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New York at Florida

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N.Y. Mets (3-2) «0010310308151
Florida (4-1)0000002024112

Hernandez helps Mets hand Marlins first loss of season

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Livan Hernandez found a way to beat the Florida Marlins: by throwing curves slower than the team bus.

Hernandez used his off-speed stuff to take a shutout into the seventh inning, helping the New York Mets hand the Marlins their first loss, 8-4 on Saturday night.

Florida had been the last undefeated team in the majors, but Hernandez tamed an offense that batted .309 and scored 31 runs as the Marlins won their first four games.

"The Marlins are a good hitting team," Hernandez said. "You've got to not make a lot of mistakes and throw the ball down. With a lot of hitters, you can see what they're looking for, and I try to take advantage and throw whatever they don't want to hit."

Meanwhile, Ricky Nolasco (1-1) endured the poorest outing so far by a Florida starter, allowing four runs in five innings. The Marlins' 4-0 start was the best in franchise history.

"We had to come down to reality at one time or another," second baseman Dan Uggla said.

The Mets totaled 15 hits. Luis Castillo took 100 extra swings before the game, then went 4-for-4 to hike his average from .100 to .357.

"I feel better," Castillo said. "I don't want to think so much, and that's what I've been doing. I get frustrated sometimes, but I know what kind of player I am."

Jose Reyes had his first three RBI of the season, including a two-run homer. Carlos Delgado finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Although Florida proved to be beatable, Marlins leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio continued to look unstoppable. He went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI single, which raised his average to .583.

The game drew 39,412 fans, the Marlins' largest crowd since Aug. 18, 2007, but not all were on the home team's bandwagon. Many cheered for the Mets, and they gave Hernandez (1-0) a big ovation when he left the game after 6 2/3 innings.

The 34-year-old right-hander had an ERA of 6.05 last year for Minnesota and Colorado. He needed a strong spring to win the fifth spot in the Mets' rotation after signing a minor league contract in February.

"I had a good offseason," Hernandez said. "I've got a chance to be the Livan I used to be."

He kept the Marlins off balance by changing speeds, such as when he struck out rookie Cameron Maybin with a 60 mph curve. A 62 mph curve sent Hanley Ramirez almost spinning into the ground when he swung and missed.

"We're a team that would rather have someone throw 95," Marlins catcher John Baker said.

Hernandez gave up only six hits and two runs in the longest outing so far by a Mets starter.

"When you have a veteran like Livan who commands his pitches and can put a little on and take a little off, he can be tough for a young, aggressive-swinging team like that," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He was able to throttle back and forth, which made him very effective."

Four relievers completed the victory. After Florida scored an unearned run in the ninth, new Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez came on to get the final two outs.

Castillo scored the game's first two runs. He singled to start the second inning, advanced on a sacrifice and came home on a broken-bat double by Reyes.

Castillo led off the fourth with another single and again took second on a sacrifice by Hernandez. Reyes homered, Daniel Murphy singled and Delgado hit a two-out RBI double to make it 4-0.

Ryan Church singled to start the sixth and scored on Castillo's single. It was still 5-0 in the seventh when the Marlins broke through against Hernandez with RBI singles by pinch-hitter Wes Helms and Bonifacio.

Back-to-back errors by first baseman Jorge Cantu and third baseman Bonifacio led to three unearned runs in the eighth.

Notes

  • After the game, the Marlins activated utilityman Alfredo Amezaga from the disabled list and optioned INF Andy Gonzalez to Triple-A New Orleans.
  • LHP Johan Santana, who will start Sunday, has won all five of his career starts against Florida with an ERA of 1.83.
  • The Mets received a scare in the fifth when SS Reyes came up limping after Maybin slid into him trying to break up a double play. Reyes stayed in the game.
  • Nolasco fell to 2-6 with an ERA of 6.36 in 12 games against the Mets.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Mets' Jose Reyes drives in three runs and hits his first home run of the season.  (AP)
The Mets' Jose Reyes drives in three runs and hits his first home run of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

L. Hernandez
IP 6.2
H 6
ER 2
BB 3
K 4
Florida

E. Bonifacio
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5123012 .286
Daniel Murphy, LF4210101 .348
    Darren O'Day, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
David Wright, 3B5011021 .316
Carlos Delgado, 1B4032100 .421
Carlos Beltran, CF5010014 .381
Ryan Church, RF4120102 .526
Brian Schneider, C5110014 .200
Luis Castillo, 2B4341000 .357
Livan Hernandez, P0000000 .000
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
   a- Alex Cora, PH1001000 .000
    Jeremy Reed, LF1000011 .333
Totals38815836  
a-grounded out for Feliciano in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (1, Nolasco), Carlos Delgado (1, Nolasco), Carlos Beltran (1, Miller), Ryan Church 2 (5, Nolasco, Miller)
HR - Jose Reyes (1, Nolasco)
SH - Luis Castillo (1), Livan Hernandez 3 (3)
RBI - Jose Reyes 3 (3), David Wright (1), Carlos Delgado 2 (8), Luis Castillo (1), Alex Cora (2)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright (1), Carlos Delgado 2 (4)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Wright, Hernandez-Reyes-Delgado
E - David Wright (1, Throwing)
New York Mets
Livan Hernandez (W,1-0) 6.2622340 2.70
Brian Stokes0100000 0.00
Pedro Feliciano (H,1) 0.1000000 11.57
Darren O'Day 1.1320010 0.00
Francisco Rodriguez 0.2100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 99-62, Brian Stokes 4-3, Pedro Feliciano 1-1, Darren O'Day 33-21, Francisco Rodriguez 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 5-9, Pedro Feliciano 1-0, Darren O'Day 2-2
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 27, Brian Stokes 1, Pedro Feliciano 1, Darren O'Day 8, Francisco Rodriguez 3
Florida Marlins
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B5031001 .583
John Baker, C2000101 .308
   a- Ronny Paulino, PH-C2000014 .400
Hanley Ramirez, SS5011012 .421
Jorge Cantu, 1B5010003 .368
Dan Uggla, 2B3110111 .235
Jeremy Hermida, LF3010102 .250
Cody Ross, RF4210003 .105
Cameron Maybin, CF4120024 .235
Ricky Nolasco, P1000012 .000
   b- Brett Carroll, PH1000001 .143
    Andrew Miller, P0000000 .000
   c- Wes Helms, PH1011000 .333
    Hayden Penn, P0000000 .000
   d- Ross Gload, PH0001000 .167
Totals36411436  
a-grounded out for Baker in the 7th
b-fouled out for Nolasco in the 5th
c-singled for Miller in the 7th
d-hit a sacrifice fly for Penn in the 9th
Batting
2B - Emilio Bonifacio (1, Hernandez)
SF - Ross Gload (1)
RBI - Emilio Bonifacio (5), Hanley Ramirez (9), Wes Helms (1), Ross Gload (1)
2-OUT RBI - Emilio Bonifacio (3), Hanley Ramirez (3), Wes Helms (1)
SB - Jeremy Hermida (1, 2nd base off Hernandez/Schneider)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Nolasco-H. Ramirez
E - Emilio Bonifacio (1, Throwing), Jorge Cantu (1, Throwing)
Florida Marlins
Ricky Nolasco (L,1-1) 5744221 7.36
Andrew Miller 2411000 3.86
Hayden Penn 2430140 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 87-54, Andrew Miller 31-17, Hayden Penn 46-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 8-4, Andrew Miller 5-1, Hayden Penn 3-0
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 23, Andrew Miller 10, Hayden Penn 12
Game Information
Attendance - 39412
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Mark Carlson