Marlins Ice Mets, Again

By MIKE FITZPATRICK   AP Baseball Writer
 NEW YORK (AP) _ The windy weather at Citi Field has hardly shaken the Miami Marlins.

Marcell Ozuna hit a mammoth home run and Adam Conley allowed one hit through five innings to lead Miami over the New York Mets 8-1 on Saturday night.

Christian Yelich crashed into the outfield fence for a fantastic catch that robbed Yoenis Cespedes of extra bases in the eighth. Otherwise, the Marlins breezed to their third consecutive win on another blustery night in Queens.

“I think this is what we expect to do. Certainly no one’s surprised,” Conley said. “We’re just playing baseball the way that we’re capable of playing baseball.”

Giancarlo Stanton and J.T. Realmuto each got three hits for Miami. Realmuto and Ozuna had two RBIs apiece, and Miguel Rojas also drove in a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and a safety squeeze.

“Felt like a complete game for us,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We have that kind of lineup we think that can kind of nick you all over.”

After outhitting the Mets 13-3 in this one and outscoring them 15-3 during the first two games of the series, the Marlins will go for a sweep Sunday night on national television. Miami had lost its previous five series against the Mets, who were silenced at the plate by Conley (1-0) once again.

The 26-year-old lefty with the herky-jerky delivery retired his first 11 batters and didn’t permit a hit until Lucas Duda homered with two outs in the fifth. Four relievers from Miami’s deep bullpen soon followed, and Conley improved to 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in five career starts against New York.

He’s yielded one run over three starts at Citi Field, with 21 strikeouts in 18 innings.

“The cold doesn’t really bother me,” said Conley, born in Redmond, Washington. “I pitched in weather a whole lot worse than this. So it kind of actually, if anything, felt at home.”

Mets rookie Robert Gsellman (0-1) gave up a run in each of the first three innings and was done after five on Fireworks Night.

“I was just out of my mechanics a little bit,” Gsellman said. “My sinker was side to side instead of sinking down and that led to a couple hits and a couple runs early in the game.”

Leading off the second inning, Ozuna clocked a 94 mph, full-count fastball and sent it soaring more than halfway up the second deck in left field.

Ozuna is the only Marlins player to hit safely in all five games this season, but the home run was his first extra-base hit.

“No one’s trying to do too much. Everyone’s sticking to their plan, staying in their zone, and it’s showing,” Stanton said. “We’ve had good at-bats _ with runners in scoring position, too.”

Gsellman has given up only two home runs in 50 2/3 major league innings.

Mets second baseman Neil Walker struck out four times for the first time in his career.

“We’re a better offensive team than this,” manager Terry Collins said.

     CHANGES AT THE TOP

Each team rested its scuffling leadoff man and turned to an unconventional replacement at the top of the lineup. Rojas started at second base instead of Miami speedster Dee Gordon, and Mattingly bumped his catcher (Realmuto) up to the No. 1 spot. In four starts this season, Realmuto has batted in three different slots. He has four straight multi-hit games.

“It’s nice, because he can do different things,” Mattingly said before the game. “Some guys don’t like to get moved around _ J.T. just plays. J.T. doesn’t seem to be bothered by anything I do.”

On the other side, Mets third baseman Jose Reyes sat at the start in favor of Wilmer Flores. Curtis Granderson, normally New York’s cleanup hitter, batted leadoff, a spot he often occupied in previous years. Gordon and Reyes were both double-switched into the game on defense in the seventh.
 
     TOUGH START

Mets reliever Paul Sewald, expecting his parents and fiancee in the stands, gave up singles to the first three batters he faced in his major league debut and was charged with two runs in one-third of an inning. The right-hander was promoted Friday night from Triple-A Las Vegas to provide a fresh arm in the bullpen and caught an early flight Saturday morning.

     UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Edinson Volquez starts the series finale Sunday night. Volquez threw five shutout innings with six strikeouts in his Miami debut, a no-decision on opening day at Washington.

 Mets: After an extra day of rest, New York ace Noah Syndergaard is set to take the ball again. Syndergaard fired six scoreless innings in the season opener against Atlanta, but exited with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The hard-throwing righty has been putting a cream on it. He is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 20 innings in three career starts against Miami.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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