WHAT IT MEANS: Again.
For the second straight night, the Mets were three outs away from victory and lost to the lowly Miami Marlins. Now, their losing streak is at six games and they have dropped a season-worst five games under .500.
A night after the Mets used their entire bullpen, and Shaun Marcum too, in a 15-inning loss, Jeremy Hefner provided a much-needed respite. Hefner nursed a 1-0 lead into the ninth, limiting the Marlins to four hits, a hit batter and no walks.
Hefner’s first professional shutout was not to be.
Pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan opened the bottom of the ninth with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Juan Pierre then attempted to sacrifice Coghlan to third. Catcher Anthony Recker aggressively tried to catch Coghlan, but the throw to third base was too late and both runners were safe, although David Wright unsuccessfully argued Coghlan over-slid the bag.
Donovan Solano followed with a game-tying single to right. A wild pitch then ended it as Pierre scampered home.
Marlins 2, Mets 1.
The Mets' lone run came in the fifth, when Daniel Murphy led off with a double against right-hander Kevin Slowey, advanced to third base on a flyout by Ike Davis, then scored on Recker’s line-drive sacrifice fly to the weak-armed Pierre in left field. The Mets (11-14) mustered only four hits themselves.
Hefner ended up matching his previous career high -- an eight-inning performance against the Houston Astros last Aug. 26, in a 2-1 win. Hefner, who originally was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2007, has two pro complete games, both in 2010 with Double-A San Antonio.
WRIGHT STUFF: Wright went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his return to the lineup after a one-start absence because of neck stiffness. Wright did dive to his left to smother a grounder from Nick Green. Wright then threw to first base in time to end the fifth inning.
WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (1-4, 5.96 ERA) opposes left-hander Wade LeBlanc (0-4, 6.20) in Wednesday’s 12:40 p.m. series finale. Collins indicated he plans to start Justin Turner over Davis at first base.