Mets' offense breaks out to tally eighth straight win
By Joe Frisaro and Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- Nothing going for them off Tom Koehler for three innings, no worries. The Mets continue to find a way, and they did it once again on Sunday -- breaking through for seven runs in the fourth inning that ultimately stood.
With a sizable lead, Matt Harvey struck out seven while giving up four runs. New York was able to hold off a late Miami rally, and preserve a 7-6 win, completing a four-game sweep at Citi Field and tallying their eighth straight victory.
Ruben Tejada delivered a three-run double off Koehler in the momentum-changing fourth. New York has won eight straight for the first time since June 10-18, 2010. And the Marlins were swept in a four-game set for the first time since Sept. 18-21, 2014, at home against Washington. Jeurys Familia secured his sixth save when Giancarlo Stanton bounced to third, stranding Reid Brignac at second in the ninth.
Koehler was breezing along through three perfect innings, retiring the first nine he faced on 27 pitches. But Curtis Granderson opened the fourth with a single, and New York ended up sending 12 to the plate, piling up seven runs on seven hits. Daniel Murphy and Juan Lagares each had RBI hits, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked with the bases loaded. Tejada ended the afternoon for Koehler, who threw 34 pitches in the inning, with a three-run double.
Injury report: Two Mets players suffered injuries after being struck with the ball. Reliever Jerry Blevins fractured his left forearm in the seventh after being struck by a Dee Gordon line drive. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Realmuto athleticism: A quarterback on his high school football team, as well as a shortstop in baseball, J.T. Realmuto is considered one of the best athletes in the Marlins' organization. Realmuto made things happen with his legs on Sunday, beating out what could have been an inning-ending double play in the second inning. Instead, it turned into a fielder's choice RBI. And in the seventh inning, Realmuto raced home from third on a wild pitch for Miami's fourth run. And the rookie catcher delivered a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Seeing it better the second time: The Mets went nine up, nine down to start the game against Koehler before completely flipping the switch. The next nine batters went 5-for-7 with two walks against Koehler, who didn't make it through the fourth. Tejada's three-run double chased Koehler.
Harvey hits too: For good measure, Harvey capped his day with a two-out single in the sixth for his first hit of 2015. Harvey started the season 0-for-7 at the plate before turning on a Brad Hand pitch and driving it down the left-field line. Harvey also made hard contact when he lined out to center in the fourth. He's still two RBIs behind Bartolo Colon, though.
"It wasn't a good day. It's good that we won. We'll take that away and build for the next day. But it was a tough day for us, certainly." -- Mets manager Terry Collins, on losing Blevins and d'Arnaud.
"He's done a tremendous job. This is a big blow." -- Collins, on losing Blevins.
"There is a level of frustration. We continue to battle back and keep fighting. If we keep stringing together at-bats, we're going to get on the other end of these games. We've got to get the pitching straightened out and get these guys deeper into games, to get us opportunities. As an offense, we've got to stay with it, keep fighting, keep battling. We'll figure out a way to put zeros up there on that board." -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
New York's seven-run fourth inning wasn't the first or second time the Marlins have given up seven runs in an inning. It's actually the third time. The Braves put up seven in the first inning on April 7, and the Rays posted seven in the seventh inning on April 10.
The Mets were 5-for-12 (.417) and 13 RBIs with the bases loaded coming into Sunday. In their seven-run fourth inning, they went 4-for-5 with the bases full and drove in five runs.
After losing his challenge on the first play of the game Friday, Collins gambled early and lost again Saturday. With runners on first and third in the top of the second, Realmuto grounded to Eric Campbell at third. Campbell got the force at second, but Murphy's relay throw to first was late and Realmuto called safe, allowing a run to score. Collins challenged the ball beat Realmuto but replay determined there was no clear and convincing evidence to "overturn" the call and the play stood.
Replay was utilized six times in this four-game series. The end result benefited the Marlins each time.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: The third leg of Miami's three-city, 10-game road trip heads to Philadelphia for the first of three at Citizens Bank Park. First, the Marlins are off on Monday. Dan Haren, who picked up a win at Atlanta in his last start, makes his third start of the season at 7:05 p.m. ET. Philadelphia is going with right-hander Jerome Williams.
Mets: The Mets are so hot they might not want an off-day. But that's what the winners of eight straight will get Monday before welcoming the Braves to Citi Field for a three-game series on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Mets haven't lost since April 11 in Atlanta and now own the best record in the National League. Jon Niese will start against Trevor Cahill.