MIAMI (AP) – David Wright‘s third hit of the game brought Jose Reyes home with the go-ahead run in the 10th, Willie Harris added a two-run single later in the inning, and the New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins 6-4 on Saturday night.
Mets manager Terry Collins grabbed the lineup card on his way out of the dugout, giving it a kiss after his first victory with his new club.
And it didn’t come easily, either.
Francisco Rodriguez (1-0) got the win despite blowing a save chance by giving up three hits and a walk in the ninth for New York. Blaine Boyer gave up an RBI single in the 10th to Brett Hayes but held on for his second career save, the other coming May 14, 2008.
Thole put the Mets up 3-2 with a two-out single in the ninth off Leo Nunez, and New York turned the game over to Rodriguez. K-Rod hadn’t pitched in a real game since Aug. 14.
The rust showed.
He gave up a walk and three hits, including Greg Dobbs‘ two-out single to center that brought John Buck home with the tying run. Rodriguez was banished for the last seven-plus weeks of the 2010 season after being charged with attacking his girlfriend’s father at the Mets’ ballpark.
But the Mets got him off the hook in the 10th against Ryan Webb (0-1), who faced three batters – all of whom scored.
Reyes led off with a single, his first hit in nine at-bats this season, went to second on Angel Pagan‘s bunt single, and scored easily on Wright’s single to center.
Wright could have likely been retired earlier in the at-bat, when Scott Cousins didn’t catch a fly ball the Mets’ third baseman lofted into deep foul ground down the right-field line. Had Cousins caught the ball, Reyes would have easily gone to third base with one out.
The gamble didn’t work. Wright delivered a single to center, clapping his hands forcefully after rounding first base. And Harris’ single later in the inning brought home Pagan and Wright.
The starters, Florida’s Ricky Nolasco and New York’s Jon Niese, each gave up two runs in seven innings.
Morrison’s two-run single in the first inning opened the scoring, the third hit the Marlins collected – Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez reached and scored – off Niese in the game’s first five batters.
Niese then retired 11 straight, and his team eventually rewarded him.
Wright’s homer, just his sixth in 214 at-bats in the Marlins’ ballpark, led off the fourth. Davis tied it in the sixth, his double to right-center rolling to the wall and bringing Carlos Beltran home to knot the game 2-2.
Meanwhile, the Marlins lost more than a game.
Florida third baseman Donnie Murphy left after getting hit by a pitch and bruising his right hand. Murphy beat Matt Dominguez out for the job in spring training – and Dominguez may miss up to two months after breaking his left elbow when he was hit by a pitch in a Triple-A game on Friday.
NOTES: Marlins CF Chris Coghlan robbed Davis of what almost certainly would have been extra bases by making a full-extension, diving grab of a sinking liner in the fourth. … Mets rookie 2B Brad Emaus got his first career hit, a ball that skipped away from Ramirez.