Marlins Get To Francisco In 9th, Mets’ Win Streak Over At 5
MIAMI (AP) — With a cluster of teammates charging toward him to celebrate the Miami Marlins’ latest win, Greg Dobbs made a veteran move and flipped his batting helmet aside.
“That was so my head didn’t get pounded and I’d have concussion syndrome tomorrow,” he said.
Dobbs instead took a playful pummeling from the neck down, and he emerged from the mob scene Friday uninjured and grinning. His two-out single in the ninth inning scored Emilio Bonifacio from second base with the winning run, and the Marlins rallied to end the New York Mets’ five-game winning streak with a 6-5 victory.
The Marlins scored twice in the ninth off Frank Francisco to win for the ninth time in 10 games. They were coming off an 8-1 trip, the best in franchise history.
Over the past 10 games, the Marlins have scored the decisive run in their final at-bat four times.
“Would you want it any other way?” said Mark Buehrle, who allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings. “We’d definitely like to win some games so it’s not so stressful on everybody. But we’re coming out ahead, so no matter.”
The Mets overcame an early 3-0 deficit. They entered the ninth leading 5-4 and on the verge of their fourth consecutive comeback win.
“We have to put that game away,” manager Terry Collins said.
Instead, Giancarlo Stanton led off with a double against Francisco (1-2), then took third on a flyout and scored on a single by Bonifacio.
Bonifacio stole second to improve to 17 for 17 this season, the best such start in franchise history. After John Buck struck out, Dobbs lined the first pitch from Francisco for a single, and Bonifacio scored without a play.
When Dobbs delivered the walkoff hit, his first since 2005, the crowd of 31,007 filled the Marlins’ new ballpark with gleeful noise.
“It was very loud and very fun,” he said. “There’s nothing to describe that kind of feeling — with the swing of a bat and a little bloop hit, to bring 31,000 people to their feet and make them scream and clap, you feel the love and the happiness in the building. It’s special.”
Francisco blew his second save in 10 chances, and his ERA rose to 6.59. He said Dobbs hit a good pitch.
“You only can control where you throw the ball. You can’t control the results,” Francisco said. “I jammed him, but it ended up in a bad spot.”
The Mets struggled at the start, too. Johan Santana gave up a two-run homer to Austin Kearns and trailed 3-0 after one-third of an inning.
“Just one mistake, and everything changed,” Santana said.
“We are certainly not used to somebody jumping on Johan like that,” Collins said.
Omar Infante — batting second for the first time this season — drove in two runs and had three hits for Miami.
Marlins newcomer Heath Bell (1-3), who lost his job as Miami’s closer after blowing four saves, pitched a perfect ninth and lowered his ERA to 9.28. Before the game, manager Ozzie Guillen said he would give Bell another try soon in the closer’s role.
“It means a lot to me to get my first win as a Marlin,” Bell said. “I kind of stunk it up on the road trip.”
Jose Reyes led off Miami’s first with a catchable triple over the head of center fielder Andres Torres. Infante followed with an RBI single, and Kearns pulled a 3-2 pitch to activate the animated home-run sculpture.
Reyes’ hit meant a milestone for New York. The game was the 8,000th in Mets’ history, and they’ve never thrown a no-hitter — baseball’s longest such streak.
The Mets trailed 3-2 before scoring three times in the eighth. David Wright led off the inning with his third hit, a double against Edward Mujica. Pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis tied the score with a one-out double, and after consecutive walks loaded the bases, pinch hitter Mike Baxter hit a two-run double off Ryan Webb.
Baxter improved to 6 for 15 (.400) as a pinch hitter.
Ike Davis hit his fifth homer in the fifth for the Mets, and Mike Nickeas doubled home a run in the seventh.
Miami scored an unearned run in the eighth after an error by first baseman Davis.
Notes: The grounds crew at the ballpark continues to struggle with the badly worn grass in deep center and right field. Workers are experimenting with ways to improve the condition of the turf, which has gotten little sun because of rainy weather and the retractable roof. … With the temperature 82 at game time, the roof was closed. … Santana made a sprawling catch of Buehrle’s bunt in the fifth. … Miami’s Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 3 facing Santana. He’s 3 for 26 (.115) against left-hander with 10 strikeouts.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)