NEW YORK (AP) — The Miami Marlins had plenty of chances Sunday. They just wasted them all.
The Marlins were hitless in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position and squandered an impressive outing by Tom Koehler in a 1-0, 12-inning loss into the New York Mets.
“We had opportunities to score early in the game and we had opportunities in the ninth. That’s the difference,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Slumping rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit a two-out single — only New York’s seventh hit — in the 12th to give the Mets their third win in the four-game series.
Miami lost for the eighth time in 10 games and at 55-94 needs to win eight of its final 13 to avoid a 100-loss season.
Dillon Gee and Koehler took a pitchers’ duel into the eighth inning before each team used five relievers to finish off the fifth extra-inning matchup this season between the NL East’s worst teams.
The starters had batters flummoxed into the eighth. Both mixed breaking balls that dipped into the 70s with a fastball that reached 90 mph for Gee and 94 mph for Koehler. The result: flailing bats, awkward checked swings and a whole lot of softly hit baseballs.
“Obviously Gee’s a real quality starter, and you want to limit as much as you can as far as hits and runs,” Koehler said. “But no matter who you’re facing you’ve got to put up zeroes until you win.”
The Bronx-born Koehler was 0-4 with a 5.89 ERA in seven starts since beating the Mets Aug. 1 with six scoreless innings.
Pitching in front of more than 40 friends and family from the area — he grew up in New Rochelle and played college ball at Stony Brook — he was impressive against a team that had scored just 12 runs in the first seven games of a homestand.
Gee sent a soft line drive over a ducking Koehler’s head with two outs in the third for the Mets’ only baserunner.
Koehler allowed three hits in a career high-matching eight innings. He struck out five without walking a batter — he had gone six straight starts giving up at least two walks.
D’Arnaud came through after the two previous batters grounded into forceouts at the plate. New York had loaded the bases with no outs against Zach Phillip (0-1), making his third appearance for the Marlins.
“It’s big. Extra-inning game, bases loaded, and just get that hit. It’s an undescribable feeling,” d’Arnaud said of his first walkoff hit in the major leagues. “More importantly it was a big win. Try to lead the Mets in the right direction.”
Ryan Webb relieved after Lucas Duda walked to load the bases and got pinch-hitter Zach Lutz to ground to third base. Andrew Brown then grounded to first base, and the throw went home for the second out.
D’Arnaud, who singled in the 11th only to be stranded at third base, lined a soft single up the middle to give the Mets just their fifth win in the last 16 home games. The young catcher has only five hits in his last 28 at-bats.
Vic Black (1-0) pitched a perfect 12th inning for his first career win and finish the eight hitter.
Miami had runners on first and second with one out in the first, fourth and ninth innings, and had a runner on third and one out in the second.
In the ninth, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy made two errors and the Marlins still couldn’t score. Pinch-runner Adeiny Hechavarria was thrown out at third base for the first out of the inning.
“Even then, we still have first and second,” Redmond said. “We still had options to score.”
Gee has been stingy when he has allowed runners on base. Batters were just 3 of 28 with runners in scoring position coming and the Marlins were worse: hitless in seven at-bats against the right-hander.
Gee gave up six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out eight, including four in a row between the second and third.
The two offensively challenged teams matched the Cubs and Reds for most times reaching extras this season. The Mets-Marlins’ extras included 20 innings on June 8 and 15 on April 29.
NOTES: The Marlins are 19-32 in one-run games. … Mets manager Terry Collins said reliever Frank Francisco will be unavailable for several days after he was hit on the right hand by a line drive in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader. … The Marlins are 5-13 in extra innings. The Mets are 8-10.