Marlins jump on Mets early, ride Henderson Alvarez to series win
NEW YORK (AP) — Henderson Alvarez ended a three-start winless streak, and the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 4-3 Wednesday night to finish a trying 10-game trip in which they lost All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a season-ending injury when he was hit in the face by a pitch.
Wearing their bright orange alternate jerseys, the Marlins built a 3-0 lead in the first two innings against Dillon Gee (7-8) and held on to open a two-game lead over the Mets for third place in the NL East. New York (73-80) must go 8-1 to avoid a sixth straight losing season, one shy of the franchise record.
Before the game, the Marlins said Stanton won’t play again in the majors this season. Stanton was hit by a fastball from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers last Thursday and sustained facial fractures, concussion symptoms, dental damage, cuts that required stitches and two black eyes.
"It’s the whole healing process, the healing of the bones and the swelling," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "There’s just not enough time for it to properly heal, and for him to get medically cleared to be able to play."
The 24-year-old Stanton is a top candidate for the NL MVP award. His 37 home runs are the most in the NL, and he was leading the majors with 105 RBIs when he was hurt.
Mike Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, said Stanton might be able to get some at-bats in the instructional league in Florida, which runs through the first week of October.
With the win against the Mets, the Marlins (74-77) went 5-5 on their next-to-last trip and have a slim chance to avoid a sixth straight losing record.
"It’s been an emotional 10 days," Redmond said.
Alvarez (11-6), a first-time All-Star this year, allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. Steve Cishek pitched his second perfect ninth of the series for his 37th save in 41 chances.
Gee gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He entered with a scoreless streak of 16 1-3 innings against the Marlins but threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the first and allowed Garrett Jones’ run-scoring hit on a squib that went 30 feet toward third base. Donovan Solano’s RBI single made it 3-0 in the second.
Gee stroked a single into center in the fifth, prompting teammates to wave towels and stand and applaud in the dugout. He had been 0 for 35 this year and was hitless in 41 at-bats since singling off Miami’s Tom Koehler on Sept. 15 last year,
Lucas Duda hit a two-run single, just the sixth hit for the Mets in 63 at-bats this year with the bases loaded and two outs. Wilmer Flores followed with a fly that Marcell Ozuna caught with a leap against the wall in left-center.
Christian Yelich restored a two-run lead with an RBI double off Josh Edgin in the seventh, and Curtis Granderson hit a run-scoring grounder against Chris Hatcher in the eighth.
Granderson bounced into a 4-6-3 double play in the fourth inning, the first time he had grounded into a double play in 616 plate appearances this season. Granderson had been the only regular starter in the major leagues without a GIDP and had not bounced into one since his first plate appearance of 2013 with the New York Yankees on May 14. His streak of 859 plate appearances without one was the longest since Tony Womack went 981 in a row from May 27, 1997, to Aug. 5, 1998, according to STATS.
The Mets could stop their streak of years with dropping home attendance at five if they average more than 28,120 for their season-ending, three-game series against Houston from Sept. 26-28. New York has drawn 2,051,296 for 77 dates, an average of 26,641. The Mets drew 2,135,657 for 80 dates last year, an average of 26,696.
Mets CF Juan Lagares will be sidelined for a few days after spraining his right elbow Wednesday.
LHP Brad Hand is to start Thursday’s homestand opener against NL East champion Washington, which goes with RHP Doug Fister (14-6). The Mets begin their last road trip at Atlanta on Friday with RHP Zack Wheeler (10-10), and the Braves plan to start RHP Julio Teheran (13-12).