Marlins win fourth in a row as Bell fuels comeback in ninth and Lopez wins it in the 10th

As Saturday’s game entered the bottom of the ninth, the Mets had a 99 percent win probability according to Baseball Savant. Star closer Edwin Diaz was on the mound with a four-run cushion and the Mets were on their way to tie the series at one game apiece.

The Marlins had other ideas.

After three hits in the inning by Miami, Josh Bell stepped to the plate representing the tying run. On the first pitch, Bell lifted a 93 mph fastball over the center-field wall for a dramatic game-tying three-run home run.

“It was nuts,” said Bell postgame. “When the sixth inning rolled around, you hear the ‘let’s go Mets’ chants, so it was nice to hear our fans cheer that whole inning, so I kind of blacked out there for a bit.”

It was Bell’s first career hit against the right-hander Diaz. When asked where that swing would rank among moments of his career, Bell said, “Definitely up there. Top five. The situation of the game against a future Hall of Famer on the mound, it was awesome.”

Diaz now has a 5.50 ERA this season after missing all of 2023 with a right patellar tendon tear he suffered during that year’s World Baseball Classic in 2022.

Following a perfect top of the 10th by Tanner Scott, Otto Lopez was the hero in the bottom of the inning as he grounded a base hit past the drawn-in infield to secure Miami’s fourth consecutive victory, 10-9. It was Miami’s fourth walk-off win of the season and Lopez’s first professional walk-off RBI.

“It felt great. Even in the minor leagues, I never got one, so having the opportunity to have one in the big leagues was amazing. I felt proud of myself,” said Lopez after the game.

Miami (15-32) clinched their third series win and second in a row with the victory.

“It was 9-5 [going into the ninth] against one of the better closers in the game. That just shows you those guys don’t stop believing. To be down by four and see that guy come in and still think you have a chance says a lot about that clubhouse,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said.

The Marlins entered Saturday’s contest on a roll on the mound. Following Friday night’s win against the Mets, Miami had won their third straight game in shutout fashion (the first time since August 2005). Additionally, the pitching staff carried a 28-inning scoreless streak into Saturday’s game, three innings shy of the franchise record and the longest such streak in the Majors this season. Alas, the scoreless inning streak was snapped abruptly Saturday as New York scored two runs in the top of the first.

Left-hander Braxton Garrett made his second start after missing the first month-and-a-half of the season with a left shoulder impingement. It was also his seventh career start against the Mets, his most against any big league team.

Saturday’s outing didn’t go how Garrett would have liked as he allowed two runs in the first, one in the fourth, and three in the fifth. “Too many mistakes. A couple of hit batsmen, not great,” Garrett said postgame. “I just need to lock in.”

“I thought Braxton [Garrett] was OK. I just think the misses were too big, and the three hit-by-pitches probably show that,” said Schumaker postgame.

When asked if facing the Mets for the seventh time in his young career could have had something to do with their strong at-bats, Garrett said, “Maybe. I was pretty garbage, though, so no.”

Garrett’s final line was 4⅓ innings pitched, seven hits, six earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Once again, his line was slightly inflated due to the bullpen allowing his inherited runners to score (three of Garrett’s earned runs were allowed by Declan Cronin).

Miami will look to earn their second series sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon behind right-hander Sixto Sanchez. The Mets will counter with left-hander Sean Manaea. The game is set for 1:40 p.m.