Drama In 9th Turns Into Disaster In 10th For Mets
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NEW YORK (AP) — After squandering a two-run lead on one sudden swing, it took the Florida Marlins just a few minutes to bounce right back.
Mike Stanton hit a grand slam in the 10th inning and Florida quickly recovered from Lucas Duda’s tying homer with two outs in the ninth to beat the New York Mets 7-3 Monday night.
“It is deflating a little bit, but you’ve got to give our guys credit the way they rebounded and came up with four straight hits,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said. “They didn’t give up and say, ‘Oh, tough luck.’ We went right after them.”
Mets nemesis Gaby Sanchez drove in two runs and singled to start the decisive rally. Stanton threw out Jose Reyes at the plate in the fifth, and Florida got seven strong innings from starter Javier Vazquez.
In the 10th, the Marlins took advantage of a mistake by first baseman Daniel Murphy.
Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez singled with one out off Jason Isringhausen (2-1). Dewayne Wise followed with a single and went tearing toward second base, not realizing the runners had held up in front of him.
Murphy cut off the throw from right field and had Wise hung up between first and second. But the first baseman got preoccupied with the runner at third and flipped too late to second baseman Justin Turner covering first as Wise scrambled safely back to the bag.
“I was trying to make sure the run didn’t score and I got caught in no man’s land,” Murphy said. “It changed the whole inning. It was a bad play on my part. I’ve got to get it in somebody else’s hands.”
The 21-year-old Stanton worked a full count against Isringhausen and hit a screaming shot to left for his second career slam and first this season. It was his 25th home run of the year.
“The guy’s a good hitter,” Mets starter Mike Pelfrey said. “I think Major League Baseball might want to find a way to get him out of the game, because he’s going to hurt somebody.”
Duda hit a two-run homer off closer Leo Nunez in the bottom of the ninth, snapping an 0-for-14 skid.
It was the second day in a row that the Mets tied the game on a home run with two outs in the ninth. Scott Hairston came through Sunday in Washington, but the Nationals pushed across a run in the bottom half to win 3-2.
“You’d like to at least win one of them, hopefully two, when you get that type of comeback and that momentum,” said Jason Bay, who homered for New York in the fourth. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.”
Nunez (1-2) got out of the inning and Burke Badenhop pitched a perfect 10th, handing the Mets their third straight loss following a five-game winning streak.
New York played its first home game since trading All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran last week. Third baseman David Wright, who came off the disabled list July 22, was playing at Citi Field for the first time since May 8.
Vazquez pitched seven sharp innings for the second consecutive outing, continuing his run of solid starts. He was in line for the win until New York fought back in the ninth against Nunez.
Angel Pagan got away with some foolish baserunning when he slid headfirst into second with a one-out double, barely beating the throw. Stanton was slow to field the ball on what appeared to be a routine single, but with the Mets down by two, the wise choice for Pagan would have been to hold at first.
“I was pretty upset over that,” Stanton said. “I just told myself, I’m going to have a chance to redeem it, and this next inning just make the best of it.”
Bay grounded out before Duda drove a 1-1 pitch to center for his third home run, sending the crowd of 28,862 into a boisterous frenzy. Fans chanted Duda’s name and he peeked out of the dugout for a quick curtain call.
“Pretty cool,” Duda said.
It was Nunez’s fourth blown save in 34 chances.
“All the action happened in the last couple of innings,” McKeon said.
Sanchez went 2 for 3 with a walk, giving him a .390 career average against the Mets, the highest of any opposing player with at least 100 at-bats, according to STATS LLC.
Pelfrey, coming off a complete game at Cincinnati, threw 119 pitches over six innings and is 0-7 in 15 starts against the Marlins since beating them in his major league debut.
NOTES: Omar Infante got two of his three hits off Pelfrey, making him 15 for 26 (.577) against the right-hander. … Marlins CF Mike Cameron was rested. … Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game that Murphy will get a day off Tuesday against rookie LHP Brad Hand. Hairston is likely to start in the outfield. Hairston came off the bench Sunday in Washington and homered twice. … New York began a stretch with 20 of 29 games at home. … Wright went hitless for the first time in 11 games since coming off the DL. … The Mets opened a 10-game homestand, their longest of the season, after a 6-4 road trip. New York is 0-9 in the first game of a homestand. … Reyes made a sensational play at shortstop to rob Emilio Bonifacio of a hit. … In honor of Wright’s return, the Mets are offering $5 seats in left field for this series.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)