NEW YORK – It may still be early in the 2015 season but it is evident these aren't the same New York Mets of years past. No other game proves this more true than the Mets hard fought 7-5 win over the Miami Marlins Thursday night.
Dillon Gee started on the mound for the Mets and for the second night in a row the Mets fell behind early in the 1st inning, this time being on a Giancarlo Stanton two-run home run. This home run gave Stanton the most home runs by a player in Marlins' history and gave Miami a 2-0 lead.
Gee answered by retiring the next eight batters he faced before giving up another home run to Martin Prado. The Marlins had a 3-0 lead after 4 innings.
Miami's starting pitcher Jarred Cosart seemed to stymie Mets' hitters early in the game but ran into some trouble when the Mets led off the bottom of the 5th with back to back singles by Eric Campbell and Juan Lagares, bringing young shortstop Wilmer Flores to the plate.
Flores, before this at-bat, was 4-for-26 on the season and in a 1-for-8 slump. But as much as baseball is a game of numbers, it can also be a game of surprises. Flores took Cosart deep with a three-run homer tying the ballgame 3-3.
The Marlins retook the lead in the top of the 6th inning as they loaded the bases with two outs off of Gee and then Marcell Ozuna worked a bases loaded walk issued by Rafael Montero. A tough spot for young Montero but he settled down enough to get J.T. Realmuto out and limiting the damage to only one run.
The Mets once again showed resilience as Michael Cuddyer took a two-strike pitch up the middle, plating Lucas Duda and tying this game back up 4-4. A couple batters later Eric Campbell worked a full count after falling behind 0-2 and hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Cuddyer from third base, giving the Mets their first lead of the game.
In the top of the 7th inning 42 year old Ichiro Suzuki hit a triple that put the tying run on base for Miami. Dee Gordon then hit a ground ball to second baseman Daniel Murphy whose throw was off-line to the catcher Travis d'Arnaud but because Ichiro had stopped thinking he would be in a run down, d'Arnaud had a chance to tag him out.
Ichiro was called out by the home plate umpire and Marlins' manager Mike Redmond was quick to challenge the call. After an almost six minute review Ichiro was called safe on the play and this game was once again tied.
Though, it didn't stay that way for long.
Red-hot Lucas Duda came up to bat in the bottom of 7th with two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd and delivered a flaring line-drive to center field that scored John Mayberry Jr. putting the Mets ahead for good. Michael Cuddyer followed with his second RBI of the night on an infield single that gave New York the 7-5 win.
Dillon Gee went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on five hits while striking out seven. The Mets' bullpen continued to shine as Rafael Montero, Jerry Blevins, Carlos Torres, and Jeurys Familia combined for 3.1 innings giving up no earned runs and only two hits.
Mets are now on a five-game win streak for the first time since late May of 2013 and have sole possession of the National League East division for the first time since 2012.
The New York Mets (7-3) will continue their four game series with the Miami Marlins (3-7) tomorrow night as Bartolo Colon (2-0 2.77 ERA) will pitch for the Mets against David Phelps (0-0 36.00 ERA) for the 'Fish.
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W: Blevins (1-0 0.00 ERA) L: Dunn, M (0-1 5.40 ERA)
MIA HR: Prado (1) Stanton (1)
NYM HR: Flores (1)