Updated at 12:26 a.m., April 6, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — When Mike Redmond was leaving his office in the visitors’ clubhouse in Washington on Thursday, he ditched the unopened bottle of champagne that was reserved for celebrating his first win as a major league manager.
Pfft, he thought. Too much pressure.
The three bottles of bubbly he opened at Citi Field on Friday night, though, did the trick just fine.
Redmond toasted with his coaches and owner Jeffrey Loria after the Miami Marlins finally broke out the bats and rode an impressive performance by Alex Sanabia to a 7-5 victory over the New York Mets.
“Pretty cool, obviously,” Redmond said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and it wasn’t.”
Redmond could’ve been referring to the three losses against Washington that left the Marlins as the only team without a win, or how Miami kept letting New York get close after building a 6-0 lead in the seventh.
“No easy wins in the big leagues,” he said. “But for the first one, I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Sanabia (1-0) had been absent from the majors since late in the 2011 season. He pitched six shutout innings, working around six hits, three walks and a hit batter.
Sanabia pitched in the majors for the first time since Sept. 24, 2011, and earned his first win since Sept. 22, 2010, against the Mets. He spent last year in Triple-A and was headed back this season before Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez were injured.
“It felt awesome to be back out there on a big league mound. It’s been a while,” Sanabia said.
Miami took advantage of shortstop Ruben Tejada’s error to score five runs in the seventh. The Mets rallied and brought the tying run to the plate a couple of times, but couldn’t catch the Marlins in a tricky, swirling wind.
“We’ve become so accustomed to him making all the plays that it’s shocking when he doesn’t,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Greg Dobbs’ homer off Jeremy Hefner (0-1) leading off the second gave the Marlins their first lead of 2013 — and only their second run overall. Miami went 19 consecutive innings to start the year without scoring before Justin Ruggiano homered at Washington on Thursday.
The Marlins were 1 for 20 with runners in scoring position this season before Placido Polanco’s two-run single during the big seventh off Greg Burke. Dobbs added a sacrifice fly and Ruggiano and Rob Brantly hit consecutive RBI doubles for Miami in the inning.
“The bats finally came out a little bit tonight,” Ruggiano said. “We’re going to score runs. We’re going to manufacture runs.”
Miami’s bullpen didn’t make it easy on Redmond, though. Chad Qualls gave up a three-run homer to Daniel Murphy in the bottom of the seventh.
Murphy came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth against A.J. Ramos but grounded out to second base.
Then, with Miami ahead 7-3 in the ninth, Steve Cishek gave up an RBI double to pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a run-scoring single to Lucas Duda with one out before finishing off the win.
Redmond was hired after Ozzie Guillen was let go following a disappointing 69-93 season. Redmond, a member of the Marlins’ World Series championship team in 2003, took over a club that lost the likes of Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson since opening day last year.
After the win, he waited on the field until his family could get down to him for some hugs.
“For them to be here and see how much it means to me, it was pretty neat,” Redmond said.
The young Marlins looked overmatched during a season-opening series in Washington. To make matters worse, first baseman Casey Kotchman was injured and placed on the disabled list Friday. Redmond had four players with little experience at the position during a workout before batting practice — the four shared three gloves while fielding grounders.
Dobbs got the start at first and made several nice plays.
Hefner was tabbed for the Mets’ rotation after Johan Santana was unable to pitch in spring training. Santana then had a second shoulder surgery in 31 months and will miss the entire season. Hefner yielded five hits and a run in six innings, using a mixture of speeds and pitches.
“We’re a resilient bunch and we’re not ever going to give up,” he said. “I was just hoping to keep them close and we did come back, but we just didn’t have enough outs.”
NOTES: Redmond, making his first trip to Citi Field, said he missed the Mets’ old ballpark. “I miss the smell of old Shea Stadium,” he said, politely calling it “stale.” … Duda misjudged Brantly’s fly ball to left field in the fourth. Duda took a step in and to the side before racing back. By then the ball was way out of his reach and Brantly had a double. … Miami recalled C Kyle Skipworth, the No. 6 overall draft pick in 2008 and one behind reigning NL MVP Buster Posey, from Triple-A New Orleans when Kotchman went on the DL.
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