Garrett Cooper slugged a two-run, two-out, walk-off homer in the ninth inning, leading the host Miami Marlins to a 3-1 win over the New York Mets on Saturday afternoon.
Cooper hit a 3-2 cutter from reliever Drew Smith (1-1). On the previous pitch, Smith came close to an inning-ending strikeout but didn’t get the call.
New York’s only run came on a similar situation.
Marlins closer Yimi Garcia (3-2) pitched one scoreless inning, earning the win.
Neither starter earned a decision.
Miami’s Pablo Lopez pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out eight.
New York’s Joey Lucchesi turned in his best start of the year. He tossed four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no walks, striking out eight and lowering his ERA from 9.19 to 7.32.
This was a defensive struggle for most of the game.
The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the first before Wilfredo Tovar struck out swinging. Johneshwy Fargas doubled with two outs in the fourth, but he was stranded.
Miami had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but Chad Wallach and Lopez struck out.
Finally, in the seventh, Miami opened the scoring on a rally set up by a pair of one-out singles from Brian Anderson and Cooper, the latter through a shift-opened right side of the infield.
Corey Dickerson got the RBI on a sacrifice fly to left fielder Cameron Maybin, who made a strong on-the-fly throw home. Catcher Tomas Nido got the out call initially, but Anderson was ruled safe when the ball fell out of the backstop’s glove.
The Mets tied the score at 1 in the eighth – one pitch after reliever Richard Bleier thought he had Dom Smith struck out on a 1-2 breaking ball that may have caught edge of the zone low and away.
On the next pitch, Smith pulled an RBI single to right, scoring Jose Peraza, who started the inning with a leadoff walk as a pinch hitter. Peraza had been starting until he was hit by a pitch on Friday, leaving that game with a leg contusion.
Smith may have made the defensive gem of the game in the bottom of the eighth, diving far to his right for a Miguel Rojas grounder and then throwing him out from the seat of his pants.
But Fargas had just as good a “snow cone” catch in center field in the ninth, diving to rob Jesus Aguilar of extra bases.
However, it was a moot point after Cooper hit his fifth homer of the season, pulling his shot to left-center.
–Field Level Media