MIAMI Mike Redmond could not have received a better anniversary present.
A 31-year-old rookie appearing in his second major league game put the Marlins on the board in the seventh with an RBI-single. Three batters later the 29-year-old with almost 3,500 minor league plate appearances to his credit stroked a pinch-hit, two-run double.
Fifteen years to the day Redmond made his major league debut he watched Ed Lucas and Jordan Brown lead the Marlins to a desperately needed 5-1 win over the Mets Friday. The victory, which featured the club’s first four-run inning since May 5, snapped a nine-game losing streak that included a four-game skid at Marlins Park.
“I don’t know if any of the guys knew,” said Redmond, asked if the anniversary served as a rallying cry. “It was for me.”
The beneficiary of the rare display of offensive proficiency was Jacob Turner. Making his 2013 debut, Turner (1-0) held the Mets to five hits over seven shutout innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Friday marked the third time in 14 career starts Turner completed seven or more innings and the second time he recorded at least 21 outs without allowing a run.
Turner retired 13 of the first 15 batters he faced. The only Met that made it past first off him was Ike Davis, who reached on a two-out double in the fifth.
Penciled into the season-opening rotation, Turner was a mess in spring training and all but forced the Marlins to option him to Triple-A New Orleans. He regained his command and velocity during his 10 starts there and the Marlins now hope he’s here to stay.
“The things he went down to the minor leagues to work on showed,” Redmond said. “He pounded the strike zone and really dominated the first six innings. He looked great. His tempo was good. He looked confident. Fortunately we were able to get some runs and get some big hits.”
Added Turner: “I feel like I’ve been throwing the ball similar to this in Triple-A and it was just a matter of time of making the adjustments I needed to make to get everything right. Probably my last five or six starts everything has kind of come together. Obviously it took a little longer than I would have liked, but I’m happy it’s here now.”
Marcell Ozuna (3-for-4, RBI) extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest active run in the majors, with a single to start the fifth. Chris Coghlan followed with another base hit to put his hitting streak at seven. By inning’s end the game remained scoreless.
Getting a spot start at short for Adeiny Hechavarria, Lucas sacrificed the two runners over. Shaun Marcum intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Greg Dobbs to face light-hitting catcher Jeff Mathis.
Mathis grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. The Marlins have grounded into seven double plays in 39 at-bats with the bases loaded. Mathis has accounted for three of those. They’ve also struck out 16 times and hit .179 in those situations.
Two innings later Mathis again came up with the bases jammed. This time he lifted a sacrifice fly to center for his first RBI as a Marlin as part of the four-run, four-hit seventh. With runners at the corners and one out, Lucas delivered his first hit. Brown’s pinch-hit double gave him five RBI in six at-bats (two hits) since his promotion.
“It’s been 10 years and that’s entered my mind plenty of times,” said Lucas, asked if he thought this day might never come. “I never stopped hoping and finally got an opportunity and I’m really glad I was able to fit that one in. Hopefully there’s more to come.”
The Mets should have gone up 1-0 on Davis’ fifth-inning double, his first extra-base hit since May 9. Marlon Byrd walked immediately before Davis stepped in and was caught stealing 1-6. Byrd broke for second before Turner began his move to the plate.
In the fourth, the exact scenario played out after Juan Pierre reached on a base hit. He broke too soon and Marcum (0-6), who retired the first nine in a row, got him at second.
“It doesn’t matter who it is to help us win,” Redmond said. “We just need somebody to step up and get the big hit, get the big out…A lot of good things happened tonight.”
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