Mets 3, Marlins 2

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


NEW YORK -- New York Mets pinch-hitter Justin Turner fouled off one pitch after another, each one providing more torture, a dripping faucet Miami Florida Marlins closer Heath Bell couldn't shut off.
By the time he was done, Turner took his 13th and final pitch outside for ball four, tying the Marlins in the bottom of the ninth on the Bell's fourth walk of the inning.
As a steady rain began to increase, the Mets then swept away the Marlins one out later when Kirk Nieuwenhuis drilled a ball over right fielder Giancarlo Stanton's head for a 3-2 win at Citi Field.
The Marlins continued their offensive slump -- they've scored just six runs in their previous 48 innings -- but they appeared ready to squeeze by the Mets Thursday to salvage the finale of a series filled with pitching duels.
The Marlins received another strong starting pitching performance, as Ricky Nolasco allowed one run in seven innings. Randy Choate worked the eighth ahead of Bell's third blown save.
Gaby Sanchez homered for Miami and also produced the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, though he wasn't credited with a RBI as Omar Infante scored on a double play.
Jose Reyes continued to struggle on the field and with his old fans. The Marlins' free-agent acquistion went 0-for-4 to drop his season average to .205, and was booed every step of the way.
For the Mets, it capped a strong series and a perfect day in which they boasted their first fully homegrown lineup since 1971, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, with recent call-up Jordany Valdespin starting in left field for an injured Jason Bay.
"Coming from player development, this really is a great tribute to the scouts ..." Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game. "To see a lineup that's filled with players drafted, signed and developed by the Mets, I think, it's a great compliment to the organization."
It was the former homegrown Met, Marlins closer Bell, who coughed up the lead in the ninth.
He walked David Wright to start the inning, then issued one-out walks to the slumping Ike Davis and hot-hitting Josh Thole.
Turner then endured an epic battle before finally exhausting Bell and drawing the game-tying walk.
After pinch-hitter Scott Hairston grounded into a fielder's choice, Nieuwenhuis hit the game-winner.
Jonathon Niese was spared his first loss for the Mets, after allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings. Ramon Ramirez earned the win after throwing two scoreless innings.
The Mets started strong start as Nieuwenhuis continued to impress with a triple to lead off the first inning. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Ruben Tejada, Reyes' replacement at shortstop and the Mets led 1-0.
Nolasco and Choate shut the homegrown lineup down until Nieuwenhuis sent the Marlins to their fifth straight loss.
NOTES: Mets RHP Mike Pelfrey and the Mets were still awaiting evaluation on his injured right elbow before Thursday's game, Collins said. They were conducting a conference call to determine the fate of Pelfrey, who could be facing surgery. ... C Josh Thole extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games. ... The Mets travel to Colorado for a three-game series with the Rockies to start a six-game road trip. ... Marlins RHP Carlos Zambrano (0-1, 2.84 ERA) will face Diamondbacks LHP Joe Saunders (1-1, 1.29) Friday, as the Marlins begin a four-game home series vs. Arizona.