Homers doom Marlins in nightcap of doubleheader
SEP 14, 2013 10:47p ET
Donovan Solano and Henderson Alvarez led Miami to a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday afternoon, but Daisuke Matsuzaka shut down the Marlins in the nightcap for a doubleheader split.
"Probably a good guy to pitch after a long first game and a long day. But you tip your hat to him. He did a nice job," Miami manager Mike Redmond said.
Dice-K allowed two hits over seven innings for a 3-1 win -- his first in the majors in more than a year.
Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers off Jacob Turner (3-7), who went five innings and fell to 0-6 in his last 11 starts.
"That was probably the best I've thrown the ball in a while," Turner said. "A lot of good signs, a lot more fastballs that I stuck to the right side of the plate. So, you've just got to take the positives and keep working."
In the opener, Solano got some payback after he was hit by two pitches, launching a home run and making two terrific plays behind Alvarez. Still, the last-place Marlins (55-93) have lost 29 of 41 overall.
"Long days with doubleheaders, you need somebody to step up and be the hero. And today Alvarez and Solano gave us a big lift," Redmond said.
Matsuzaka (1-3) plunked Placido Polanco twice in the nightcap, but other than that the Japanese right-hander was in complete control.
Pitching one day after his 33rd birthday, Matsuzaka suddenly was a model of efficiency. Working much quicker than before, the former Red Sox star threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 26 batters and needed only 73 pitches to get through six innings.
"He had `em all working," Justin Ruggiano said.
The only hits Matsuzaka gave up were Ruggiano's 17th homer in the fourth and Adeiny Hechavarria's two-out single in the seventh. After a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen, Matsuzaka threw a called third strike past Rob Brantly with runners at the corners.
When the Marlins opened the eighth with a pinch hitter, Matsuzaka walked off to a warm ovation and tipped his cap to the few fans remaining. It was his first big league win since Aug. 27, 2012, with Boston against Kansas City. He entered 1-10 in his past 16 major league starts.
"I never faced him. I didn't really know what to expect, except for watching video," Ruggiano said. "He has some good off-speed stuff. I hit a fastball. Trying to think along with him is tough, so I just tried to keep it simple."
LaTroy Hawkins got three outs for his 10th save.
Murphy singled in the first and stole second before Wilmer Flores snapped a 1-for-26 slide with an RBI single.
Logan Morrison drove in two runs during the first game, one on a line drive off Frank Francisco's right hand that knocked the oft-injured reliever out of the game.
Alvarez (4-4) pitched four-hit ball over seven innings for his second win against the Mets this year. The defeat ensured New York's fifth straight losing season since Citi Field opened.
Steve Cishek struck out three in the ninth for his 30th save in 32 attempts. He has converted 25 in a row.
Carlos Torres (3-5) hit Solano with pitches in his first two plate appearances, the first one near his wrist and the next time on the left shoulder. Solano looked pretty irritated by the second one, but catcher Travis d'Arnaud and plate umpire Tim Welke quickly stepped in front of him and there was no trouble.
"Part of the game," Solano said.
He got the best sort of revenge with a leadoff homer against Torres in the sixth to make it 2-0. The second baseman also robbed Omar Quintanilla twice, making a diving play to thwart a fifth-inning rally and a sliding stop to save a run in the seventh.
Alvarez forgot how many outs there were in the second, when he tossed casually to first on a one-out comebacker with runners at first and second.
"I know that stuff does happen, but we've got to know how many outs there are," Redmond said.
The traditional doubleheader was scheduled to make up a June 7 rainout.
NOTES: Alvarez has allowed a major league-low one home run in 14 starts this season. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi played catch and will throw a bullpen Sunday, Redmond said. If all goes well, Eovaldi could start Wednesday night in Philadelphia. He was scratched Thursday against Atlanta with a stiff back. ... Redmond confirmed that RHP Sam Dyson will start Monday night against the Phillies. ... C Jeff Mathis (bruised right thumb) played catch and took some swings. He could be available in Philadelphia, Redmond said.
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