By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) _ With a cluster of teammates charging toward him to
celebrate the Miami Marlins’ latest win, Greg Dobbs made a veteran
move and flipped his batting helmet aside.
“That was so my head didn’t get pounded and I’d have concussion
syndrome tomorrow,” he said.
Dobbs instead took a playful pummeling from the neck down, and
he emerged from the mob scene Friday uninjured and grinning. His
two-out single in the ninth inning scored Emilio Bonifacio from
second base with the winning run, and the Marlins rallied to end
the New York Mets’ five-game winning streak with a 6-5 victory.
The Marlins scored twice in the ninth off Frank Francisco to win
for the ninth time in 10 games. They were coming off an 8-1 trip,
the best in franchise history.
Over the past 10 games, the Marlins have scored the decisive run
in their final at-bat four times.
“Would you want it any other way?” said Mark Buehrle, who
allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings. “We’d definitely like to win
some games so it’s not so stressful on everybody. But we’re coming
out ahead, so no matter.”
The Mets overcame an early 3-0 deficit. They entered the ninth
leading 5-4 and on the verge of their fourth consecutive comeback
“We have to put that game away,” manager Terry Collins said.
Instead, Giancarlo Stanton led off with a double against
Francisco (1-2), then took third on a flyout and scored on a single
Bonifacio stole second to improve to 17 for 17 this season, the
best such start in franchise history. After John Buck struck out,
Dobbs lined the first pitch from Francisco for a single, and
Bonifacio scored without a play.
When Dobbs delivered the walkoff hit, his first since 2005, the
crowd of 31,007 filled the Marlins’ new ballpark with gleeful
“It was very loud and very fun,” he said. “There’s nothing to
describe that kind of feeling _ with the swing of a bat and a
little bloop hit, to bring 31,000 people to their feet and make
them scream and clap, you feel the love and the happiness in the
building. It’s special.”
Francisco blew his second save in 10 chances, and his ERA rose
to 6.59. He said Dobbs hit a good pitch.
“You only can control where you throw the ball. You can’t
control the results,” Francisco said. “I jammed him, but it ended
up in a bad spot.”
The Mets struggled at the start, too. Johan Santana gave up a
two-run homer to Austin Kearns and trailed 3-0 after one-third of
“Just one mistake, and everything changed,” Santana said.
“We are certainly not used to somebody jumping on Johan like
that,” Collins said.
Omar Infante _ batting second for the first time this season _
drove in two runs and had three hits for Miami.
Marlins newcomer Heath Bell (1-3), who lost his job as Miami’s
closer after blowing four saves, pitched a perfect ninth and
lowered his ERA to 9.28. Before the game, manager Ozzie Guillen
said he would give Bell another try soon in the closer’s role.
“It means a lot to me to get my first win as a Marlin,” Bell
said. “I kind of stunk it up on the road trip.”
Jose Reyes led off Miami’s first with a catchable triple over
the head of center fielder Andres Torres. Infante followed with an
RBI single, and Kearns pulled a 3-2 pitch to activate the animated
Reyes’ hit meant a milestone for New York. The game was the
8,000th in Mets’ history, and they’ve never thrown a no-hitter _
baseball’s longest such streak.
The Mets trailed 3-2 before scoring three times in the eighth.
David Wright led off the inning with his third hit, a double
against Edward Mujica. Pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis tied the score
with a one-out double, and after consecutive walks loaded the
bases, pinch hitter Mike Baxter hit a two-run double off Ryan Webb.
Baxter improved to 6 for 15 (.400) as a pinch hitter.
Ike Davis hit his fifth homer in the fifth for the Mets, and
Mike Nickeas doubled home a run in the seventh.
Miami scored an unearned run in the eighth after an error by
first baseman Davis.
Notes: The grounds crew at the ballpark continues to struggle
with the badly worn grass in deep center and right field. Workers
are experimenting with ways to improve the condition of the turf,
which has gotten little sun because of rainy weather and the
retractable roof. … With the temperature 82 at game time, the
roof was closed. … Santana made a sprawling catch of Buehrle’s
bunt in the fifth. … Miami’s Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 3 facing
Santana. He’s 3 for 26 (.115) against left-hander with 10
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)