Miami Marlins deal New York Mets their fifth straight loss

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 19, 2017 at 1:39 AM
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NEW YORK -- J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run homer in the second inning Friday night and Justin Nicolino earned his second straight win with five solid innings as the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-1 at Citi Field.

Marcell Ozuna lofted a sacrifice fly in the third for the Marlins (59-61), who have won six of seven to move within two games of .500 for the first time since they were 12-14 on May 3.

Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, whose six-game home run streak was snapped in Miami's previous game Wednesday, went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks. Stanton leads the majors with 44 homers.

The Mets (53-67) have lost five straight to fall 14 games below .500 for the first time since they finished the 2013 season at 74-88.

Nicolino (2-1) allowed one run on six hits and no walks while striking out one as he won consecutive starts for the first time since April 27-May 3, 2016. Four relievers combined to limit the Mets to one hit the rest of the way, with Brad Ziegler earning his fifth save with a perfect ninth.

Wilmer Flores had an RBI single for the Mets while Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario each had two hits. Rosario added a stolen base.

Rookie right-hander Chris Flexen (2-2) took the loss after allowing the three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out one over 5 1/3 innings.

The Marlins went ahead 2-0 in the second when Ozuna drew a leadoff walk before Realmuto hit a two-run homer to left field.

Another walk led to a run in the third for the Marlins, when Stanton walked with one out, went to third on Christian Yelich's double and trotted home on Ozuna's sacrifice fly to the warning track in center field.

The Mets pulled within 3-1 in the third, when Juan Lagares and Cabrera each hit one-out singles. Lagares advanced to third on a fly out by Yoenis Cespedes and scored on Flores' single to left.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 53 minutes by rain. ... The matchup of Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino and Mets RHP Chris Flexen marked just the third time this season both starters in a game pitched at least five innings and recorded one strikeout or fewer. It also happened in a Marlins-San Francisco Giants game on Monday and an Atlanta Braves-Pittsburgh Pirates game on May 25. ... Mets IF Wilmer Flores returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left oblique. ... Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow) threw a two-inning simulated game Friday.

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