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Marcell Ozuna Guns Down Tying Run at Plate Twice as Miami Marlins Beat New York Mets

June 20th, 2014 at 11:31 PM
By Mike Phillips

Miami-After falling behind early in the game, the New York Mets were on the comeback trail. The Mets fell behind to the Miami Marlins 3-0, but constructed an eighth inning rally to pull within one. The Mets caught a bad break, however, as David Wright was gunned down at home plate with one out in the inning. The Mets challenged as it appeared that Marlins' catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia broke the new rule by blocking the plate before he had the ball, but the umpires upheld the call and the Marlins (37-36) held on to defeat the Mets (33-41) 3-2.

'David Wright' photo (c) 2009, Keith Allison - license:

The Marlins grabbed the early lead in the first inning, picking up a run on an RBI groundout from Adeiny Hecheverria to make it 1-0. The score would remain the same until the seventh inning, when the Marlins tacked on two more runs to make it 3-0. The Mets made things interesting in the top of the eighth inning against Miami reliever Kevin Gregg. Chris Young walked to start the inning, and Eric Young Jr singled to bring the tying run to the plate. Gregg got Daniel Murphy out before yielding an RBI single to David Wright to get the Mets on the board, making it 3-1.

Marlins' manager Mike Redmond then went to his bullpen, summoning lefty reliever Mike Dunn to face Curtis Granderson. Dunn walked him, leading Terry Collins to pinch hit for Bobby Abreu with Eric Campbell. Campbell delivered a single to left field, plating Young to make it 3-2. Wright tried to score on the play, but the throw from left fielder Marcell Ozuna was perfect and Wright was gunned down at the plate. The Mets tried to challenge the call, claiming that Saltalamacchia blocked the plate before he had the ball, a violation of the new home plate collision rule. Even though replays showed the Mets had a case, the umpires stuck with the initial call on the field. Wilmer Flores then pinch hit for Lucas Duda with a chance to tie the game, but struck out swinging to end the frame.

After setting the Marlins aside in the eighth inning, the Mets had a chance to tie the game again in the bottom of the ninth inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the inning with a pinch hit double off of Marlins' closer Steve Cishek. Ruben Tejada sacrificed Nieuwenhuis over to third with one out, setting up Chris Young with a chance to be the hero. Young delivered a fly ball to left field for the second out, and Nieuwenhuis tried to score the tying run. Ozuna, however, was the hero by gunning him out at the plate to preserve the Marlins' 3-2 win. Cishek picked up his 17th save of the season in the process.

Player of the Game:

For the first time since we started handing out this award, the Player of the Game award goes to a player for their defensive contributions. Marcell Ozuna went 0 for 3 at the plate, but his two perfect throws to the plate prevented the Mets from scoring the tying run in the eighth and ninth inning. Ozuna's defensive contribution was the difference in the Marlins getting the win. 

Post Game Notes:

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (L, 3-1) was the tough luck loser for the Mets. Matsuzaka allowed only one run in 5.1 innings of work on six hits while walking one and striking out four.
  • Henderson Alvarez (W, 4-3) picked up the win for the Marlins after tossing 6.1 innings of shutout ball. Alvarez scattered seven hits and struck out five on the night.
  • David Wright continues to show signs of life at the plate, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Wright appears to be on the verge of a hot streak after enduring a brutal slump for the first few weeks of June.

What's Next:

The Mets and Marlins will resume their four game series tomorrow afternoon at Marlins Park. Jacob deGrom (0-4, 3.83 ERA) and Tom Koehler (5-5, 3.74 ERA) will be the starting pitchers. First pitch in Miami is scheduled for 4:10 pm. 

Tags: Baseball, Daisuke Matsuzaka, David Wright, Eric Campbell, Henderson Alvarez, Kevin Gregg, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Steve Cishek

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