The two teams, out of contention behind the first-place Phillies and second-place Braves, are meeting for the final time this season in a mid-week battle that could determine which team finishes third in the hotly contested division.
"You have to keep some goals as a team," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "You have to make some adjustments, and you have to finish in a good way. You want to set goals for yourself. You want to finish as high over .500 as you can. You have to keep pushing yourself."
With Tuesday's 5-2 victory, the Marlins are 36-32 in the division, while posting an 11-6 record against the Mets. In New York's only other trip to Sun Life Stadium this season, the Marlins swept the Mets in a four-game set from May 13-16.
As Florida built a 1 1/2-game lead on the Mets in the standings, it has never had fewer than two losses in a single-season home series against New York. A strong series this week would give the Marlins an opportunity to do just that.
"We've been trying to win every game," Rodriguez said. "It will be nice if we can beat the Mets. That would give us some room to work [for third place] in case something happens."
With hopes of providing Florida's third straight victory, Rodriguez will send Alex Sanabia to the hill Wednesday. The rookie is 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 13 outings, including 10 starts. He comes off a loss to the Cubs in a game he was efficient, as he gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings. In his last two starts, he has given up two runs in 12 1/3 innings.
The Mets will be keeping a close eye on their pitcher as well as Jon Niese looks to get over .500 with his 10th win of the season. The young left-hander, who has already thrown 165 1/3 innings, comes off a 6-4 loss to the Braves in which he allowed six unearned runs.
"Jonathon Niese had good stuff going into the night," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said after the defeat. "Those first couple innings, I really thought he had good stuff. It got away from us."
Mets: Skipper closing in on milestone
Manuel's next victory will be the 700th of his career and the 200th with the Mets. ... An MRI on Bobby Parnell's right elbow showed an inflamed plica. He has been shut down for the year as a precaution. ... Luis Hernandez underwent surgery to repair the fractured metatarsal bone in his right foot Tuesday morning. ... New York, in its last road trip of the season, has returned with a losing record in eight of 10 trips this season. ... Sanabia is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA against the Mets.
Marlins: Rookie extends record-setting streak
Logan Morrison has a hit in 17 of his last 19 games, also reaching base in all 40 games dating back to Aug. 7. The 40-game streak is the longest active streak (two games shy of the Yankees' Mark Teixeira's 42 from June 6-July 26) and marks a Marlins rookie record. The franchise record is 46, set by Luis Castillo in 2002. That same year, Kevin Millar reached in 43 straight. ... Emilio Bonifacio has a tight left hamstring and is expected to be out three or four days.
With Tuesday's victory, the Marlins are 25-25 in the opener of a series. Meanwhile, the Mets dropped to 24-25 in series openers. ... The Mets have lost the season series to the Marlins for the second time in six years. ... Since 2005, the Mets are 27-23 at Florida, while the Mets are 3-3 in their last six series at Florida dating back to 2008.
Wed, 9/22 7:10 PM ET
Sanabia, Niese going in opposite directions
Marlins righty Alex Sanabia, who won his fifth game of the season, is giving Florida every reason to consider him for a rotation spot in 2011, while Mets lefty Jon Niese, in his first full year, is struggling in September.
|Reyes, Js, SS||5||0||1||1||0||3||1||.284|
|Wright, D, 3B||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.285|
|Davis, I, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.264|
|Tejada, R, 2B||3||1||1||0||0||0||1||.204|
|b-Carter, C, PH||1||0||0||1||0||0||2||.253|
|a-Feliciano, J, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Green, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Martinez, O, SS||3||1||1||0||1||1||2||.286|
|Sanchez, G, 1B||4||1||1||0||1||1||2||.283|
|Davis, B, C||3||0||1||1||1||1||1||.228|
|a-Luna, H, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.160|
|b-Tracy, C, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.238|
2B: Wright, D (34, Sanabia), Pagan (31, Sanabia).
3B: Beltran (3, Hensley).
HR: Beltran (5, 4th inning off Sanabia, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Reyes, Js; Pagan 2; Beltran 8; Wright, D 2; Davis, I 2; Duda; Tejada, R.
RBI: Reyes, Js (51), Beltran (24), Duda (7), Thole (14), Carter, C (20).
2-out RBI: Reyes, Js.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Tejada, R; Beltran; Evans 2; Wright, D.
Team RISP: 2-for-7.
Team LOB: 8.
E: Tejada, R (7, fielding), Reyes, Js (14, throw).
Outfield assists: Beltran (Uggla at 2nd base).
2B: Helms (10, Niese), Uggla (29, Niese), Martinez, O (1, Takahashi).
TB: Maybin; Martinez, O 2; Morrison; Uggla 4; Sanchez, G; Helms 2; Davis, B.
RBI: Uggla 2 (98), Stanton (51), Helms 3 (36), Davis, B (15).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Sanabia; Luna, H 2; Uggla; Maybin 2.
SAC: Martinez, O.
Team RISP: 3-for-11.
Team LOB: 11.
IBB: Stanton (by Niese).
HBP: Helms (by Green, S), Feliciano, J (by Sanches).
Pitches-strikes: Niese 115-65, Acosta 3-3, Green, S 23-13, Takahashi 25-16, Sanabia 67-41, Sanches 29-18, Veras 21-10, Oviedo 15-11, Hensley 11-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Niese 8-3, Acosta 0-0, Green, S 0-0, Takahashi 0-1, Sanabia 5-7, Sanches 1-2, Veras 0-0, Oviedo 1-0, Hensley 3-0.
Batters faced: Niese 30, Acosta 1, Green, S 6, Takahashi 5, Sanabia 21, Sanches 8, Veras 5, Oviedo 2, Hensley 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Acosta 1-0, Oviedo 3-1.
Umpires: HP: Brian O'Nora. 1B: Chris Guccione. 2B: Phil Cuzzi. 3B: Vic Carapazza.
Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 15 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media