|Published:||Sep 21, 2012 10:06 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 22, 2012 6:31 AM EDT|
NEW YORK (AP) - In the first two innings at Citi Field on Friday night, a team missed a popup and a fly ball, botched a grounder and threw a run-scoring wild pitch.
In a surprise, the guilty club was the Miami Marlins, not the New York Mets.
The Mets managed to avoid falling into last place in the NL East, beating the cellar-dwelling Marlins 7-3 as Scott Hairston hit a two-run homer and RBI triple.
New York, which also got a solo homer from Ike Davis, had lost nine straight at home since beating Houston on Aug. 26. The Mets won for only the fifth time in their last 30 games at Citi Field and ended a team-record streak of 16 home games without scoring more than three runs.
Former Met Jose Reyes had a triple crown of fielding foibles at shortstop for the Marlins, misplaying a popup, blowing a double play on a line drive and making a throwing error on a grounder. Miami manager Ozzie Guillen dropped his face into his hand when Reyes caught Davis' fifth-inning line drive, then failed to realize he could have doubled up Daniel Murphy at second base.
Miami's abysmal performance also included a dropped third strike and Justin Ruggiano's failed attempt at a diving catch on Hairston's triple that led to the left fielder leaving with a sprained right shoulder. If not for generous scoring, six of the Mets' runs could have been unearned.
The Mets also took out their left fielder early. Collins pulled Lucas Duda after two innings in what the team curiously said was "manager's decision."
Jonathon Niese (12-9) allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings as New York won for just the second time in 12 games overall. Jacob Turner (1-3) gave up six runs - three earned - and eight hits in five innings.
Murphy singled with one out in the first and stole second, and Ike Davis' hard two-out grounder went past second baseman Donovan Solano for an RBI single, a play at first ruled an error by official scorer Howie Karpin.
Hairston followed with his career-best 18th home run, a drive into the left-field seats that was the Mets' first extra-base hit in the first three innings at Citi Field since Aug. 22, according to STATS LLC. Duda followed with a popup into short left field that Reyes called for but allowed to drop for a single.
It got worse in the second. Josh Thole hit a routine fly to left that Ruggiano allowed to sail over him for a double. Niese grounded to Reyes, whose throw to third bounced for an error as Gil Velasquez tagged Thole too late. Fred Lewis' comebacker was turned into a 1-2-5-3 out as Thole got caught in a rundown. Turner then threw a wild pitch, giving the Mets four runs at home for the first time since Aug. 12. Murphy followed with a sacrifice fly.
New York gave back a run in the third when Velazquez hit a pop to right that Mike Baxter allowed to fall for a single, and Solano had an RBI single with two outs.
Murphy reached on Rob Brantly's passed ball on a strikeout leading off the fifth, and Hairston followed with his triple into the left-field corner past the diving Ruggiano. The Marlins closed to 6-3 in the sixth on Solano's RBI double and Austin Kearns' run-scoring single. Davis homered off Wade LeBlanc in the seventh, his 28th.
NOTES: A day after the Mets drew a record-low crowd of 20,010 to Citi Field, attendance was 25,446. ... Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton missed his third straight game because of a strained muscle in his side. Guillen said Stanton also won't play Saturday afternoon. "He's not a Spider-Man to be ready tomorrow," Guillen said.