Marlins win sixth of seven, 3-1 over Mets
New York — J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run homer as the Miami Marlins notched their sixth win in seven games, downing the New York Mets 3-1 in their series opener Friday night to move within two games of .500 for the first time since May 3.
Realmuto followed Marcell Ozuna's second-inning walk with his 14th home run, lining a hanging curveball into the left field seats to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead and prompting a raucous ovation from his mother and several other family members seated in the upper deck.
Dee Gordon and some teammates looked toward the stands as Realmuto rounded the bases, pointing and cheering in the direction of the Miami catcher's relatives.
Pitching in front of a sparse crowd in a game that started almost two hours late due to steady rain and the occasional burst of lightning, Justin Nicolino (2-1) scattered six singles and stranded runners in four of his five innings pitched.
Rookie Chris Flexen (2-2) worked 5.1 innings, allowing three runs, five hits and four walks.
The Mets have lost five straight, dropping four to the crosstown rival Yankees earlier in the week, and are 14 games below the .500 mark for the first time since the season's final day in 2013.
Four Miami relievers combined on four scoreless innings including closer Brad Ziegler, who hurled a perfect ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.
Ozuna's sacrifice fly in the third inning made the score 3-0.
After sitting out the last two games with a sore ribcage, Wilmer Flores drove in New York's lone run with a third-inning single.
Marlins: 1B Justin Bour (strained right oblique) will commence baseball activity next week. The burly slugger has been on the disabled list since July 25. ... LHP Wei-Yin Chen (left arm fatigue) threw a two-inning simulated game on Friday. He has not pitched since May 1. ... LHP Jarlin Garcia (strained left biceps) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. ... LHP Chris O'Grady (strained right oblique) will not resume baseball activity until he is pain free, said Marlins spokesman Matt Roebuck. ... 3B Martin Prado (strained right knee) is advancing with his therapy and will continue motion and strengthening exercises. ... SS JT Riddle (left shoulder tendinitis) has begun post-operation therapy following season-ending surgery last Friday. ... RHP Edinson Volquez (Tommy John surgery) also began range of motion therapy. ... RHP Nick Wittgren (strained right elbow) is improving but has not resumed activity.
Mets: RHP Jeurys Familia (blood clot in right arm) will continue his rehab assignment as he recovers from May surgery. "We want to get his pitch count to where he certainly can be comfortable throwing 30 pitches in an inning," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "So I think there's going to be a time where he's got to go at least two innings in a rehab someplace." ... RHP Matt Harvey (stress injury in right shoulder) will make at least one more start in the minors before being activated, according to Collins.
Marlins: RHP Vance Worley (2-2, 4.97 ERA) has made four starts since rejoining the rotation on July 28 and the club has won each outing, despite Worley lasting only four innings twice.
Mets: RHP Rafael Montero (1-8, 5.80 ERA) did not factor in the decision Monday night at Yankee Stadium, allowing two runs and five hits over six effective innings. The 26-year-old has no record with a 4.15 ERA in 10 appearances (three starts) against Miami, whom he has faced more than any other team.
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