MIAMI -- Shaun Marcum floated the pitch low and away, in precisely a spot that should have been out of reach. It should have been enough to prevent any further damage.
Instead, the Mets righthander watched helplessly in the seventh inning as pinch hitter Jordan Brown reached out and poked a two-run double that split the outfielders in left-center. Brown's hit capped a four-run rally that sent the Mets to a 5-1 loss to the Marlins.
"Every pitcher will tell you that it's more frustrating making quality pitches and having bloopers fall in," said Marcum, who allowed all four runs in the inning. "If I'm going to lose, I'd rather make a mistake pitch and have them hit it over the fence than make a well-located pitch and have them fall in."
Such was the Mets' fate Friday night against the lowly Marlins.
On one side of the field was a team that had lost nine straight, including four in a row against their intrastate rivals, the Rays. On the other side was a team that had won five straight games, including the last four against their crosstown nemesis, the Yankees.
But the Mets failed to keep their momentum after their morale-boosting sweep.
During their losing streak, the Marlins had scored three or fewer runs seven times. They have scored only 2.72 runs per game -- by far the lowest output in the big leagues.
Marcum took advantage, retiring the first nine batters he faced. Through four innings, he had faced the minimum. Through six innings, he had kept the Marlins off the board. But a pair of soft hits opened the door for the four-run outburst in the seventh.
The first run scored on a single by 31-year-old rookie shortstop Ed Lucas, who collected his first big-league hit and first RBI. Brown delivered the knockout blow to push the Marlins' lead to 4-0.
The Mets barely were able to do any damage against Marlins starter Jacob Turner. The righthander was promoted from the minor leagues before Friday night's game and made himself comfortable, tossing seven shutout innings.
Ike Davis collected his first extra-base hit since May 9, but the double came in the fifth inning after Marlon Byrd was caught trying to steal second base before Turner released the ball.
Marcum departed without getting any help. He allowed the four runs in 62/3 innings and gave up seven hits, the last against Brown.
"Even that was a pretty good pitch," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's just one of those nights where he kept us in the game, gave us a chance. We didn't mount much offense, but I certainly wasn't disappointed with the way Shaun pitched.''
With two outs in the eighth, Omar Quintanilla reached on an infield single and scored on Daniel Murphy's double. But after a throwing error by Quintanilla in the bottom of the inning, Greg Burke allowed an unearned run on Marcell Ozuna's RBI double.
Notes & quotes: According to Collins, four relievers have had what he called "a little bit of a setback" in their rehab efforts off injuries. Of the four, Jeurys Familia (right biceps tendinitis) appears closest to making a return. He could throw off a mound in the next few days. The Mets are unsure when Scott Atchison, Frank Francisco or Jenrry Mejia will be ready to throw off a mound. All three are suffering from elbow inflammation . . . When the Mets promote Zack Wheeler, they want him to remain in the big leagues, which is part of the reason their top pitching prospect will remain at Triple-A Las Vegas while Collin McHugh makes a spot start.