NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey may have made an early exit on Monday, but the Mets' bats heated up throughout the day, and after Yoenis Cespedes' two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning, New York completed a 8-6 comeback victory over the Marlins.
"Yo did what he's supposed to do in big situations," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He came through with a big hit."
Cespedes laced a 97 mph Fernando Rodney fastball into the gap in right field, and the Fourth of July crowd at Citi Field had plenty to celebrate. The rally was important in the National League East standings, as the Mets are now a 2 1/2 games in front of the Marlins, who were primed to pulled within a half-game.
The Mets will look to win their sixth straight on Tuesday night with Jose Reyes in the lineup, as the team announced he would be activated before the game. He's expected to bat leadoff and play third.
"After Travis hit the home run, there was a lot of noise in the dugout," Collins said. "Just peck away here, and we did peck away and get back in the game."
New York kept plugging away against Miami's bullpen, and Wilmer Flores' sacrifice fly off David Phelps knotted the game in the seventh.
Rodney, acquired from the Padres last Thursday, entered the day having allowed just two runs (one earned) in 32 2/3 innings, and his ERA was 0.29, the best among MLB qualifying relievers. But Cespedes came through with the big hit.
"I know some day it's going to happen," Rodney said. "That day happened today. You just get ready and keep focused for tomorrow."
For Harvey, it was his second straight start that lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs, five earned. In his previous start, a loss at Washington on June 28, he was replaced early due to a rain delay.
On Monday, Harvey's troubles stemmed largely from a replay overturn that gave the Marlins new life in a three-run second inning when Chris Johnson was ruled safe at second. And in the fourth inning, Harvey's throwing error, on what should have been an inning-ending double play, cleared the way for three more Miami runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crawling back: After Harvey's quick exit, the Mets gradually worked their way back. By the start of the seventh, they had trimmed their deficit from six runs to two. Neil Walker led off the frame with a walk, and scored on a grounder off the bat of James Loney after moving to second a double from Cespedes. Cespedes later tagged up to score on a sac fly from Wilmer Flores to tie the game. More >
Realmuto's streak of hits:J.T. Realmuto is stringing together an impressive number of at-bats, and he's being rewarded with hits. The Marlins' catcher, hitting leadoff, had singles in each of his first four at-bats on Monday. Counting the three consecutive hits he had on Sunday against the Braves at Fort Bragg, Realmuto had a stretch of seven hits in a row. The club record is eight, done four times in franchise history. Yelich was the last to do so, on Oct. 3, 2015 in a double-header at Philadelphia. In his last plate appearance, Realmuto walked, so his streak is still alive. More >
"When you're feeling good, that's how it goes," Realmuto said. "When you're not, you start swinging at ones you shouldn't. That's part of the up-and-down cycle of this game."
Fatal fourth frame: The fourth inning proved to be Harvey's undoing. The Marlins recorded three singles in four batters to start the inning and load the bases, but Harvey had a chance to end the frame on a comeback grounder. He fired to home, starting what could've been a double play, but his inaccurate throw got away from d'Arnaud and allowed a runner to score. The next batter, Yelich, then singled in two more runs to knock Harvey from the game. More >
"[Harvey]'s command wasn't good, a lot of balls in the middle of the plate, couldn't make his pitch, didn't have the late life that we normally see," Collins said. "There is some concern, yeah."
"It's part of baseball. You go through a lot of ups and downs," Harvey said. "Unfortunately, this year has been more downs than there are ups. There's still a long way to go, and a lot more starts more left. Going to go back to the drawing board."
Marlins' botched bunt: After allowing a six-run lead to disappear, the Marlins were in business to reclaim the lead in the eighth inning. Ichiro Suzuki started things off with a double and Realmuto, who was attempting to bunt, walked. Martin Prado attempted to sacrifice, but bunted into a 3-5-4 double play, and the Marlins were unable to push across the go-ahead run.
"We needed to score that run," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "[Hansel Robles] is a tough reliever. I wish I had gotten it down. He's a tough guy to bunt against. I wasn't surprised Martin had a tough time as well."
"This was the bullpens' game to lose and we lost it. None of us did our job. We just have to come back better tomorrow, ready to go. This was for myself, especially pathetic." -- Marlins reliever KyleBarraclough after giving up two runs on three hits and a walk in the sixth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his pinch-hit double in the seventh inning, Ichiro now has 2,990 career hits. The 42-year-old is now 10 hits shy of becoming the 30th player in MLB history to reach 3,000.
The Marlins benefited on a crucial overturned call in the second inning at second base. After Johnson's two-out RBI single scored Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami first baseman attempted to advance to second base. The Mets made a play, and Johnson was called out, which would have ended the inning with Miami ahead, 1-0. The play was overturned after a one-minute, 22-second review. Given new life in the inning, Marlins tacked on two more runs.
Replay again worked in Miami's favor in the eighth inning on Juan Lagares' sacrifice bunt. Initially, it was ruled that Lagares, who executed the bunt, was safe at first, claiming Derek Dietrich didn't handle Prado's throw from third. But after a review of three minutes, 50 seconds, the call was overturned.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins:Wei-Yin Chen (4-3, 5.11) will make his 17th start of the season, and first against the Mets on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. The lefty is 3-2 (4.61) in road games.
Mets:Steven Matz (7-3, 3.40 ERA) takes the hill for the Mets. Matz, who has been pitching through a bone spur in his throwing elbow, had the worst start of his career against the Marlins on April 11. He'll look for revenge after allowing seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings nearly three months ago.