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.