 5-for-5 in save chances since that point.

• Left-hander Wade LeBlanc was acquired from the Padres in a Nov. 22 trade for John Baker. He made 16 starts at New Orleans before joining Miami’s bullpen on July 1. He will be making his second Marlins start, as his audition to remain a starter continues. LeBlanc allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings while throwing 71 pitches at Atlanta on Wednesday.

LeBlanc displaced from the rotation Carlos Zambrano, who last Monday made his first relief appearance since Aug. 4, 2010.

• Center fielder Justin Ruggiano (.340) started Sunday for the first time in five days. He had been dealing with back spasms. The 30-year-old former Ray, a nine-year minor leaguer, was acquired from Houston on May 26 after playing in 39 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Last series results

Miami won, 2-1, at Marlins Park, May 11-13 (AP game recaps)

Marlins 6, Mets 5: Greg Dobbs’ two-out single in the ninth inning scored Emilio Bonifacio from second base with the winning run. The Marlins scored twice in the ninth off Frank Francisco to win for the ninth time in 10 games. Francisco blew his second save in 10 chances. His ERA rose to 6.59. More

Mets 9, Marlins 3: David Wright pulled an RBI single in the first inning, then sent three subsequent hits to the opposite field with a variety of trajectories. The net result: Three singles, one homer and three RBIs for Wright to help the Mets beat Ricky Nolasco. It was the fourth consecutive multi-hit game for Wright, hiking his NL-leading average to .402. R.A. Dickey (5-1) pitched six innings and sent the Marlins to only their second loss in the past 11 games. More

Marlins 8, Mets 4: Giancarlo Stanton's two-out slam capped a comeback Sunday by the Marlins, who scored six times in the ninth inning to beat an angry Frank Francisco. The Marlins trailed 4-2 when Emilio Bonifacio led off the ninth with his second triple of the game against the struggling Francisco (1-3). John Buck walked and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs followed with an RBI single. Francisco was then replaced, and he walked slowly toward plate umpire Todd Tichenor, hollering angrily. Manager Terry Collins stepped between Tichenor and Francisco, who was ejected even though he was already out of the game. Manny Acosta replaced Francisco, and Jose Reyes' sacrifice fly made the score 4-all. After a popup, Hanley Ramirez walked and Austin Kearns was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Stanton's pink Mother's Day bat then closed out the victory, launching the first pitch over the left-center wall near the animated home run sculpture. More

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187