NEW YORK (AP) — Jenrry Mejia was rolling along with a four-run lead when it all unraveled in a flash. The next thing they knew, the New York Mets were behind and their offense was just about done for the day.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered leading off the 10th inning, Giancarlo Stanton also went deep and the Miami Marlins rallied for a 7-6 victory Saturday night at Citi Field.
After opening a 5-1 cushion by the third inning, the Mets managed one hit – an infield single – the rest of the way.
“We kind of built the lineup today to see if we could score early, which we did. We just couldn’t add on,” manager Terry Collins said. “It goes back to the same thing – we know we’re going to hit. We’re not hitting right now. We’ve been very lucky to score some runs when we’ve needed to and tonight it wasn’t enough.”
Stanton hit a two-run shot off Mejia in the sixth and Miami’s five-run outburst was capped by pinch-hitter Reed Johnson’s two-run double. Stanton’s seventh home run of the season gave him 29 RBIs, most in the majors.
“They got me,” Mejia said. “Nothing I can do.”
Bobby Abreu hit his first major league homer since 2012 and Lucas Duda had a two-run single for the Mets, who had won three straight and five of six. New York was trying to move four games over .500 for the first time since July 14, 2012.
Mike Dunn (2-3) struck out four in two hitless innings and Steve Cishek earned his fifth save, one night after coughing up a ninth-inning lead for his first blown save since June 4, 2013. Cishek had converted a team-record 33 straight chances before Friday.
“There wasn’t any point we thought we were out of this game,” Saltalamacchia said. “With our lineup, there’s no doubt we’re going to put up runs.”
Saltalamacchia, who hit a tying homer Friday, sent a 2-2 pitch from Kyle Farnsworth (0-1) off a railing just above the left-center fence. The ball caromed back onto the field and Saltalamacchia initially stopped at second base, but the umpires quickly waved him home without looking at a replay.
“It was supposed to be a fastball away, came over the middle,” Farnsworth said. “If I’m going to get beat, I’m going to get beat with my best pitch and he put a good swing on it, went opposite field.”
“He’s trying to do one thing – hit the ball out of the park. I’m looking to be aggressive,” the reliever added. “Just one of those cases of old-fashioned hardball.”
Mejia, backed by two outstanding plays from shortstop Omar Quintanilla, took a 5-1 lead into the sixth, when the first three Marlins batters swung at the first pitch and hit the ball hard.
“Maybe those three guys talked about it,” Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “It caught me by surprise, that’s for sure.”
Marcell Ozuna doubled, Stanton homered to right-center and Casey McGehee singled as rain began to fall. Two outs later, Adeiny Hechavarria chased Mejia with an RBI single. Johnson went after Carlos Torres’ first pitch and sliced a high fly that landed just fair in the right-field corner to give Miami a 6-5 advantage.
Mejia was charged with six runs and eight hits. New York starters had gone straight 11 games without allowing more than three runs.
Saltalamacchia’s passed ball and Hechavarria’s throwing error from shortstop let the Mets tie it in the bottom half.
The 40-year-old Abreu, who didn’t play in the majors last season, made his second start for the Mets since getting called up Monday from Triple-A Las Vegas. His two-run shot off Kevin Slowey in the first inning gave New York a 3-0 lead.
It was Abreu’s first big league homer since Sept. 28, 2012, with the Los Angeles Dodgers against Colorado.
“Feels good, man. A relief, I’d say, after one year off,” Abreu said.
Derek Dietrich hit an RBI single in the second, snapping Mejia’s scoreless streak at a career-best 14 2-3 innings.
NOTES: New York native Tom Koehler (2-1, 2.13 ERA) faces Mets RHP Dillon Gee (1-1, 3.58) in the series finale Sunday. … Abreu is 8 for 20 (.400) with four home runs against Slowey. … Collins won a replay challenge in the top of the ninth after Christian Yelich was called safe at first on a bunt. The ruling was overturned following a review that lasted 2 minutes, 8 seconds. … Daniel Murphy was ejected by plate umpire Seth Buckminster for protesting a called third strike in the bottom of the 10th.