MIAMI - Looks as if we might have a race in the NL East after all.

The Mets lost to the Marlins Friday night at Marlins Park, 6-5, on Martin Prado's walk-off double with two outs in the 11th inning that drove in Christian Yelich from first base. That cut the first-place Mets' lead over the Nationals to five games.

Facing Eric O'Flaherty, Prado -- who had five of the Marlins' 17 hits -- hit a scorcher inside first base that zipped past Kelly Johnson, who was playing wide of the bag. There was no throw home as Yelich scored easily.

Erik Goeddel (0-1), who allowed a leadoff single to Cole Gillespie, took the loss.

The Mets twice rallied, the first time from a 3-0 deficit and the second from down a run with two outs and no one on base in the ninth. But the bullpen was victimized by a Marlins team that is playing out the string.

Earlier, the Nationals came back to beat the Braves, 5-2, in 10 innings on a walk-off three-run homer by pinch hitter Michael Taylor. The Nationals tied the score in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by former Met Matt den Dekker.

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The Mets and Nationals will meet for a three-game series in Washington starting Monday.

"Down three, came back," manager Terry Collins said. "Down another run, come back. We're swinging the bats OK. We've just got to make sure we get our pitching straightened out."

By pitching, he means bullpen. The starters have been fine and Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia are money. It's the guys in between who are giving Collins fits.

The seventh inning continued to be a problem for the Mets. And that's no stretch.

Moments after Yoenis Cespedes gave the Mets a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh -- his 11th homer in 133 at-bats as a Met -- Sean Gilmartin and Addison Reed combined to give it right back in the bottom half.


With four of the first five batters due up in the bottom of the seventh lefthanded hitters, Collins called on the lefthanded Gilmartin. The Mets repeatedly have said he is not a lefthanded specialist, and he proved that by allowing back-to-back singles to Dee Gordon and Yelich.

Reed then allowed a tying RBI single by Prado and walked Marcell Ozuna with two outs to force in the go-ahead run.

The Mets were down to their last out with no one on base against Miami closer A.J. Ramos when Travis d'Arnaud, Juan Uribe and Johnson singled to tie it at 5-5. Wilmer Flores walked to load the bases, but Ramos got Kirk Nieuwenhuis to hit a tapper in front of the plate for a force at home.

The Marlins scored three in the fourth against Jacob deGrom, who allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings.

Stony Brook product Tom Koehler shut out the Mets for the first five innings before Cespedes led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a groundout by Michael Conforto. Koehler then walked d'Arnaud, who scored on Johnson's two-out single to right to make it 3-2.