Vazquez shuts down Mets as Marlins win 6-0
Vazquez allowed only three singles in seven sharp innings for his first win in more than a month and the Florida Marlins broke out of their funk with a five-run seventh to beat the New York Mets 6-0 on Tuesday night.
By fanning Lucas Duda(notes) to end the sixth, Vazquez became the 30th major league pitcher to reach 2,500 career strikeouts. After the game, he was handed a 2004 bottle of Italian wine by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
“Some gesture of the moment,” Loria said.
“Thank you, Jeffrey,” the pitcher responded.
Logan Morrison(notes) had a two-run single and Mike Cameron(notes) doubled to start the big rally for the Marlins, who shuffled their slumping lineup and took advantage of a defensive gaffe on Vazquez’s bunt.
“I think he has the most raw power I have ever seen,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I’ve never seen a guy generate that kind of power before.”
Florida managed only two runs, on a pair of solo homers, while getting swept in Monday’s doubleheader after both teams returned from a two-day break due to Hurricane Irene. But the last-place Marlins broke through Tuesday against familiar foil Mike Pelfrey(notes) (7-11) and won for just the fifth time in 24 games.
The Mets had won four straight following a five-game losing streak.
“I don’t think I’m going to stick around for 3,000,” Vazquez said. “I’m not going to play for that long. This might be it.”
The right-hander struck out six and walked one in his seventh consecutive quality start, though he was 0-2 in his previous five outings since beating Washington on July 27.
“He’s been pitching unbelievably. And when you see a guy doing that and not getting anything out of it, as a position player we feel guilty,” Florida first baseman Gaby Sanchez(notes) said. “It’s been amazing the turnaround from the beginning of the year to now. He’s got his velocity back, he’s doing everything out there.”
Pelfrey fell to 0-8 in 16 starts against the Marlins since beating them in his major league debut on July 8, 2006.
“I think we’re lucky we scored 17 runs in my debut,” Pelfrey said. “I was in here watching on TV when they showed the graphic—I thought it was more than that. It feels like more. It gives me extra incentive. They definitely have my number, that’s for sure.”
The right-hander threw a career-high 125 pitches over six innings in a victory last Wednesday at Philadelphia, but had enough in the tank to hold Florida scoreless for the first six innings.
Cameron, picked off second base in a key situation Monday, opened the seventh with a double and John Buck(notes) walked. Vazquez was sent up to sacrifice but wound up with a single when the Mets botched their bunt coverage, leaving first base unoccupied.
“I shot myself in the foot there,” Pelfrey said. “I should have stepped off or threw to second. The worst thing I can do in that situation is go home. He showed me the open glove, that’s on me.”
Emilio Bonifacio’s(notes) bases-loaded single put the Marlins ahead and Greg Dobbs(notes) drove in a run with a groundout. Morrison hit a two-run single off lefty Tim Byrdak(notes) and Sanchez added an RBI single.
Just what manager Jack McKeon had in mind when he juggled the lineup.
Pretty soon, Florida found a groove.
“We got a break, nobody covered first,” the 80-year-old McKeon said. “That helped us, on the bunt. But we’re due a few breaks.”
NOTES: Stanton had a bandage on his left shoulder after he was hit by Manny Acosta’s(notes) fastball Monday night. He said he was fine. … Florida improved to 10-35 when SS Hanley Ramirez(notes) (sprained left shoulder) is not in the starting lineup. McKeon said Ramirez probably would not be activated from his minor league rehab assignment until the Marlins return home Friday night against Philadelphia, a day after big league rosters expand. … RHP Chris Volstad(notes) (5-11) starts Wednesday night for Florida against LHP Chris Capuano(notes) (10-11). Volstad is 0-3 in three starts since he was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Aug. 12. Capuano pitched a two-hit shutout with a career-best 13 strikeouts Friday against Atlanta, throwing a season-high 122 pitches.