Marlins used the long ball in extra inning win over Mets

Rich Mancuso

New York Mets manager Terry Collins knew the Miami Marlins can score runs. And they look for the right pitch which has placed them as the second best run producing team in the National League. So, with the Mets holding a 5-1 lead going into the sixth inning at Citi Field Saturday evening, the Marlins did what they do best.

They scored five runs in the inning, their second biggest of the season and that paved the way to a 7-6 extra inning win on a wet evening in Flushing.  The major blow was a go- ahead 10th inning home run off the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He also hit a game tying home run the night before in a Mets win.

Up until that sixth inning, Jenrry Mejia was cruising along. Though, his command was not as dominant as his previous start against the Cardinals earlier in the week. Then, Mejia pitched six scoreless innings and struck out seven in the Mets 2-0 win.

But, the manager Terry Collins discounted any issues with Mejia handling a wet baseball. Towards the fifth inning a light rain fell at Citi Field. Mejia, as Collins said, could have asked for any number of dry baseballs. The rain was no factor in the Marlins big inning.

“Make no mistake these guys are second in the league in hitting,” commented Collins. “One thing we knew coming in, they can score runs so you got to make pitches….The rain did not bother him. His arm was in great shape. Just think he threw balls on the plate.”

And throwing balls on the plate, right in the zone to this young Marlins team, can be detrimental. During the off-season, Miami went with the youngsters and it has showed with the run production. They also have the National league leader in home runs and RBI, Giancarlo Stanton, who hit a two-run homer off Mejia in that sixth inning.

“These guys have a lot of fight in them. I wasn't worried that they were going to get down on themselves," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Definitely something to build off of tonight." They lost the first game of the three-game series Friday night with the rubber game Sunday afternoon

The home run hit by Saltalamacchia , a 2-2 pitch off Kyle Farnsworth, came off a railing above the left-center field fence. The umpires waved home run without a review. 

Said Farnsworth, inserted as the closer, or late game stopper last week, “It was supposed to be a fastball away, came over the middle. If I'm going to get beat, I'm going to get beat with my best pitch and he put a good swing on it, went opposite field."

Farnsworth, 0-1, got the loss. It was, though, one of those moments when you can’t throw something good to a hitter like Saltalamacchia. He won a world championship with the Boston Red Sox last season and signed as a free agent back in December.

"There wasn't any point we thought we were out of this game," Saltalamacchia said. "With our lineup, there's no doubt we're going to put up runs."

Bobby Abreu hit his first home run as a Met since his call-up from Triple-A Las Vegas, his first home run since 2012 when he was with the Dodgers. Lucas Duda also had a two-run single that gave New York three runs in the first inning.

“ Feels good man, a relief I’d say after one year off,” said Abreu about the ball that went to right off a 3-3 pitch from Miami starter Kevin Slowey. “Just trying to put good at bats.  In Vegas I worked on my approach, made me get back to my rhythm.”

Abreu was the tenth different Mets player to hit a home run this season. Overall, the team has hit 15. He also was in right-field when Mets reliever Carlos Torres, in for Mejia in the sixth, threw a changeup to Reed Johnson that went for a two run double. The ball went in the corner and he thought it would be foul, so did Torres.

It was that type of evening for the Mets. Overall, they have been playing good baseball, and again at shortstop saw some defensive gems. The other night it was Ruben Tejada, and in the second inning, Oamr Quintanilla made the first of two sparkling plays at short. But they could not build on that 5-1 lead and that was a concern for Collins.

His team blew their largest lead of the season. Mejia with six runs allowed, became the first starter to allow three or more in their past 11 starts, and that five run sixth were the most runs the Mets allowed this season in an inning.  

But for the Marlins, they feel this win will get them to winning more like they did against Mejia and the Mets.   

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