Mets Beaten By Marlins As Comeback Falls Short

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Takahashi Roughed Up Again

San Juan, PR (Sports Network) – Dan Uggla’s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Jorge Cantu with the winning run, as the Florida Marlins edged the New York Mets, 7-6, in the middle portion of a three-game set at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Hanley Ramirez hit a grand slam and Uggla cracked a two-run shot as part of a six-run third inning for Florida, which has won two straight after dropping the previous four.

Leo Nunez (3-1) blew the save for yielding two runs on three hits in the top of the ninth, but still earned the victory. Marlins starter Nate Robertson surrendered four runs on seven hits with two walks and fanned one in six-plus innings. Robertson also had a pair of hits and a run scored.

The victory made a winner of Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez, who had the interim tagged removed from his title on Tuesday. The 49-year-old became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in league history when he took over for Fredi Gonzalez on an interim basis on June 23. The Marlins improved to 3-4 under their new skipper.

Josh Thole tied the game in the top of the ninth with a pinch-hit RBI single for the Mets, who have lost four of six. Ruben Tejada went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while David Wright turned in a three-hit night.

Pedro Feliciano (2-3) was saddled with the loss for giving two hits in the bottom of the ninth. Hisanori Takahashi got the starting nod for New York and was roughed up for six runs on nine hits, two walks and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings.

Trailing 6-4, the Mets scored a pair of the runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Nunez trying to close out the game, promptly gave up a single to Rod Barajas and double to pinch-hitter Chris Carter that put runners on second and third with nobody out. Alex Cora came on to pinch run for Carter and Jeff Francoeur brought in a run with a groundout to second.

Thole then punched a single through a drawn-in infield that scored Cora from third to even things. Nunez set down the next two batters to prevent further damage.

In the home ninth, Feliciano appeared to have things under control after retiring the first two hitters on strikes, but Jorge Cantu doubled to center before Uggla bounced a single up the middle to score the winning run.

“I tried to go in and then throw my changeup away, but the ball came back and he hit it,” Feliciano said about Uggla’s game-winning hit.

Jason Bay’s sacrifice fly in the first gave the Mets the early lead and they tacked on two more in the third. Tejada led off with a single, advanced to second on a sac bunt by Takahashi and crossed the plate on Jose Reyes’ double. Reyes took third on an error and scored when Angel Pagan lifted a sac fly to right for a 3-0 lead.

Florida answered with six two-out runs in the home third. Robertson reached with a single to start things and a walk and another base hit by the next two hitters loaded the bases. Ramirez then stepped up and cracked a fastball over the left-center field wall.

However, the Fish weren’t done as Cantu doubled and Uggla followed with a two- run shot to left for a 6-3 game.

Tejada’s RBI fielder’s choice groundout in the seventh cut the Mets deficit to two.

Pagan returned to the Mets’ lineup after missing the last five games with a right rib cage ailment and went 1-for-2, but left in the eighth inning…The Marlins have won eight of 12 versus the Mets this year, but New York notched a three-game sweep when the clubs last met at Citi Field from June 4-6.


Mets Look To Rebound Vs. Marlins

(Sports Network) - Florida interim manager Edwin Rodriguez got one of the biggest ovations prior to his club's opener with New York at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on Monday night.

Thanks to some power at the plate, the Marlins left the opener just as happy as their manager.

The Marlins try to make it two wins in a row this evening when they continue their three-game set in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the Mets.

Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in baseball history last week when he took over for the fired Fredi Gonzalez and has been greeted as a hero since his club arrived.

"That's huge," Rodriguez told the Marlins' website of his pregame ovation. "I had a lot of feelings, a lot of sentiments. I could feel the people here in the stadium sharing those feelings with me. It was huge."

Rodriguez's Marlins didn't disappoint those in attendance as Cody Ross, Chris Coghlan and Mike Stanton all homered in a 10-3 win that snapped Florida's four-game losing streak. Ross ended with three hits and Ricky Nolasco hurled seven innings of three-run ball for the Marlins.

Jason Bay connected on a pair of home runs for the Mets, who had won four of six coming in. However, R.A. Dickey was tagged for five runs over just five innings to suffer his first loss in seven decisions this year.

New York features four Puerto Rican-born players on its active roster, not including the injured Carlos Beltran, though Angel Pagan wasn't able to play on Monday as he didn't start for a sixth game in a row due to a right rib cage injury.

"I do think there was a lot of activity," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said about the atmosphere at the stadium. "But I think to be a good team you have to remain somewhat in character regardless of what the activity is surrounding you."

The loss dropped the Mets 1 1/2 games back of the first-place Braves in the National League East and they hope to get some consistency out of starter Hisanori Takahashi this evening. Takahashi has allowed five or more runs in three of his last five starts, but just one total run in the other two.

The 35-year-old held the Yankees to just four hits over six shutout innings on June 18, but was then tagged for six runs, eight hits, two homers and four walks over four innings of a loss to the Tigers on Thursday.

"The most important thing is his control," Manuel told the Mets' website. "When he begins to walk guys or guys take walks -- they don't get overly aggressive with him and are patient -- then he has to make the adjustment and come back to the zone."

After posting a 3.12 earned run average in 15 relief outings, Takahashi is 3-2 with a 4.23 ERA in seven starts. He faced the Marlins three times in relief to begin this season before starting against them on June 6, when the lefty gave up five runs over 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision.

Ross is 4-for-6 with two doubles, a homer and four RBI versus Takahashi, while Dan Uggla has a pair of solo homers in five at-bats against him.

Nate Robertson makes the start tonight for the Marlins and he has lost three of his last four decisions. The 32-year-old is also coming off his shortest outing of the season as he lasted just 2 1/3 innings in a setback to the Orioles on Thursday. Robertson allowed five runs on seven hits before his exit, falling to 5-6 with a 4.89 ERA this year.

The southpaw has made three starts already versus the Mets in 2010, going 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA. He'll need to find a way to slow down David Wright, who is 3- for-6 with two homers and four RBI versus Robertson this season.

Rookie Ike Davis is 4-for-6 versus the Marlins hurler in this year's season series, connecting on three doubles.

The Marlins have won seven of 11 versus the Mets this year, but New York notched a three-game sweep when the clubs last met in the Big Apple from June 4-6.

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