Marlon Byrd, Daniel Murphy help Mets rally past Marlins

Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher, left, signals safe

Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher, left, signals safe after Marlon Byrd slid into home plate while Miami Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis attempted the tag during the seventh inning of a game in Miami. (July 29, 2013) (Credit: AP)

MIAMI -- Marlon Byrd sprinted from first base as Ike Davis' drive whizzed into rightfield, digging in as he rounded second, slowing slightly as he touched third, then exploding down the line toward home plate.

Leading with his feet, he slid hard as Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis reached for first baseman Logan Morrison's relay.

Up from the ground rose a cloud of dust.

Once it cleared, Byrd clapped his hands and pumped his fist, celebrating the mad dash in the seventh inning that helped the Mets beat the Marlins, 6-5.

"It's big, especially here . . . we've struggled winning here," said Davis, who delivered the go-ahead two-out double. "It feels like every game we've played here comes down to the last hitter. We've come back and beat them in the ninth and they've done that quite a bit to us. So it's good here."

The streaking Daniel Murphy knocked in three runs and three Mets relievers combined for 32/3 scoreless innings. With runners on first and third in the ninth, Bobby Parnell retired dangerous Giancarlo Stanton on a grounder to second for his 21st save. But it was Byrd who helped the Mets snap a three-game losing streak by keying a three-run rally in the seventh.

Mets manager Terry Collins wondered if the victory might prove to be a "big turning point" in the season, especially given that it came in comeback fashion against a surprisingly difficult adversary. The Mets (47-56) had dropped five straight against the Marlins (40-64).

"Clawing back from a team that's had our number all year long, we needed it," Byrd said.

Against lefthander Mike Dunn, Eric Young Jr. drilled a one-out double in the seventh and Murphy collected his third RBI with a single that cut the Mets' deficit to 5-4. After David Wright flied out against A.J. Ramos, Murphy stole second and went to third on a wild pitch.

Two pitches later, the Mets were ahead. Byrd tied it with a single to centerfield that drove in Murphy, who is hitting .356 in his last 20 games. Davis' double to right then sent Byrd on his journey home from first base.

"Off the bat, I know I have to get a good jump, make sure I have the right route going into third base," said Byrd, who anticipated that third-base coach Tim Teufel would be aggressive.

With two outs in the third, Murphy's two-run single and Wright's RBI double gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. But the Marlins came back against Jeremy Hefner, who was chased after 51/3 innings.

Stanton led off the fourth with a double off the centerfield fence. Two batters later, Ed Lucas bashed a triple over the head of centerfielder Juan Lagares to make it 3-1.

After Donovan Solano was hit by a pitch and Jake Marisnick walked to load the bases, Mathis popped up. With pitcher Jacob Turner due up, Hefner was close to getting out of the inning. But Turner's routine grounder bounced off shortstop Omar Quintanilla's glove, and Lucas and Solano scored to tie it at 3.

The Marlins pushed ahead 5-3 in the sixth when Mathis singled home two runs. That spelled the end for Hefner, who had a career-high five walks. He allowed five runs, though two were unearned.

But the Mets rallied, thanks to Byrd.

"I honestly didn't think he had a chance,'' Davis said after sending Byrd on his game-winning sprint. "But he was running his butt off, so that was awesome."

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