NEW YORK (AP) — Slumping slugger Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins are limping toward the All-Star break.
Chris Young and rookie Eric Campbell delivered big hits off the bench in the late innings to rally the New York Mets past Miami 5-4 on Saturday.
Young’s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Bryan Morris tied it at 4 in the seventh. Campbell came through with a pinch-hit single against left-hander Mike Dunn (7-5) in the eighth to put the Mets ahead.
“That was one we should’ve been able to lock down,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “We’ve had some struggles holding down a lead late in the game.”
Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out 10 in six innings and New York executed a perfect suicide squeeze, improving to 7-2 on a 10-game homestand that leads into the All-Star break. A loss Sunday would drop Miami behind the Mets and into fourth place in the NL East.
Christian Yelich homered for the Marlins, who have lost four of five. Stanton went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and is 1 for 18 with nine Ks in his last five games.
“I think some (guys) are worried about the All-Star break,” said Stanton, a reserve on the National League roster for Tuesday night’s showcase. “Some are at that point in the season. So we play one more, take the break for what it is. Just get away from baseball for a little bit. That’s what the team will probably need.”
With two outs in the eighth, Travis d’Arnaud doubled off Dunn. Campbell batted for Kirk Nieuwenhuis and poked a soft single into center to give the Mets their first lead.
“I just didn’t execute the pitch: 3-2 slider,” Dunn said. “Left it over the plate. Pretty much the only bad slider I threw all inning.”
Vic Black (2-2) worked a scoreless eighth, and Jenrry Mejia got three quick outs for his 10th save.
All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy stretched high for a leaping grab that kept the game tied in the top of the eighth.
“I still can’t believe I saw that,” d’Arnaud said. “He could dunk, I think, with how high he jumped.”
Matsuzaka had his fourth career double-digit strikeout game. The other three came with Boston in 2007, his first season in the majors.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler, pitching about 12 miles from his New Rochelle hometown, tossed two-hit ball into the seventh and left with a 4-2 lead after a one-out walk to No. 8 batter Ruben Tejada.
“Got to give yourself a chance to get an out there. Obviously, that led to me having to be taken out of the game. It’s something that just can’t happen,” Koehler said. “I’ve got to keep attacking hitters. A lot of times I give up runs because I put myself and the team in situations that allows them to capitalize on things. I expect more of myself. That’s why games like today are frustrating.”
Young was batting .195 before launching Morris’ first pitch into the left-field stands for his second career pinch-hit homer. The other came on June 27, 2012, with Arizona against Atlanta.
Morris hadn’t allowed an earned run in 21 1-3 innings over 17 games with Miami since arriving from Pittsburgh on June 1 – the longest consecutive innings streak without yielding an earned run to begin a Marlins career.
“Stroke of lightning that C.Y. dropped on `em right there,” Murphy said.
Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna hit consecutive RBI doubles in the sixth off Matsuzaka to put Miami ahead 4-2.
Adeiny Hechavarria had a leadoff double in the third and scored when Mets third baseman David Wright made an error on Donovan Solano’s RBI grounder. With two on, Matsuzaka limited the damage by striking out Stanton and Casey McGehee on sliders.
Yelich’s solo shot in the fifth cleared the right-center fence near the 390-foot sign. It was only the third home run this season off Matsuzaka, who has thrown 71 innings.
New York tied it 2-all in the bottom half after Yelich was slow to get back on Nieuwenhuis’ double at the left-field wall. Juan Lagares had an RBI groundout, and Nieuwenhuis dashed home on Tejada’s suicide squeeze.
“That might be the biggest win of the year right there for us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
NOTES: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez was added to the NL All-Star roster as a replacement for injured Washington pitcher Jordan Zimmermann. … Redmond said RHP Nathan Eovaldi will probably start the first game after the All-Star break Friday against San Francisco. The rest of the rotation, however, could depend on whether Alvarez pitches in the All-Star game. … New York rookie Jacob deGrom (2-5, 3.38 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday against LHP Brad Hand (0-1, 5.09).