Marlins 4, Mets 3 (15)

Miami Marlins beat New York Mets in 15 innings, but Giancarlo Stanton strains right hamstring

The Marlins rallied to beat the Mets in the bottom of the 15th inning, but slugger Giancarlo Stanton injured his leg during the game.

cspencer@MiamiHerald.comApril 30, 2013 

No one would dare compare it to the Heat’s 27-game winning streak.

But beggars can’t be choosy, and the Marlins are more than satisfied with their first two-game winning streak of the season, which came with a 4-3 victory in 15 innings over the New York Mets.

Nick Green drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

While the Marlins won one of the longest marathons in franchise history Monday, they also lost their marquee player — Giancarlo Stanton — to injury.

Stanton left with a strained right hamstring in the 10th inning, five innings before the Marlins came from behind to win it with a pair of runs in the 15th.

In terms of innings played, it was one of the 10 longest games in the history of the Marlins.

Stanton sustained his injury while trying to beat out a ground ball. He grimaced as the crossed the bag at first, reached back as if to grab his leg, hopped twice, and fell to the ground. He walked the field gingerly with team trainer Sean Cunningham at his side.

The Marlins gave no indication early Tuesday morning as to how long they expect Stanton to be out.

Stanton, who struggled most of April but seemed to finally find his home run stroke over the weekend, would represent a big blow to a last-place team that lacks star talent.

It made a long night even worse for the Marlins.

In a matchup of two of the majors’ most promising young pitchers, neither Jose Fernandez nor Matt Harvey factored in the decision. By then, they were long gone.

Neither of the two former first-round draft picks pitched spectacularly Monday. But both provided glimpses of their brilliance, with the Harvey, 24, striking out seven Marlins in the first four innings and Fernandez, 20, gutting his way out of a pair of tough spots.

Harvey gave up seven hits over his 5 1/3 innings, including back-to-back singles to start the third by Juan Pierre and Donovan Solano. But he gladly traded a run for a Stanton double play grounder. Stanton was hitless in four at-bats and struck out twice before sustaining the hamstring injury.

Because he is on a pitch limit to preserve his young arm, Fernandez managed to complete only four innings, throwing 81 pitches, before turning the ball over to the bullpen. Fernandez has not thrown more than 85 pitches in any of his five starts so far, and because of the strict limitations being placed on him, has gone exactly four innings in two of his past three outings.

His most significant mistake: a 95-mph fastball that John Buck — yes, that John Buck — belted over the fence for a two-run homer in the fourth.

Signed to a three-year deal at the insistence of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, Buck was a bust at the plate, hitting .213 in his two seasons with the Marlins. Buck (like so many hitters) found cavernous Marlins Park to his disliking, and managed only four home runs there last season. The Marlins packaged him in the 12-player deal with the Blue Jays, who flipped him to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade.

He has proved to be a surprise find for the Mets.

Buck’s nine homers matches a Mets team record for April. Dave Kingman (1976) and Carlos Delgado (2006) also hit nine out in the first month. They’re also four more than he ever hit in any one month for the Marlins.

He’s also driven in 25 runs, tops in the National League.

It remained 2-1 until the ninth when Justin Ruggiano doubled off Mets closer Bobby Parnell to start the inning, advanced to third on Rob Brantly’s single, and scored the tying run on Nick Green’s sacrifice fly.

Until Tejada drove in the go-ahead run in the 15th of Jon Rauch, the Mets had gone 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

The Marlins were just 1 for 12 in those situations.

The Marlins won it in the 15th on Brantly’s RBI single and Green’s sacrifice fly.

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