So make it now all five games of the 2013 season that the Mets starter has turned in a solid performance. But after the bullpen faltered again against the Marlins on Saturday, the bats picked up the slack and the Mets ended their brief two-game skid.
The Marlins jumped out on top in the first. Juan Pierre led off the game against Jonathon Niese with a single. He advanced to third on a ground out and a fly out, and scored on a Greg Dobbs single.
The Mets got the run right back in the bottom of the first. The Mets loaded the bases with a Mike Baxter walk and singles by David Wright and Ike Davis. John Buck hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at one.
It stayed that way until the fifth. With two on and one out, Dobbs hit a double play ball to Daniel Murphy. He flipped to Ruben Tejada for the second out, but Tejada’s relay throw was in the dirt. Davis could not scoop it out and a run scored to make it 2-1 Marlins. It was Tejada’s fourth error of the season.
The Mets took the lead in the sixth. Wright singled, and Terry Collins put on the hit and run with Davis up. Davis came through with a single to put runners on first and third. Then it was Buck again, doubling down the third base line that scored two, to give the Mets their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2.
Niese was done after six innings and 100 pitches. He allowed two runs (one earned), striking out five and walking two.
But Niese did not get his second win of the season, thanks to the already beleaguered Mets bullpen. Juan Pierre led off the seventh with a single off Scott Atchison, and with one out Giancarlo Stanton hit a bouncer back to him. It could have been a double play but Atchison appeared to not have a good grip on the ball. He went to first instead and got the out there. Atchison then left the game, shaking his head, perhaps because he could not turn the inning ending double play. Josh Edgin came on to face the sudden Mets-killer Dobbs. He singled to right to score Pierre to tie the game at three. The inning ended on a strange play — after Pierre crossed the plate, he ran into Buck, who was fielding the errant throw home from Baxter far away from home. Pierre was called for interference, but his run still counted.
But the bats came through the in the bottom of the seventh to regain the lead. Baxter walked with one out, stole second and advanced to third when the throw from the catcher ended up in the outfield. Daniel Murphy then tripled into the gap in right-center to give the Mets the lead, 4-3. Wright followed with his third single of the game to plate Murphy and make it 5-3. Wright stole second and in a repeat of Baxter’s stolen base, the ball ended up in the outfield and Wright landed at third. Davis was walked intentionally and Buck once again hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3. Buck had four RBIs on the day and already has nine for the season.
Collin Cowgill added a solo homer in the eighth to make it 7-3. It was his second home run on the season.
The homer took away a save opportunity for Bobby Parnell, but he closed out the game anyway with a perfect ninth.
Mets win 7-3.