MIAMI (SportsDirect Inc.) — The last thing the Miami Marlins and New York Mets wanted after a 16-inning marathon in their series opener was another extra-inning affair and, thankfully for both sides, J.T. Realmuto was up to the task.
After coming through in the clutch in Miami’s latest win, Realmuto looks to maintain his impressive start to the season Saturday, when the Marlins continue their four-game home set against the Mets.
Miami’s regular catcher got most of the opener off – only appearing as a pinch-hitter in the 12th inning – and the extra rest may have benefited him with two outs in the ninth inning of Friday’s 3-2 victory, as he stroked a double to right-center field to plate the winning run.
Although that hit proved to be his only one in four at-bats, Realmuto is batting .382 with seven RBIs and has struck out just once in 34 at-bats.
Perhaps New York will get a similar contribution from one of its own rested sluggers Saturday after major-league home run leader Yoenis Cespedes (flu) sat for most of Friday’s loss, while Neil Walker and Travis d’Arnaud were given the night off.
New York leads the majors with 21 homers and extended its streak with at least one to 10 games Friday as Lucas Duda went deep.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, WPIX (New York), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Adam Conley (1-1, 3.00)
After surrendering a pair of first-inning runs on Monday, deGrom settled for a no-decision in Philadelphia despite blanking the Phillies over his final five frames. The Stetson product, who hasn’t given up a homer in his last three turns dating back to last year, also worked six innings in his season debut against Atlanta on April 5 – allowing only three baserunners while striking out six. The 28-year-old deGrom went 1-2 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts versus the Marlins last campaign and is 4-3 with a 3.56 ERA against them in 10 career outings.
Conley, who originally was slated to start Friday, squares off versus the Mets two days after taking the loss against them in relief as he served up d’Arnaud’s walk-off solo blast in the 16th. The 26-year-old also made his season debut against New York on April 8, getting the win after yielding only Duda’s solo shot and three walks over five innings. Conley has faced the Mets more than any other team in his brief career, going 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in seven appearances (five starts).
1. The Mets, who have belted 17 home runs over their last six contests, have hit 15 of their 21 homers in their five road games.
2. Miami 2B Dee Gordon went 3-for-5 on Friday to lift his career batting average against New York to .340, the best mark for any active player versus the Mets (minimum 150 at-bats).
3. New York MGR Terry Collins announced Friday that d’Arnaud would not start again until Sunday after catching all 16 innings in the opener.
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