Did you need another reason to hate the Mets? How about Jose Reyes having a triumphant return to Marlins Park? The ex-Marlin Reyes proved himself a pesky thorn in his first game in Marlins Park since being traded in 2012, tallying three hits, stealing a base, driving in a run and scoring twice as the Mets downed the Marlins 5-3 tonight. The Marlins kept it close until the latter innings, but the difference in the ballgame proved to be the Mets ability to get to the Marlins set up men.
Yoenis Cespedes tagged Adam Conley early, hittinng a sac fly to drive in Jose Reyes and give the Mets an early 1-0 lead in the first. The Mets would score again in the fourth after Reyes singled to score Travis D'Arnaud.
The Marlins tied things up in the sixth and simultaneously ended Logan Verrett's night, when Christian Yelich hit a two run shot that plated J.T. Realmuto (who had gotten on board earlier via a ringing double to center).
Both starting pitchers ended up with similar lines tonight: Verrett checked out with five and third's innings pitched, two earned runs on four hits, one walk and three punch outs, while Conley ended up with a respectable six innings pitched, giving up two earned runs on six hits, one walk and striking out three as well.
The Mets would pull away starting in the seventh due to David Phelps ineffectiveness. After Phelps had relieved Conley, Reyes singled, Curtis Granderson singled, and Cespedes figured into things once again with his second sac fly of the night to plate Reyes and put the Mets ahead 3-2. Kyle Barraclough would come in after Phelps walked Wilmer Flores and proceed to punch out Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera to end the threat.
Bear Klaw would get through the eighth relatively unscathed, giving up a scant walk, but the third head of the late inning set up hydra, Fernando Rodney, let the game slip away from the Fish. Things started out well enough as he struck out Reyes and induced a Grandyman ground out, but then he hit Cespedes with a pitch and allowed James Loney, he of single digit homeruns in five of his last sixth seasons, to park one in right field and give the Mets a decisive 5-2 advantage.
The Fish would make it interesting in the ninth off of Mets closer Jeurys Familia. Yelich continued his hot hitting by leading off with a double to deep left field. Giancarlo Stanton would strike out, but then Marcell Ozuna would walk, but then Derek Dietrich would strike out, BUT THEN Martin Prado pinch hit for Chris Johnson and delivered a clutch single to right field which easily scored Yelich and brought the Marlins to within two at 5-3. Familia would halt the comeback right there however as he was able to induce an Adeiny Hechavarria ground out to end the game.
Ichiro! did pinch hit in the eight inning, but struck out against Addison Reed. He remains at 2,996 hits.
The Marlins fall to 52-44 while the Mets move up to 51-44, keeping things exceedingly tight in a mid-summer playoff race.
Strong pitching matchup in the middle game of the series tomorrow as Jacob deGrom will face off against magic in Miami man Jose Fernandez, 7:10 ET start.
Hero of the game: Jose Reyes (.279)
Flounder of the game: David Phelps (-.241)
Play of the game: Christian Yelich two run shot in the sixth (.237)