Prado's 5th hit lifts Marlins in 11, cuts Mets' lead to 5
By Joe Frisaro and Steve Wilaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- The Marlins are aiming to salvage a disappointing season by playing the role of spoiler. They did just that on Friday night when Martin Prado capped a career-high five-hit night with a walk-off double in the 11th inning that lifted Miami to a 6-5 win over the Mets at Marlins Park.
Facing lefty Eric O'Flaherty, the right-handed-hitting Prado laced the ball down the first-base line. Christian Yelich, who has been playing with a bruised right knee, raced around the bases, scoring from first. Prado collected the seventh walk-off hit of his career, and Miami made the National League East race a little more interesting, with New York's lead cut to five games over Washington, which enjoyed a walk-off win of its own on Friday night.
"That's what we're looking for," Prado said. "Moving forward to everybody celebrating their success. Every one of the guys here. That's the way you're going to see it. Winning teams in baseball. The best teams in baseball, they act like that."
Marlins rookie Brian Ellington, who pitched the 11th, logged his first big league win. Miami has won four straight.
The game went back and forth, with Miami scoring three runs off Jacob deGrom in the fourth inning. But New York responded and claimed a 4-3 lead on Yoenis Cespedes' two-run homer off Mike Dunn in the seventh. It was Cespedes' 100th career blast, and 11th since being dealt to the Mets.
With two outs in the ninth, the Mets tied it off closer A.J. Ramos on Kelly Johnson's RBI single. But Miami was able to celebrate its seventh walk-off win of the season.
"That was a situation where you can't let that particular guy, Prado -- right down the first-base line -- you just don't want him to get something good to hit, because you have [Justin] Bour on deck," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You're starting to get a little thin down in the 'pen, so you think if we can get to Bour and face him with the slider, that's what we were trying to get to."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cespedes delivers: After jumping ahead in the count, 3-0, Cespedes launched a full-count 95-mph fastball from Dunn into the right-center-field seats to put the Mets up, 4-3. According to Statcast™, the ball landed a projected 410 feet from home plate and traveled at 106 mph. The blast, which followed marked Cespedes' third homer in his past 13 at-bats and 29th of the season. More >
B-Mo bears down:Bryan Morris gave the Marlins a tension-filled shutdown inning in the eighth. First, he was assisted by a terrific defensive play by Gordon at second to rob Juan Uribe. With two outs and no one on, the Mets loaded the bases when Morris hit Curtis Granderson with a pitch. David Wright had a 2-2 count when he bounced to third, and Prado simply touched the base to preserve Miami's one-run edge.
Two-out singles set stage: Johnson stepped to the plate in the top of the ninth with an opportunity to tie the game thanks to a couple of clutch two-out singles. After Cespedes and Michael Conforto went down to start the inning, d'Arnaud and Uribe notched back-to-back singles to set the stage. Johnson took advantage of his opportunity, knocking a single back up the middle to tie the contest at 5. It marked Johnson's second hit and RBI of the game.
"Yeah down three, came back. Down two more, came back," Collins said. "We're swinging the bats OK, we just have to make sure we get our pitching straightened out."
Five-hit fourth: deGrom entered the night 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA against the Marlins. So any big inning by Miami off the New York right-hander is a big deal. In the fourth, the Marlins started off with four straight hits, and had five hits in the frame. Prado doubled to open the inning, and Bour had an RBI single. J.T. Realmuto lifted a sacrifice fly and Miguel Rojas, starting at shortstop because Adeiny Hechavarria has a tight left hamstring, capped the scoring with an RBI single to left.
"This speaks to the character of the guys in the clubhouse. We have a very good clubhouse. We know we underperformed to start the year. But there are a lot of guys here who are going to be back next year. We've got to build some momentum and understand that early on, we didn't play the quality of baseball that we expected. But that doesn't mean we just give up on the season." -- Marlins starter Tom Koehler
"I feel like I threw the ball a little better than what I showed. There in the fourth inning, a lot of balls just found some holes, and that's part of the game." -- deGrom, on allowing three runs in the fourth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Marcell Ozuna, Miami's Opening Day center fielder, started in right field on Friday for the first time this season. The 24-year-old played right throughout his Minor League career, so he has plenty of experience there, just not at the big league level. He played right field just four times in 2014, and 36 times in '13. Ozuna was tested at his new position immediately, when Granderson drove a ball to the wall. Ozuna literally climbed and held onto the fencing to make the catch.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets:Bartolo Colon (12-11, 4.42 ERA) will try to build upon his streak of 16 scoreless innings on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. In his last start in Miami on Aug. 3, Colon went eight innings and allowed only one run as he earned a victory.
Marlins: In the second of three games at Marlins Park on Saturday, Brad Hand (4-4, 4.54 ERA) gets the start for Miami. He's 0-4 with a 3.50 ERA lifetime against New York.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.