Left-hander Adam Conley struck out a career-high nine over six innings, but the Marlins left nine runners on base and their attempt to sweep the three-game series from the Mets fell by the wayside in a 2-1 loss at Citi Field.
Mets starter Logan Verrett matched Conley by throwing six innings of shutout ball, yet the Marlins had plenty of opportunities against the right-hander. Conley failed to get down bunts with a runner on first in the third and fifth, second baseman Dee Gordon hit into his first-ever 3-6-3 double play in the third, and Martin Prado and Justin Bour struck out with two runners on in the fourth.
The Marlins loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh against right-hander Jim Henderson, but Hansel Robles struck out Miguel Rojas and pinch hitter Derek Dietrich before eventual winning pitcher Jerry Blevins retired Gordon on a fly to left.
The Mets broke the scoreless tie by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh and hung on to avoid being swept at home by the Marlins for the first time since 2009.
“Those are areas that we’ve got to be able to execute, because if you get two bunts down, you give yourself two chances to score,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “And obviously the seventh there is an inning that kind of flips the game.”
Mattingly was pleased the Marlins were able to steady themselves in New York — especially after going 1-3 during a herky-jerky first week in which they had one off day, one game delayed several hours by rain and another one postponed entirely — but acknowledged he would have preferred the sweep.
“One thing you want to do is win series after series — you know if you can do that all year long, you’re going to be right there or you’re going to win it,” Mattingly said. “But once you win the first two, it’s not really what you’re looking for. At that point, you’re looking to basically be able to throttle somebody. We had a chance, and we just didn’t get it done.”