Marlins can’t solve Colon in loss to streaking Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton took little pleasure in matching a mark held by Hank Aaron and Ryan Howard.
Stanton tied the two sluggers by homering against the Mets for a fifth straight game, but the Marlins had little other success against Bartolo Colon in a 4-1 loss to New York on Friday night that dropped Miami to 3-8.
Expecting big things after signing a record $325 million, 13-year contract in the offseason and watching the team make several changes, Stanton saved his biggest hit until after the Marlins’ second straight loss to the Mets.
"We are not giving ourselves a chance it feels like," he said. "We have a positive vibe but the fire is not there, it seems like."
After Stanton’s opposite-field drive over the new pulled-in fence in right-center in the first inning, the Marlins got only six more hits. They had more than one runner on base in just the seventh, a rally wiped out by a diving catch by center fielder Juan Lagares and nimble play by Colon (3-0).
Colon hit a tying sacrifice fly for his second RBI in two starts off spot starter David Phelps in the fifth, and Michael Cuddyer had a run-scoring single in the sixth off brad Hand (0-1) as New York won its sixth straight for the first time since April 2011.
Starting in place of injured right-hander Henderson Alvarez just four days after the birth of his son and making his regular bullpen session at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Phelps held the Mets hitless until Wilmer Flores singled with one out in the fourth.
Phelps walked two around that single to load the bases for Colon, who had his first RBI in a decade in his previous start.
"That’s one of the things I was frustrated about with the walk to (Anthony) Recker was that I had the pitcher on deck with two on," Phelps said. "I just have to make a better pitch to the pitcher and get a groundball there."
Colon hit a line drive to center field to make it 1-all, eliciting a big roar from a crowd of 38,753 on Matt Harvey T-shirt night.
"Bart is the hottest guy on the team," manager Terry Collins joked.
Colon, who went 2 for 62 at the plate last season without an RBI, has only one other season in which he drove in more than one run: 2002 when he had three for Montreal.
Phelps was then lifted for Brad Hand (0-1) after throwing 75 pitches.
"I thought he pitched great," marlins manager Mike Redmond said. He did exactly what he needed."
Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Cuddyer hit an opposite-field RBI single in the sixth past diving first baseman Michael Morse with Lagares on first. Running on the full-count pitch, Lagares advanced to third. He scored on Eric Campbell’s sacrifice fly off reliever Sam Dyson for a 3-1 lead.
Colon gave up singles to Martin Prado and Ichiro Suzuki in the seventh, the first time Miami had two runners on base. But Lagares made a diving catch, running in on J.T. Realmuto’s sinking liner for the second out.
"I just go hard for the ball," said Lagares, who received his Gold Glove award before the game.
Adeiny Hechavarria then hit a chopper between the mound and third and Colon, portly and nearly 42, rushed off the mound, made a nice backhanded grab and throw to first. He clapped into his glove as he strolled off the mound.
Marlins: Redmond held CF Marcell Ozuna out of the starting lineup to give him a day off. Ozuna is batting .194 (6 for 31) to begin the season.
Mets: RHP Vic Black (shoulder) pitched a hitless inning for Class A St. Lucie. He could be back in a week. … Closer Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery) allowed two runs, two hits and a walk in an inning for St. Lucie.
Marlins: Mat Latos (0-2) is looking for his first win with Miami. Acquired from the Reds in December during the winter meetings, he’s allowed 10 runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings this year.
Mets: In his last start against Miami, Jacob deGrom opened the game Sept. 15 with a record-tying eight straight strikeouts.
In a matchup of baseball senior citizens, the 41-year-old Suzuki went 1 for 3 against Colon, who turns 42 on May 24. Since turning 40 in 2013, Colon has only faced one other fortysomething: Raul Ibanez, according to STATS.
"I remember playing against Bartolo Colon in A ball," said Redmond, who will be 44 on May 5.