Giancarlo Stanton homers but Marlins drop opener to Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton trotted home, Ichiro Suzuki took a more unusual path to the plate.
Impressive feats, both of them. Still not enough to help the Miami Marlins avoid a 7-5 loss to the New York Mets on Thursday night.
Stanton hit his first homer since a fastball to the face ended his season last September, launching a long, two-run shot in the first inning. It was his 155th career home run, moving him past Dan Uggla for most in Marlins’ history.
"I’ll enjoy it later," Stanton said. Referring to Miami’s mark this season, he added "3-7 is the only record I know right now."
Stanton led the NL with 37 home runs last year despite getting beaned by Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers, causing multiple facial fractures and extensive dental damage.
The 25-year-old joined Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals as the only active players to hold their team’s home run record.
"There’s only 30 of them. I’ll keep it going, make it hard to beat," he said.
Suzuki showed he was still spry at 41.
On third after a pinch-hit triple in the seventh, he took off on an infield grounder, stopped and then kept going when catcher Travis d’Arnaud reached for a wide throw.
Suzuki and d’Arnaud both made headfirst dives — Suzuki missed the plate by an inch and d’Arnaud missed him. Suzuki lunged with his hand and beat the tag by a split-second.
Originally called out, Suzuki was ruled safe after a replay review that took 5 minutes, 44 seconds.
"I was supposed to go on contact, so I went. When I realized how hard the ball was hit I knew I had no chance at home, so I stopped. When I saw it was a bad throw I went," Suzuki said through a translator.
Suzuki tied it at 5.
"I’d say they got the play right," d’Arnaud said.
Lucas Duda doubled twice and hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh that sent the Mets to their fifth straight win, their best streak since May 2013.
Jerry Blevins (1-0) got the win and Jeurys Familia closed for his fourth save. Mike Dunn (0-1) took the loss.
It was 5-all when pinch hitter John Mayberry Jr. walked and stole second with one out in the Mets seventh. Duda’s two-out liner fell just beyond the dive of left fielder Christian Yelich, and Michael Cuddyer followed with his second RBI single.
Martin Prado homered for a 3-0 in the fourth. Slumping Wilmer Flores hit a three-run homer off Jarred Cosart that tied it in the Mets fifth.
"It’s all on me, 3-0 lead early and I completely lost it," Cosart said. "The guy’s hitting a buck-forty and I throw him a fastball down the middle of the plate."
The Mets made two key defensive plays in the sixth. D’Arnaud caught speedy Dee Gordon trying to steal second and right fielder Curtis Granderson banged into the wall after a running catch on J.T. Realmuto’s bases-loaded drive with two outs.
Miami manager Mike Redmond says he’s giving Jarrod Saltalamacchia a "couple of days to regroup" after he started out 2 for 22 with 11 strikeouts and two recent throwing errors. Called up from the minors, Realmuto has started two games in a row. Redmond says it’s "always a touchy situation" when it comes to putting a slumping veteran on the bench. A rookie, Realmuto is the catcher the Marlins are counting on for the future.
Marlins: Yelich returned to the lineup after missing two games because of back tightness. … RHP Henderson Alvarez (inflammation in shoulder and elbow) is expected to begin playing catch in the next few days. … OF Don Kelly and C Jeff Mathis, both out with fractures, have been hand specialists and won’t need surgery.
Redmond won his first challenge of the season, contending that Suzuki was safe. Mets manager Terry Collins also won on his first try, and Realmuto lost an infield hit.
Marlins: RHP David Phelps makes his first start for Miami, facing the Mets on Friday night. He came off the paternity list and rejoined the team Thursday. Acquired from the Yankees in an offseason trade, he’s pitched twice in relief.