Adam Conley has career-best start as Marlins take series vs. Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — The Miami Marlins are finally enjoying themselves, and it’s showing on the scoreboard.
Adam Conley pitched three-hit ball for a career-high seven innings, and the streaking Marlins handed the New York Mets a 6-0 loss Wednesday night.
"The thing for me that makes me the most proud is that these guys are playing the game the right way," manager Dan Jennings said on his birthday. "I think all any manager ever wants is for your team to step up and play the right way. It shows a pride factor and it creates fun. They’re having fun. We’re having fun right now. We realize that we’re not playing for the postseason but at the same time we’re playing to get ready for 2016 and that speaks volumes to the leadership in that clubhouse."
Facing a makeshift lineup of all right-handers, Conley (4-1) had the best start of his young career in front of his wife and infant daughter. He struck out six without walking a batter as Miami beat New York for a second straight night to secure its fifth straight series win — matching a franchise record set in 2003 for most consecutive series won in one season, according to STATS.
The Marlins improved to 10-4 in September.
Dee Gordon went 2 for 5 with a ninth-inning RBI to finish the season series against the Mets hitting .427 (35 for 82). Martin Prado and J.T. Realmuto homered off Bartolo Colon, who lost for the first time since Aug. 9.
"We care about each other and we’re having fun," Prado said. "Somebody’s picking the other guy up and when you’re thinking like that good things happen. The way these guys are taking the pride to go out there and compete is fun to watch."
Entering with an 8 1-2 game lead over Washington in the division, manager Terry Collins chose to rest his left-handed hitters against Conley, a 25-year-old lefty. With reserve outfielder Juan Lagares leading off, the Mets were shut out for the first time since July 23, and they lost consecutive games for first time since losing to Boston on Aug. 28-29.
"It speaks volumes of the Mets lineup to say that they haven’t been shut out in a month," Conley said. "The plan we had was to attack the zone and get ahead of guys and be aggressive. It was pretty much to say I’m going to throw you my best stuff and if you get me then I’ll tip my hat to you but today it worked out for me."
The Nationals cut the Mets’ lead by a game with a 12-2 victory at Philadelphia. New York’s magic number for the division title remained 10.
"We had such an emotional high going coming out of Atlanta," Collins said. "I think you’re seeing a little bit of a drainage. … I think we need to just get away for a little bit then come back and it’s going to be pretty exciting starting Friday and we need ot pick the energy up a little bit."
All was quiet a night after Collins vowed the Mets will "answer in our own due time" to star Yoenis Cespedes’ getting hit by a pitch by Tom Koehler in the first inning of a 9-3 loss that ended an eight game winning streak.
Colon (14-12) was lifted with two outs in the sixth after walking Marcell Ozuna, the first free pass he allowed to a Miami batter in 55 innings dating to last season.
Justin Bour had a sacrifice fly off Colon in the sixth and a long homer against Tyler Clippard in the eighth that made it 4-0.
Colon allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
ON THE BENCH
Jennings made the switch from the general manager’s suite to the dugout in May, and now that his first season as a manager is nearing an end he took a moment to reflect on what he’s learned in leading the last-place club to a 46-61 record.
"Definitely not easier," he said in comparing his new job to the old one. "When you sit upstairs the losing doesn’t grind you near as much as it does in the dugout. … There is a new-found respect and appreciation for these guys and what they go through and the grind, living the grind of actually playing 162."
Marlins: OF Giancarlo Stanton (broken left wrist) saw a hand specialist and manager Dan Jennings said all was fine, and it was a matter of when Stanton feels the hand and wrist are strong enough. Jennings said Stanton might test it in a simulated game before returning to the Marlins, which should come before the end of the season.
Mets: RHP Carlos Torres (strained left calf) was scheduled for a bullpen session that he would throw at 50 percent.
Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart (1-4) starts the opener of a series at Washington. He’s given up one run in 9 2-3 innings over his last two starts.
Mets: After a day off, Matz (3-0) will make his fifth career major league start in the opener of the much anticipated Subway Series.