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Mets slip by Marlins in 10 innings

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- On a night when rookie Zack Wheeler was wheelin' and dealin' early, it was his veteran catcher, John Buck, who provided the game-winning hit.

Buck hit a two-run single in the 10th inning, and the New York Mets held on to beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Wheeler had a no-hit bid through 6 1/3 innings.

"That may have been as dominant a performance through six innings as I've seen out of anybody this year," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He pounded the strike zone. You look up in the sixth inning, and he has 65 pitches thrown. He had plus, plus stuff."

Wheeler, though, was long gone by the time Buck delivered.

Facing Marlins closer Steve Cishek (3-6), the Mets loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th. David Wright and Marlon Byrd singled to right -- the latter's hit tipped off the glove of a diving Giancarlo Stanton -- and Ike Davis walked to set the stage for Buck. The former Marlins catcher lined the first pitch he saw to center.

When Buck was asked if having played for the Marlins last year helped him in that situation, he took a comical approach to the question before turning serious.

"It's a whole different (Marlins) team -- they had a yard sale," he said. "There was a little bit of noise about that.

"But maybe with some of the pitchers and their tendencies, it helps."

Mets closer Bobby Parnell earned his 22nd save -- and his second in two days -- by pitching a scoreless 10th inning. He got stellar defensive plays from Daniel Murphy at second and Wright at third.

Scott Atchison (1-0) blanked the Marlins in the ninth inning to earn the win.

With the score tied 2-2 in the eighth, the Mets seemed poised to take the lead against reliever Chad Qualls when Byrd led off with a triple off the wall in right-center.

The Marlins brought the infield in, and Qualls struck out Davis and got Buck to ground out sharply to third. Qualls walked Juan Lagares but then struck out Omar Quintanilla to end the inning.

Qualls celebrated with a fist pump -- only to trip, fall and roll back to his feet.

Before Qualls made the blooper reels, the game's drama involved Wheeler. Ed Lucas broke up his no-hit bid with a clean single to right.

"I was just trying to put a good swing on a fastball," Lucas said. "He was pretty overpowering at that point, so I wasn't trying to do too much. I wasn't trying to hit a homer or anything. I was just trying to get on base."

The next batter, Donovan Solano, ruined Wheeler's shutout attempt with a run-scoring single to left, and Jake Marisnick tied the score, 2-2, when he hit a soft liner that went just inches over the glove of Quintanilla at shortstop.

Wheeler got a no-decision after allowing three hits, three walks and two runs in seven innings.

Collins said Wheeler's velocity -- normally at about 95 mph -- was up around 98 Tuesday.

What were Wheeler's emotions after he gave up the first hit?

"There goes the no-hitter," Wheeler said. "I knew I had one going. I felt smooth. Me and Buck were on the same page."

Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi threw six innings of two-run ball.

Lagares' two-run triple to right-center field gave the Mets a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Wright led off the inning with a double to left-center and advanced to third on a fly-out. The Marlins looked as if they might escape the jam when Davis popped out, but Buck walked and Lagares hit the second triple of his career.

The Marlins got their first baserunner when Stanton drew a two-out walk in the fourth. The next batter, Logan Morrison, hit a fly ball to deep center that Lagares caught as he crashed into the wall.

"We've put so much pressure on our pitchers because we haven't been able to score runs," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It's just not fair to those guys."

NOTES: Marlins rookie LF Christian Yelich batted leadoff for the first time in his career, and he went 0-for-4 with a walk. Yelich hit in the No. 1 spot often with Double-A Jacksonville earlier this year. ... Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday night because of a right forearm strain, is likely out for the season. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said SS Ruben Tejada and INF/OF Jordany Valdespin, who were demoted to Triple-A earlier this year, likely will be recalled Sept. 1 when rosters can expand. Both are hitting well above .300 for Las Vegas, and Valdespin is the reigning Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. ... Mets RHP Frank Francisco, on the disabled list all season after elbow surgery, could resume throwing this week. ... Mets LHP Jonathon Niese likely will need two more minor league starts before returning to the majors. His next start is scheduled for Thursday. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard, a Mets prospect, was selected the Eastern League Player of the Week. He is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven starts for Double-A Binghamton.

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