Maybe September won’t be as bad as August. The Mets staged a big ninth inning comeback Saturday night, showing some fight to beat the Marlins in Miami.
The Marlins got on the board in the third inning against Jeremy Hefner when Bryan Peterson doubled to plate a run.
The Mets tied things up in the fourth — Mike Baxter doubled to lead off the inning, the first Met hit of the game against Josh Johnson. He moved to third on a ground out and scored on a grounder by Josh Thole. It was the first RBI for the slumping Thole since August 9. Thole also got a hit in the eighth inning, ending an o-31 skid.
With one out in the sixth Jose Reyes singled. Carlos Lee followed with a single of his own to move Reyes to third. Mike Stanton hit a squib up the first base line. Ike Davis fielded it, but with Reyes’s speed there was no time for a play at home as the Marlins took the lead. But Hefner hesitated covering first, and when he got there he couldn’t find the bag and Stanton was safe. Hefner was able to pitch his way out of it to keep it a 2-1 game.
Hefner was removed after the sixth, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out four Marlins and walked one. It was his second straight solid start with a no-decision.
Reyes scored again in the eighth to extend the Marlins lead to 3-1.
Daniel Murphy led off the ninth against Marlins closer Steve Cishek with a single. David Wright also singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. Davis was up next, and he inexplicably tried to sacrifice bunt on the first pitch. Davis, who has never sacrificed in his career, missed for a strike. He then went on to strike out for the first out. Whether Terry Collins ordered the bunt or if Davis missed a sign, it clearly messed him up for the rest of the at bat. But Lucas Duda came through with a single up the middle to drive in Murphy to make it 3-2 and put runners on first and third with one out. Baxter then fouled out to Reyes in shallow left for the second out. Wright, knowing Reyes’s arm, did not try to tag up to score the tying run. That brought up Andres Torres. A 2-2 pitch that should have ended the game was somehow called a ball, and Torres went on to walk to load the bases. So it was up to Kelly Shoppach. He singled up the middle, but center fielder Justin Ruggiano, charging the ball in an effort to try to cut down the tie-breaking run at home, let it get past him. That cleared the bases and the Mets suddenly had a 5-3 lead.
Frank Francisco closed it out for his 23rd save as the Mets win a good one, 5-3. Give an assist to the home plate umpire on that blown strike call.