NEW YORK (AP) – Slumping rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit a winning single with two outs in the 12th inning, lifting the New York Mets to a 1-0 victory over the Florida Marlins on Sunday.
Dillon Gee and Tom Koehler took a pitchers’ duel into the eighth inning before the Marlins and Mets each used five relievers to finish off the fifth extra-inning matchup this season between the NL East’s worst teams.
D’Arnaud came through in a game of many missed opportunities after the two previous batters grounded into forceouts at the plate. New York had loaded the bases with no outs against Zach Phillip (0-1), making his third appearance for the Marlins.
Ryan Webb relieved after Lucas Duda walked to load the bases and got pinch-hitter Zach Lutz to ground to third base. Andrew Brown then grounded to first base, and the throw went home for the second out.
D’Arnaud, who singled in the 11th only to be stranded at third base, lined a soft single up the middle to give the Mets their fifth win in 16 home games. The young catcher has just five hits in his last 28 at-bats.
Vic Black (1-0) pitched a perfect 12th inning for his first career win.
Miami wasted chances early, going 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position in the first nine innings. Eric Young Jr. was the only Mets player to reach second base – a two-out double in the sixth – until they put a runner on third in the 11th. But Young was struck out by Chad Qualls to end the threat.
The Marlins have lost eight of 10.
The two offensively challenged teams matched the Cubs and Reds for most times reaching extras this season. The Mets’ and Marlins’ extras included 20 innings on June 8 and 15 on April 29.
Gee and Koehler had batters flummoxed into the eighth. Both mixed breaking balls that dipped into the 70s with a fastball that reached 90 mph for Gree and 94 mph for Koehler. The result: flailing bats, awkward checked swings and a whole lot of softly hit balls.
The Bronx-born Koehler was 0-4 with a 5.89 ERA in seven starts since beating the Mets since Aug. 1 with six scoreless innings.
Pitching in front of more than 40 friends and family from the area – he grew up in New Rochelle and played college ball at Stony Brook – he was impressive against a team that had scored just 12 runs in the first seven games of a homestand.
Gee sent a soft line drive over a ducking Koehler’s head with two outs in the third for the Mets only baserunner.
Koehler allowed three hits in a career best-matching eight innings. He struck out five without walking a batter – he had gone six straight starts giving up at least two walks.
Gee has been stingy when he has allowed runners on base. Batters were just 3 of 28 with runners in scoring position coming and the Marlins were worse: hitless in seven at-bats against the right-hander.
Gee gave up six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out eight, including four in a row between the second and third.
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