Marlins Close Out Met Series With 8-4 Win
MIAMI (AP)- Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-out grand slam to cap a ninth-inning rally by the Miami Marlins, who beat an angry Frank Francisco and the New York Mets 8-4 Sunday.
The walk-off victory was the second in the three-game series for the Marlins, who have won 10 of their past 12 games.
The Marlins trailed 4-2 when Emilio Bonifacio led off the ninth with his second triple of the game against Francisco (1-3). John Buck walked and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs followed with an RBI single.
Francisco was then replaced, and he walked slowly toward plate umpire Todd Tichenor, hollering angrily. Manager Terry Collins stepped between Tichenor and Francisco, who waved his index finger and then his cap at the ump before finally heading to the dugout.
Francisco’s ERA rose to 8.56. He blew a save in the series opener Friday night.
Manny Acosta replaced Francisco, and Jose Reyes’ sacrifice fly made the score 4-all. After a popup, Hanley Ramirez walked on a 3-2 pitch and Austin Kearns was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Stanton then hit the first pitch way over the left-center wall near the animated home run sculpture for his seventh homer, and sixth this month. He took a long look at the drive and tossed his bat aside as he began his trot around the bases.
Struggling reliever Heath Bell (2-3) earned the victory even though he gave up two runs in the top of the ninth and drew scattered boos when the inning ended.
Mets pinch-hitter Justin Turner broke a 2-all tie with a two-out, two-run double in the ninth off Bell, whose ERA rose to 10.03. Turner’s hit came after a double by Daniel Murphy and a walk to Ronny Cedeno.
It was the second time in 2 1/2 weeks that Turner came off the bench and got the best of Bell in a crucial situation. Last month at Citi Field, Turner drew a bases-loaded walk in a sensational 13-pitch at-bat to tie the score in the ninth inning. New York went on to beat Bell and the Marlins 3-2 for a three-game sweep.
Mets starter Jonathon Niese pitched six innings and departed for a pinch-hitter with a 2-0 lead, but it lasted for only two batters when Ramon Ramirez replaced him. Bonifacio led off the seventh with a stand-up triple, and Buck followed with his fourth homer.
Buck hiked his average to .200 and made amends for a passed ball that led to the Mets’ unearned run in the fourth.
New York’s David Wright went 1 for 3 and finished the series 8 for 14, which left his NL-leading average at 400. He also made three nifty plays at third base, including a reflex grab to rob Hanley Ramirez of a hit.
Carlos Zambrano pitched seven innings and limited the Mets to two runs, one earned, which lowered his ERA to 1.88.
Niese stranded four runners in scoring position and benefited from two double plays, but he remained winless in his past five starts.
The Mets ended Zambrano’s 19-inning scoreless streak in the fourth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off with an infield single, Wright also singled and a passed ball put runners at second and third. Lucas Duda’s groundout scored the first run, and Murphy singled to drive in an unearned run.
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