NEW YORK -- Consecutive extra-inning wins over the New York Mets
might be the early-season highlight for the Miami Marlins
The games were a defining moment for the Mets, as well.
The Mets sent three players -- including struggling first baseman Ike Davis
-- to the minor leagues Sunday afternoon, less than an hour after the Marlins scored four runs in the 10th inning to beat the Mets 8-4 in front of 21,747 at Citi Field.
The Marlins beat the Mets 2-1 in 20 innings Saturday afternoon/evening. Miami is the first team to win in extra innings the day after it won in 20 or more innings since the 1989 Astros, who beat the Dodgers 5-4 in 22 innings on June 3 and won 7-6 in 13 innings the next day.
"Well, I'd rather win it in nine," Marlins manager Mike Redmond
said. "But yes, anything less than 20 is good."
The Mets were feeling anything but good after losing for the sixth time in seven games since they swept four games from the cross-town Yankees. Five of the losses have come at the hands of the Marlins, who are 8-3 against the Mets and 10-31 against everyone else.
New York manager Terry Collins certainly sounded out of patience at his postgame press conference, and within minutes, the Mets made it clear the status quo is no longer acceptable for a team with the third-worst record in the majors at 23-35.
"The learning process, I understand completely," Collins said. "But these (fans) pay to see us win, too. Not just coming here to take a look at (Matt) Harvey or (Juan) Lagares or when Zack Wheeler gets here. They're fans of this team. They deserve some wins."
Left-hander Robert Carson, who gave up a two-run homer to Miguel Olivo
to cap the Marlins' scoring in the 10th, was sent down, as was outfielder Mike Baxter, who failed to get down a bunt with a runner on first and the score tied in the ninth. Carson had an 8.50 ERA in 13 games, while Baxter was hitting .212 and had just three hits in his last 30 at-bats.
The biggest demotion was Davis, who was viewed as a cornerstone when he hit .271 with 26 homers and 96 RBIs in his first 183 big-league games between 2010 and 2011. However, after recovering from a slow start to hit .227 with 32 homers and 99 RBIs last year, Davis never got untracked this year. He heads to Triple-A Las Vegas with a .161 average, five homers, 16 RBIs and 66 strikeouts in 186 at-bats.
Davis has 10 hits and 31 strikeouts in his last 81 at-bats dating back to May 11. He was 0-for-3 with a whiff Sunday and was once again booed by Mets fans.
"I think at some point you just have to say to yourself this is not in his best interest," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "I was one of his biggest supporters, and I just felt that at some point we've got to get him out of here."
Davis declined to speak to reporters afterward.
While the Mets made drastic moves in advance of the final six games of a nine-game homestand that was reduced to eight following Friday's rainout, the Marlins headed home to Miami excited about the progress they made this weekend in their own rebuilding project.
"We continue to put at-bats together and grind it out," Redmond said. "We don't have a lot of wins, but we've earned every single one of them. It's a testament to these guys."
Less than 24 hours after the Mets left two runners on six times after the seventh inning, the Marlins stranded two runners in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings before finally breaking through in the 10th.
"We never give up," Olivo said. "We just keep fighting, and everybody in the dugout is happy with each other. We just need to get better and help the younger players to get better."
The top seven batters in the Marlins lineup all had two hits apiece, including Logan Morrison
, who capped his 2013 debut by starting the 10th-inning rally with a leadoff single. Morrison hadn't played in the majors since last July 29, and he underwent right knee surgery last September.
Morrison scored the go-ahead run when Adeiny Hechavarria's grounder to second was misplayed by Daniel Murphy. The Marlins' 10th inning included two hits, a walk, a sacrifice fly and Olivo's two-run homer.
"I think sometimes we get out of our approach a little bit, and that's partly because we're young, but I know that the effort's there and I know guys are grinding," Redmond said. "I know that if we continue to battle and continue to focus on having good at-bats that guys are going to hit. We've seen that, and hopefully that'll continue to happen."
Chad Qualls (1-0) struck out both batters he faced in the ninth.
Miami starter Tom Koehler allowed four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two in seven innings. He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
The game-changing error put a damper on an otherwise impressive afternoon for Murphy, who homered, had two RBIs, stole a base and was the only Mets player to reach base (via a sixth-inning single and a ninth-inning walk) after the team's three-run third inning. David Wright had a two-run double in the third.
Bobby Parnell (4-3) took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in one-plus innings.
Mets starter Jonathon Niese allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk with four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
NOTES: Mets RHP Matt Harvey, who left after seven innings Saturday because of lower back stiffness, is fine and is on schedule to make his next start Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals. ... Dominic Smith, the California high school first baseman the Mets selected in the first round of this week's draft, took batting practice before the game. He also chatted in the locker room with several Mets, including RHP LaTroy Hawkins, who made his big league debut in 1995, the year Smith was born. ... The Mets recalled OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Las Vegas and designated OF Rick Ankiel for assignment. ... The Marlins activated first baseman Morrison from the 60-day disabled list and placed OF Chris Coghlan on the 15-day disabled list because of right calf nerve irritation. Morrison batted fifth for the Marlins in his 2013 debut. ... Redmond said he expected RF Giancarlo Stanton (strained right hamstring) to return to the big league roster Monday. ... Redmond juggled his rotation following Saturday's 20-inning win. RHP Kevin Slowey, who earned the win Saturday with seven innings of scoreless relief, will be pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday while Wednesday's original starter, RHP Jacob Turner, will go Tuesday night.
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