NEW YORK -- The Miami Marlins snapped a brutal offensive drought with a five-run seventh inning Friday night and earned their first win of the season by beating the New York Mets 7-3 at Citi Field.
The Marlins were outscored 11-1 in being swept earlier this week by the Nationals. The one run was by far the lowest total for the Marlins during the first three games of a season, but their outburst Friday ensured they wouldn't break the record for fewest runs in the first four games of a season (six by the 1994 club).
Miami never trailed Friday. Greg Dobbs homered leading off the second and pitcher Alex Sanabia made it stand up with six effective innings of shutout ball before a pitcher's duel turned into a slugfest over the final three innings.
Sanabia, who was making his first big league appearance since Sept. 24, 2011, danced out of trouble all night allowing six hits and three walks while striking out just one. But he stranded eight Mets runners, including four in scoring position.
Placido Polanco was 3-for-5 and keyed the seventh inning surge with a two-run single. Rob Brantly had a pair of doubles, including an RBI double that capped the seventh inning, while Justin Ruggiano had two RBI.
The Marlins' outburst began when Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada bobbled a grounder by leadoff batter Donovan Solano. Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns drew a walk before Juan Pierre laid down a bunt. Pitcher Greg Burke whirled and threw to third, but Solano beat the throw to load the bases.
Polanco followed with his two-run single. One out later, Dobbs greeted Scott Rice with a sacrifice fly and Ruggiano and Brantly delivered consecutive RBI doubles.
The Mets made things interesting in each of the last three innings. Daniel Murphy's three-run homer cut the gap to 6-3 in the seventh. In the eighth, Tejada and Mike Baxter drew two-out walks before Jordany Valdespin was hit by a pitch. Murphy worked a 3-1 count out of A.J. Ramos, but grounded out to second.
With one out in the ninth, Ike Davis walked and scored on pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis' RBI double. Nieuwenhuis scored on Lucas Duda's single before Marlins pitcher Steve Cishek struck out John Buck and retired pinch-hitter Justin Turner on a groundout.
Valdespin reached base four times and stole a base in his first start of the season, though he was also picked off first in the third inning.
Mets starter Jeremy Hefner took the loss despite allowing just Dobbs' homer in six innings. He gave up five hits and two walks while striking out three. Like Sanabia, Hefner was effective with runners on base and stranded six runners between the second and fifth innings.
NOTES: Mets manager Terry Collins said pitcher Shawn Marcum is at least a week or two away from resuming a throwing program after he underwent an MRI Thursday that revealed nerve inflammation in his neck. Marcum was placed on the disabled list Monday, retroactive to March 22. Aaron Laffey is expected to start in his place in Sunday's series finale. ... Collins also said he didn't expect to need to give David Wright a day off anytime soon. Wright was limited at the end of spring training by an intercostal strain he suffered in the World Baseball Classic but has started each of the Mets' first four games. ... The Mets released minor league pitcher Brad Holt, a 2008 draft pick who had a 5.01 ERA in five professional seasons. ... Sanabia went 6-7 with a 4.06 ERA at Triple-A New Orleans last year, when he was limited to just 17 starts by groin, oblique and shoulder injuries. ... The Marlins placed first baseman Casey Kotchman on the disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, with a strained left hamstring. Kotchman was hitless in his first five at-bats this season. Rookie catcher Kyle Skipworth was recalled to take his place. ... Friday marked the 20th anniversary of the Marlins' first game, a 6-3 win over the Dodgers.