Mets 3, Marlins 1 (Game 2)

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed just two hits over seven innings in earning his first major league win in more than a year and Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers in the third Saturday night as the New York Mets earned a split of a doubleheader by beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 at Citi Field.

The Marlins won the first game 3-0 behind seven shutout innings from Henderson Alvarez. The doubleheader was necessitated by a rainout on June 7.

The Mets (66-82) won for just the fourth time in 14 games this month. The Marlins (55-93) are 6-8 in September but have lost eight of their last 11.

Matsuzaka, who turned 33 on Friday, is well-known for his laborious pace and propensity for working deep into the count. But he pitched quickly and efficiently Saturday in earning his first win since Aug. 27, 2012, when he was a member of the Red Sox.

Matsuzaka didn't allow a hit Saturday until Justin Ruggiano's one-out homer in the fourth. He walked one, hit two batters and struck out three during a 91-pitch effort. He threw a first-pitch strike to 21 of the 26 batters he faced and reached a three-ball count just twice.

The Marlins threatened in the seventh when, with one out, Matsuzaka hit Placido Polanco for the second time. With two outs, Adeiny Hechavarria singled to right, but Matsuzaka escaped the jam by striking out Rob Brantly.

It was the second straight strong start for Matsuzaka, who made 19 starts with Cleveland's Triple-A team before he signed with the Mets on Aug. 22. He posted a 10.05 ERA in his first three outings for New York before he allowed just one run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings against the Indians on Sunday.

Pedro Feliciano and Vic Black combined to allow one hit in the eighth before LaTroy Hawkins notched his 10th save by working around Giancarlo Stanton's leadoff single in the ninth.

Murphy finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for the Mets while Duda was 2-for-3 and reached base three times in four plate appearances. Wilmer Flores had an RBI single.

Jacob Turner took the loss for the Marlins after allowing all three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six over five innings.

The Mets jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, when Murphy singled with two outs, stole second and scored on Flores' single to left.

Murphy began another rally in the third when he hit a leadoff homer. Duda followed with his second homer in as many nights. It was the third time this season the Mets have hit back-to-back homers and the first time since Aug. 16, when Marlon Byrd and Ike Davis did it against the Padres.

NOTES: Mets RHP Frank Francisco, who left the first game in the eighth inning after he was hit on the right thumb by a line drive off the bat of Logan Morrison, was diagnosed with a bruise. ... Mets 3B David Wright (strained right hamstring) worked out for more than two hours before the doubleheader and is optimistic he can return during the Mets' series against the Giants that begins Tuesday. Wright said he needs to repeat cutting and stopping before he'll feel comfortable playing in a game. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who was scratched from his start Thursday due to a stiff back, played catch Saturday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday. As long as he comes out of Sunday's session fine, he'll return to the Marlins' rotation on Wednesday. ... Marlins C Jeff Mathis (bruised right thumb), who hasn't played since he got hurt against the Braves last Monday, played catch and took swings in the batting cage before the first game. He is likely to return during the Marlins' series against the Phillies that begins Monday.
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