NEW YORK (AP) – Hanley Ramirez, back in the No. 3 spot, had four hits and Alex Sanabia won his second consecutive start since he was recalled from the minors as the Florida Marlins held off the New York Mets 5-4 on Wednesday night.
With the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Leo Nunez retired Jose Reyes on a game-ending groundout.
Logan Morrison added three hits and scored twice on his 23rd birthday with his cancer-stricken father in the stands. Gaby Sanchez had a pair of sacrifice flies to back Sanabia (3-1), who took a two-hitter into the seventh inning.
Ike Davis’ first career triple and an RBI single by Jeff Francoeur cut it to 5-3 and chased Sanabia, who allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings last Thursday at Pittsburgh.
Jose Veras escaped further damage and Clay Hensley worked a perfect eighth before handing a two-run lead to Nunez, who got through a shaky ninth for his 29th save in 36 chances.
Nunez gave up David Wright’s leadoff homer and consecutive one-out singles to Francoeur and Josh Thole. Pinch-hitter Mike Hessman grounded into a force play at second, beating the relay to first, and Luis Castillo walked to load the bases.
Reyes, who finished 0 for 5, bounced a grounder to Sanchez at first base and he shoveled to Nunez covering for the final out.
Before the game, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez moved Ramirez from the leadoff spot to his familiar No. 3 hole, where he’s excelled as a run producer in the past.
Sporting a colorful new hairstyle, the All-Star slugger responded – and new leadoff man Cameron Maybin had two hits as well.
Ramirez tried to dye his dark hair blonde before the game, but it didn’t quite turn out that way. His short, curly locks wound up a reddish-orange rust color after the salon experiment in his hotel room.
Ramirez said the new look had nothing to do with baseball – he just wanted to try something different.
Maybin had the first of three straight singles to begin the game against Pat Misch (0-3). After a force play at the plate, Sanchez delivered a sacrifice fly.
The rookie, who had four RBIs in Tuesday night’s loss, has knocked in at least one run in six consecutive games. He has 13 RBIs during that span.
Maybin hit an RBI single with two outs in the second, but his error in center field allowed the Mets to cut it to 2-1 in the bottom half.
Ramirez singled in the third, stole second and went to third on Thole’s throwing error before scoring on Sanchez’s second sacrifice fly.
Brett Hayes had a two-out RBI double in the sixth and Morrison tripled in the seventh before scoring on Ramirez’s single to make it 5-1.
NOTES: Mets rookie 2B Ruben Tejada is 1 for 34 since he was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Aug. 7 for his third stint with the big league club. … The Mets threw out three runners at the plate. … The grounds crew did some major manicuring of the wet infield before the game, pushing batting practice for both teams indoors. Rodriguez described the infield as “spongy” on Tuesday following heavy rain in New York that caused streets to flood not far from Citi Field.