Cishek rebounds as Marlins edge Mets
MIAMI — Steve Cishek was not well rested Tuesday night — and it had nothing to do with how much he pitched lately for the Miami Marlins.
The right-handed reliever barely slept after blowing a save Monday night.
But first baseman Michael Morse snapped a tie with an eighth-inning RBI single and Cishek got the save as the Marlins defeated the New York Mets 4-3 on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
The Marlins beat the NL East-leading Mets for the first time in six meetings this season.
Cishek allowed a three-run, ninth-inning homer to Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy on Monday, but was able to close this one out by working around a leadoff walk in the final frame.
“I had a hard time sleeping last night,” said Cishek, who has just two saves this season after getting 39 last year. “That one really burned me. I had a little chip on my shoulder today.”
Things hadn’t been going much better for Morse, either. But Mets reliever Carlos Torres (1-1) helped Miami by walking two batters in the eighth. Morse then lined a one-out single to center for his first RBI in eight games.
“I just needed to relax and let my ability come,” said Morse, who is hitting .224.
Morse’s hit helped snap an impressive streak by the Mets’ bullpen, which had gone 19 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Mets relievers entered Tuesday with a 2.38 ERA, fourth-best in the majors, but that was undone by Torres’ wildness.
“I was trying to be too precise,” said Torres, who walked third baseman Martin Prado on five pitches and center fielder Marcell Ozuna on four. “When you do that, you walk people.”
Marlins reliever Bryan Morris (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Both starting pitchers — rookie Rafael Montero of the Mets and the Marlins’ David Phelps — got no-decisions despite faring well early. Montero held the Marlins scoreless through five innings. Phelps held the Mets scoreless through six.
Montero was sent back to Triple A after the game as the Mets called up left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich. Montero did his job, giving Matt Harvey and other Mets starters an extra day’s rest.
Miami (9-12) opened the scoring with three runs against Montero in the sixth. Second baseman Dee Gordon singled, advanced to second on an error by right fielder Curtis Granderson and to third on a sacrifice bunt.
The Mets (15-6) could have intentionally walked right fielder Giancarlo Stanton to set up a potential inning-ending double play. Instead, they pitched to him, and Stanton singled for a 1-0 lead.
“We really didn’t,” Mets manager Terry Collins said when asked if he considered walking Stanton. “The middle of their lineup is pretty good. I know (Stanton) is real good. We wanted to go away and see if (Stanton) would chase. But (Montero) threw too good a pitch.”
Stanton came around to score on a single by catcher J.T. Realmuto, and Miami got its third run when reliever Buddy Carlyle unleashed a wild pitch.
New York tied the score with three runs off Phelps and reliever A.J. Ramos in the seventh. The Mets loaded the bases on singles by right fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, catcher Anthony Recker and Granderson.
Recker’s hit was dubious — it could have been ruled an error on Prado — and the Mets made Miami pay with a bases-clearing double to deep center by Juan Lagares.
The Mets had a chance to snap the tie score and take the lead in the eighth when Murphy hit a leadoff double. Shortstop Ruben Tejada tried to bunt him over, but he pushed the ball too sharply, and Morris threw out Murphy on a close play at third.
“We gave Ruben the option there,” Collins said. “If he was comfortable trying to get a base hit to right field, I was fine with that. He opted to bunt and just didn’t’ get it down the third-base line.”
NOTES: The Mets sent INF Danny Muno to Triple-A and activated RHP Rafael Montero for Tuesday night’s start. ... Mets RHP Bartolo Colon, 42, is 37-19 since turning 40 and will try to improve to 5-0 this season when he faces Miami and RHP Mat Latos in Wednesday’s series finale. ... Mets RHP Bobby Parnell, who had Tommy John surgery on April 8, 2014, was shut down recently because of forearm fatigue. However, Parnell expects to resume throwing on Thursday. ... The Marlins, who designated C Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment Monday, have 10 days to try to trade him before he is put on waivers. Reports indicate there is some interest, but the Marlins would have to pick up most of the remaining salary ($14.2 million over two years). ... RHP Steve Cishek, Miami’s struggling closer, said his velocity is down “a tick” — from 92 mph to 89 mph on his sinker — but added he normally starts slowly during the first month of the season.