Marlins rally past Mets to remain undefeated

BY foxsports • April 11, 2009

With the games getting closer, the Florida Marlins keep winning.

Jorge Cantu singled with two out in the ninth to score Emilio Bonifacio, and the Marlins remained unbeaten through four games by defeating the New York Mets 5-4 on Friday night.

The one-run margin was the first this season for Florida, the only unbeaten team in the majors.

"Man, there's a lot of excitement out there," Cantu said. "We're having fun. We're off to a great start, and hopefully it will set the tone for the rest of the season."

While the Marlins are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, manager Fredi Gonzalez said 162 victories are unlikely.

"We may kick one. Maybe 161," he said with a laugh. "No, it's a good start."

The Mets fell to 2-2 because they left 14 runners on base, stranding at least one every inning.

"A couple of hits here and there, and we could have broken it open," manager Jerry Manuel said.

After New York tied the game in the top of the ninth, Bonifacio reached on an infield single off Pedro Feliciano (0-1) with one out. Darren O'Day walked Hanley Ramirez, and Cantu singled to left on an 0-1 pitch, with Bonifacio sliding home ahead of the throw.

O'Day was a minor-league teammate last year of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, who died early Thursday in a car crash.

"It hasn't been a normal week for sure," O'Day said. "But when I went out there I was focused on one thing - doing my job."

Said Manuel: "You just don't know how a person is going to grieve. I don't know if it has affected him or not."

Marlins newcomer Bonifacio went 3-for-5 for his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, hiking his average to .579 (11-for-19). He scored three times and has nine runs this season.

"If he doesn't get better, we're going to send him to Albuquerque," Gonzalez said.

Bonifacio also used his speed to give Florida a 4-3 lead. He reached on a two-out bunt single in the seventh against Bobby Parnell, went to third on a bloop single by John Baker and came home on Ramirez's single.

Ramirez and Dan Uggla each hit a solo homer for Florida. Ramirez is batting .500 with eight RBIs, and the team average is .309.

"When it comes time to do the job, we've been doing it," Ramirez said. "Everybody is helping."

The Mets scored once in the ninth off closer Matt Lindstrom (1-0) to tie the game. Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church singled, and pinch hitter Jeremy Reed hit a two-out RBI single, but pinch hitter Alex Cora grounded out to end the inning.

New York stranded two runners in five of the final six innings.

The loss was the first for the Mets' bullpen after the front office invested heavily in upgrades during the offseason. Parnell and Sean Green each gave up one run.

Mets starter John Maine allowed homers to two of the first five batters he faced, and those were the only hits he gave up before leaving for a pinch hitter after five innings.

Florida starter Anibal Sanchez threw 93 pitches in five scoreless innings, and five relievers followed. Sanchez allowed four hits and three walks but worked out of two jams, helping Marlins starters lower their ERA to 2.38.

Ramirez homered with two out in the first, and Uggla homered leading off the second. The Marlins scored their other run in the sixth when Bonifacio singled, advanced on a balk, took third on an infield hit by Ramirez and came home on Cantu's single.

The Mets managed only one hit - a leadoff single - in the seventh but still rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game. The inning included two walks, a hit batsman, an RBI groundout by Beltran and a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Fernando Tatis.

Beltran also hit a solo homer.


Cantu was back in the lineup after being hit on the left hand by a pitch Wednesday. "A bone had to be sticking out of his hand for him not to be in the lineup," Gonzalez said. ... Marlins RF Cody Ross went 0-for-3 and is batting .067 (1-for-15). ... Of the 499 homers hit by Mets OF Gary Sheffield, more have come at Dolphin Stadium (68) than at any other ballpark. ... The last time Sanchez faced the Mets was May 2, 2007, his final start before undergoing shoulder surgery. ... RHP Livan Hernandez, who will start Saturday for New York, is 19-19 with a 3.86 ERA in 51 games in Miami.