Mets 3, Marlins 2
NEW YORK (AP)
Jason Bay finally caught a break.
Bay's luck has been pretty lousy most of the season. On balls he puts into play, his batting average is .276 - well below league average and lowest among the Mets' regulars. That has contributed to his .234 average overall.
Before his pinball hit in the sixth, Bay got on via an infield single in the second. It was almost comic relief.
''Yeah, I mean, it's almost like a running joke,'' Bay said. ''I earned it. That relaxed me, and I went from there.''
Bay said he's been concentrating on relaxing mentally and hitting with a more natural pull stroke, even in the Mets' big ballpark. Bay has nine homers this season and 15 overall in nearly two full seasons with the Mets after topping 30 in four of his five previous seasons.
''It was just trying to be perfect,'' Bay said. ''It was nice to, obviously, get some results.''
David Wright hit two long doubles high off the wall in left field for the Mets, who have won five of six. The third baseman also made a diving stop on Omar Infante's hot grounder for the second out of the ninth before Bobby Parnell got his third save in five chances.
''Take Wright out of the game, and we're in business,'' Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. ''He gets the hit and the outstanding field.''
Jose Reyes kicked off the Mets' seventh with a single up the middle that squirted between shortstop Emilio Bonifacio and second baseman Omar Infante when both pulled up to avoid a collision. He moved to second on Ruben Tejada's sacrifice and scored easily when Duda hit a full-count pitch from Mike Dunn up the middle.
Florida has lost 19 of 24 since beating the Mets twice in early August.
Manny Acosta (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning of relief as New York dug deep into its bullpen on the last day before rosters expand in September.
Starter Chris Capuano barely made it through five innings, and the Mets used Pedro Beato, Acosta and Jason Isringhausen before Parnell. Mets second baseman Tejada went far to his right to snag a grounder by Mike Stanton and threw him out to end the game.
Volstad (5-12) was sharp early, facing one over the minimum in the first three innings. But he came out after Tejada's bunt and is 0-4 in six starts since beating the Astros on July 10.
''Couple infield hits, ball goes off my foot. That's the way it goes, I guess,'' Volstad said.
Volstad pitched 6 1-3 innings, was charged with two earned runs and struck out four.
''Quality start,'' McKeon said. ''Big deal. I want quality wins. I don't want quality starts, I want quality wins.''
Bay was thrown out at the plate on Josh Thole's grounder to first in the eighth. Although John Buck dropped the throw from Gaby Sanchez, Bay's slide was short and behind the plate, and he wound up behind the catcher. Buck bobbled the ball, but eventually picked it up and tagged Bay out in the back as he tried to scramble back to touch home.
Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison robbed Duda of a hit in the fifth. With two outs and Reyes on second thanks to a bloop double, Morrison made a diving grab on Duda's sinking liner.
Capuano struggled in his first outing since he struck out 13 while throwing a two-hitter against the Braves.
Jose Lopez hit a two-run single in the first inning, when Capuano gave up hits to the first two batters of the game. He made it through five, allowing seven hits and two walks.
''I was extremely proud of the way he battled back after the first inning,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ''He had 60 pitches in the first two innings and hung in there.''
NOTES: Bay's infield single in the second ended an 0-for-17 slump. ... Volstad singled with one out in the second inning after a 12-pitch at-bat. ... The Mets plan to start 40-year-old RHP Miguel Batista against Marlins RHP Clay Hensley (2-5) in Thursday's game. Batista made his major league debut with the 1992 Pirates, whose bullpen coach was Terry Collins, now the Mets manager. ... Bay was booed after striking out in the fourth with the bases loaded, his only out of the game.