NEW YORK (AP) To a man, Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer and the rest of the New York Mets quickly point out they’ve played just 10 games in April. Still, for a team with tremendous expectations after a long run of losing, they’re off to a fast start.
”It’s real early,” manager Terry Collins said, ”but I like it a lot.”
Duda got three more hits and the Mets overcame Giancarlo Stanton’s blast and Ichiro Suzuki’s ballet to beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 Thursday night for their fifth straight win.
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The Mets lost a replay challenge that took nearly six minutes, but wound up posting their longest winning streak since May 2013.
”A year ago, we don’t win tonight,” Collins said.
Coming off six straight losing seasons, Collins didn’t take the bait when it was mentioned that at 7-3, the Mets led the NL East. That will mean something, Collins said, only in October.
Wilmer Flores hit a three-run homer that helped the Mets rally from an early 3-0 deficit. Duda doubled twice and lined a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, lifting the slugger’s batting average to .395.
Duda has gotten a pair of extra-base hits in three straight games. The last Mets player to do it was Carlos Beltran in 2006.
”Overall, great job, team win,” Duda said.
Stanton hit his first home run since a fastball to the face ended his season last September. It was his 155th career homer, moving him past Dan Uggla for most in Marlins’ history.
”I’ll enjoy it later,” Stanton said. Referring to the Marlins’ mark this season, he added ”3-7 is the only record I know right now.”
Suzuki made a pair of headfirst dives home on the same play, eluding catcher Travis d’Arnaud to make it 5-all in the seventh. On third after a pinch-hit triple, he took off on an infield grounder.
D’Arnaud caught a wide throw, and both he and Suzuki made a dive for the plate. Suzuki missed the plate by an inch and d’Arnaud missed him. Still spry at 41, 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.
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 Cuddyer followed with his second RBI single.
Stanton launched a long, two-out drive in the first. He led the NL with 37 home runs despite a season-ending beaning on Sept. 11. Martin Prado homered for a 3-0 in the fourth.
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.
Collins also made his first replay challenge this season and won, with Realmuto losing an infield hit in the fifth.
ADD `EM UP
Mets starter Dillon Gee struck out seven in 5 2-3 innings. He’s pitched at least five innings in 48 straight starts, the longest active streak in the majors and two short of the team record held by Dwight Gooden.
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.
Mets: 3B David Wright (strained right hamstring) hopes to be able to start physical activities Friday. He got a cortisone shot Wednesday, a day after getting hurt.
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.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-0) starts Friday. He is 3-2 lifetime vs. the Marlins, and pitched a complete game the first time he faced them – in 2002, for the Montreal Expos against Florida.