MIAMI -- Cory Sullivan got a little satisfaction out of his clutch hit Friday night, even though he wasn't around when the New York Mets' postseason hopes were dashed by the Florida Marlins in each of the previous two seasons.
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Sullivan delivered a go-ahead, two-run single in the ninth inning and New York beat Florida 6-5 to hurt the Marlins' playoff hopes."Knowing that the Marlins have knocked out the Mets out of the race the last two years it's an extra benefit," Sullivan said.Florida fell five games behind the NL wild card-leading Rockies, who beat St. Louis 2-1 at Coors Field."The hill gets a little steeper but we have a team that is resilient," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We are in a situation that we have to win every game and get help."Closer Leo Nunez (4-6) yielded singles to Daniel Murphy and Jeff Francoeur before pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed walked to load the bases with no outs. Sullivan then drilled Nunez's 0-1 pitch into left field, scoring Murphy and Francoeur."I was fortunate to get a pitch all over the plate," Sullivan said. "I was trying to get at least a sac fly and drive in the run to tie the game. I was fortunate to find some grass in the outfield."Nunez, who has seven blown saves in 31 opportunities, didn't allow another run but the damage was done."I left my changeup a bit high today," Nunez said. "It was a bad night. Unfortunately, these things happen."I just have to forget about this. Tomorrow will be a new day."Bobby Parnell (4-8) pitched a perfect eighth for the win and Francisco Rodriguez worked around pinch-hitter Ross Gload's one-out single for his 34th save in 40 opportunities."We needed a win like that regardless of the role we're playing," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "We needed to continue to show the effort and every now and then you'll get a big hit."It worked out well for us."Jorge Cantu hit a two-out, two-run double in the seventh to give Florida a 5-3 lead. With first base open, Sean Green intentionally walked Hanley Ramirez to face Cantu.New York pulled within one in the eighth when Brian Schneider scored on a passed ball. David Wright struck out swinging against Brendan Donnelly but the pitch got away from Ronny Paulino, allowing Schneider to come home.Wright, who never ran to first on the miss, argued with plate umpire Bill Hohn that it was a foul ball.Francoeur hit a three-run homer off Ricky Nolasco to give New York a 3-0 lead in the second but Ramirez tied it with a three-run drive of his own off Tim Redding in the fifth.It was Ramirez's 24th of the season and No. 13 for Francoeur.Redding allowed four runs and six hits in six-plus innings. Nolasco pitched seven innings, yielding three runs and four hits.
Wright appeared in his 836th game at third base, breaking the Mets' career record he shared with Howard Johnson. ... Mets 2B Luis Castillo's fielding miscue in the seventh snapped a 34-game errorless streak. ... Gonzalez said RHP Chris Volstad will remain in the bullpen the rest of the season. Volstad was part of the Marlins' rotation most of the season until a rough stretch in August, when he failed to get past the fifth inning in five consecutive starts ... Friday's attendance of 39,031 was Florida's third highest of the season.