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Byrd's baserunning helps Mets edge Marlins

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- As soon as the ball was hit, the New York Mets' Marlon Byrd was thinking one thing -- going from first to home as fast as humanly possible.

Once he got there -- courtesy of Ike Davis' tiebreaking double in the seventh inning -- Byrd's main emotion was just as straightforward.

"I felt relief," Byrd said.

The entire Mets team likely felt the same way after snapping a three-game losing streak, beating the Miami Marlins 6-5 Monday night in a battle between the bottom two teams in the National League East standings.

The game was played before 19,343 fans at Marlins Park.

Bobby Parnell earned his 21st save with a scoreless ninth. He gave up a single and a walk before getting Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton on a first-pitch groundout to end the game.

"Bobby has the stuff, but he has to get the ball in on him," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "If you leave it out over the plate, you might as well ask him to hit it over the fence."

Despite the loss, the Marlins have won five of their past eight games.

The Mets started the seventh trailing 5-3 and perhaps caught a break when Marlins manager Mike Redmond lifted starter Jacob Turner with one out and no one on base. Turner had thrown 94 pitches, but he had also retired seven batters in a row and had been excellent in every inning other than the third.

Facing lefty reliever Mike Dunn, the Mets cut their deficit to 5-4 when Eric Young Jr. hit a one-out double off the fence in left field, then scored on Daniel Murphy's single to center.

"'Dunner' has been so good," Redmond said. "Usually, when he comes out, it's lights out."

The Marlins then brought in right-hander A.J. Ramos (3-4), who got David Wright on a fly out to right. Murphy stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and tied the score on Byrd's single to center.

On Davis' double, Byrd beat the relay throw by first baseman Logan Morrison. Byrd missed the plate with his lead foot but still beat the high tag in the judgment of plate umpire Andy Fletcher, although Redmond argued the call.

"We're very lucky Marlon has the speed he has," Collins said.

Byrd said Mets third base coach Tim Teufel is aggressive, so he knew he was going to be waved home.

"'Tuff' makes some great reads," Byrd said. "Off the bat, I knew I had to get a good jump and make sure I had the right route going into third base. When I saw Tuff waving his arms harder, I was already in stride.

"I was hoping I was safe. You think you beat (the tag), but I'm just glad (Fletcher) called me safe."

The Marlins, who trailed early, took a 5-3 lead on a two-run, sixth-inning single by Jeff Mathis. Ed Lucas started the rally by drawing a leadoff walk. Running aggressively, he then took third on Jake Marisnick's one-out single to left. When Young, the Mets' left fielder, threw to third, Marisnick smartly took second base.

That set it up for Mathis, who hit a sharp line drive to left.

The Mets, who scored a total of three runs in their previous three games, matched that output in Monday's third inning. Anthony Recker started the rally with a single, and Omar Quintanilla got a hit when his sharp ground ball hit Turner's leg.

With two outs and runners on second and third, Murphy grounded a two-run single that just got past shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Wright followed with an RBI double that bounced a couple of feet inside the left field line, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Mets starter Jeremy Hefner was hit hard in the fourth, yet he nearly escaped with minimal damage. Stanton led off with a 418-foot double to the deepest part of center field, and he scored on another long blast to center, this one a triple by Lucas.

The Marlins then loaded the bases with one out, but Hefner got Mathis to pop out to second. That left it up to Turner. He hit a routine grounder to Quintanilla, who booted it, allowing two runs to score to make it 3-3. The Mets got out of the jam when Marisnick was caught in a rundown between second and third.

Turner gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings. Hefner allowed five runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings.

David Aardsma (2-0) got the last two outs of the sixth inning to earn the win.

NOTES: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez is in elite company. His 13-strikeout, no-walk performance Sunday was only the fourth such outing produced by a pitcher younger than 21 dating back to 1900. The others were Gary Nolan (15 strikeouts in 1967), Dwight Gooden (two 16-strikeout games in 1984) and Kerry Wood (20 K's in 1998). ... Fernandez shared NL Player of the Week honors with teammate Steve Cishek. Fernandez had two wins and a 2.40 ERA. Cishek went 5-for-5 in save chances. Since June 8, Cishek has more saves (17) than any other pitcher in the majors. ... John Pierson is the Marlins' new hitting coach, on an interim basis. He replaces Tino Martinez, who resigned Sunday amid accusations from players that he verbally and physically abused them. ... The Mets are in the midst of 15 consecutive games within their division. They are 6-6 so far.
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