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Mets win again, not sure they want a break

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- If any team in baseball would like to play through the All-Star Break, it's the suddenly scorching New York Mets.

But manager Terry Collins figures the looming prospect of a couple days off is exactly what has the Mets playing better than they have all season.

Pinch-hitter Eric Campbell's RBI single with two out in the eighth inning Saturday capped a second comeback by the Mets, who edged the Miami Marlins, 5-4, at Citi Field.

The Mets (44-50) have won seven of nine on a 10-game homestand that ends Sunday. So is part of Collins wishing the Mets had games to play Monday through Thursday?

"The answer to that is yeah," Collins said. "But one of the things I think is also igniting some energy here is that we're going to get a break, and these guys know it's coming and they need it."

The victory encapsulated how effectively the Mets (44-50) have played since returning home on July 4.

The Mets were down, 2-0, and had no hits against Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler before catcher Travis d'Arnaud led off the fifth with a single. Left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a double.

D'Arnaud scored on a groundout by center fielder Juan Lagares before Nieuwenhuis and shortstop Ruben Tejada, who teamed up on a perfect relay throw to d'Arnaud to cut down a run in Friday's 7-1 win, executed a suicide squeeze.

The Marlins broke the tie in the sixth on back-to-back RBI doubles by first baseman Garrett Jones and center fielder Marcell Ozuna, but the Mets tied it again in the bottom of the seventh, when Tejada drew a one-out walk to chase Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler.

Pinch-hitter Chris Young, who was in 1-for-19 skid and had batted only six times on the homestand, hit right-hander Bryan Morris' first pitch deep into the left field seats.

"We've had some big wins; that might be the biggest win of the year right there for us for a lot of reasons," Collins said. "There was a lot of pieces to that win today. That's why it's big."

The final piece came together in the eighth, when, with two out and two on, All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy saved at least a run with a leaping catch of shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria's liner.

With two out in the bottom of the inning, d'Arnaud doubled off left-hander Mike Dunn (7-5). Campbell, pinch-hitting for Nieuwenhuis, then laced a full-count pitch into center field.

It was the 24th two-out run scored on this homestand by the Mets, who have scored 46 runs in the nine games. They scored only 24 runs in their previous eight games.

"Everyone always says hitting is contagious and that's the kind of roll we're on now," Campbell said. "Everyone's not only getting hits, but we're getting big hits and driving in runs."

D'Arnaud had two hits and a walk for the Mets. He is hitting .295 since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on June 24 and has reached base in 16-of-17 games.

"I wish we could still play during (the break)," d'Arnaud said. "But everybody needs a break."

Right-hander Vic Black (2-2) stranded two in the eighth to earn the win. Right-hander Jenrry Mejia notched his 10th save with a perfect ninth.

Mets right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out 10, his most since Aug. 4, 2007, over six innings. He threw 120 pitches, his most since Sept. 14, 2007.

The Marlins (44-49) have lost three straight and are 5-10 since June 26. Second baseman Donovan Solano had an RBI fielder's choice grounder in the third, and left fielder Christian Yelich gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead with a solo home run in the fifth.

"I thought we put together some nice at-bats to score a couple runs and give ourselves a couple-run lead and then we just gave it right back," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Koehler allowed three runs on two hits and four walks while striking out four over 6 1/3 innings.

NOTES: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez was added to the National League All-Star team Saturday as an injury replacement for Washington RHP Jordan Zimmermann. Alvarez is 6-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts. ... With RF Giancarlo Stanton already on the NL All-Star team, the Marlins will have multiple representatives at the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 2010. ... Mets RHP Jeremy Hefner pitched a perfect inning Saturday for the Gulf Coast League Mets in his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last Aug. 28. ... LHP Blake Taylor, whom the Mets acquired from Pittsburgh as the player to be named in the trade that sent 1B Ike Davis to the Pirates, has been promoted from the GCL Mets to Single-A Kingsport.
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