MIAMI -- Michael Morse, who had gone seven straight games without an RBI, ended the drought with a go-ahead hit in the eighth inning on Tuesday night, pushing the Marlins to a 4-3 victory over the Mets at Marlins Park.
After the Marlins watched a three-run lead slip away in the seventh inning, they responded in the eighth off reliever Carlos Torres, who walked Martin Prado to open the inning. Prado scored on Morse's hit. Miami evened the three-game series, and beat the Mets for the first time in six meetings.
"It kind of took on some of the same characteristics of last night's game, some quick swings," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We were able to score some runs and then we gave them right back. But we stayed with it and ended up putting it together at the end. Like I said, Steve's a huge part of our team and our bullpen, and to be able to get him back in that game after last night was huge. Probably the most important thing we accomplished today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walks lead to a rally: Torres came on to preserve a tie game in the eighth but walked two of the first three batters he faced. The next man to the plate, Morse, lashed a single up the middle to give the Marlins a one-run lead. Though Torres recovered to retire the next two batters, that put him on the hook for a loss.
"Those first two walks cost us big," Torres said. "It was the difference between throwing and trying to feel. I was trying to stick the ball in the zone instead of just throwing it and having it be a strike."
Challenging Stanton: The Marlins broke through against Mets spot starter Rafael Montero with three runs in the sixth inning. Giancarlo Stanton put Miami on the board with an RBI single to left. With Dee Gordon on third and one out, the Mets opted to pitch to the slugger, despite having a base open. Montero fell behind 3-0 but worked the count full. Stanton singled past a drawn-in infield through the hole at short.
"I know he's real good," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We wanted to go away on him and see if he'd chase. [Montero] threw too good of a pitch."
Juan swing, three runs: The Mets dugout erupted in the top of the seventh after Juan Lagares cleared the bases with a three-run double, transforming a 3-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie. Kirk Nieuwenhuis sparked the rally with a leadoff single, and Anthony Recker also singled. Wilmer Flores lined out and Granderson singled to load the bases. Lagares followed with a double to center, giving him at least one hit in 14 of his last 15 games.
"He's been phenomenal, and what a great [catch] too when A.J. [Ramos] came in. I thought that was a hit for sure. Dee's doing it all. He's as advertised. We knew what we were getting when we got him. He's been a huge part of this ballclub, not just as a player, but emotionally. You see the elevation he gets on those dunks, those are pretty amazing." -- Redmond, on Gordon's impact on the field and in postgame celebrations
"I always do when he's got the ball in his hands. I'll take my chances with him trying to throw somebody out." -- Collins, on Lagares' attempt to throw out Prado in the eighth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With a runner on second and two outs in the fifth inning, Adeiny Hechavarria was intentionally walked. It was the Marlins shortstop's first intentional pass of the season. Stanton also has been intentionally walked once. In 356 career games, Hechavarria now has seven intentional walks.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets:Bartolo Colon looks to become the Major Leagues' first five-game winner when he takes the mound Wednesday for the 7:10 p.m. ET series finale at Marlins Park. Colon, who will turn 42 next month, has opened the year with four consecutive quality starts, a 2.77 ERA, 23 strikeouts and only one walk.
Marlins:Mat Latos is coming off his best start of the season, giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Nationals. The right-hander, still seeking his first win of 2015, faced the Mets at Citi Field on April 18, giving up two runs in five innings.