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Kelly Shoppach's big hit in ninth helps Mets rally past Marlins

Kelly Shoppach follows through on a single against

Kelly Shoppach follows through on a single against the Miami Marlins in the ninth inning of a game in Miami. (Sept. 1, 2012) Credit: AP

MIAMI -- The Mets scored four runs in the ninth inning and beat the Marlins Saturday night, 5-3, for their sixth victory in seven games.

"I think there's a lot of fight left," manager Terry Collins said about his club, which won its third straight series.

With two outs in the ninth, Kelly Shoppach drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a bases-loaded single to center. Another run came home on the play when the ball rolled past Miami centerfielder Justin Ruggiano for an error as Shoppach took third.

The Mets' victim was Steve Cishek (4-2), a righthanded sidearmer who has replaced free-agent bust Heath Bell as the Marlins' closer. Bell actually relieved Cishek after the damage was done.

Of the righthanded-hitting Shoppach, Collins said: "That was a big at-bat tonight for him. He's basically faced lefties all year, and coming in to face a guy like that is really tough. I thought he put a good at-bat on him."

The inning started with the Marlins leading 3-1 thanks to Josh Johnson's three-hit pitching for eight innings and RBI hits by Bryan Petersen (double, third inning), Giancarlo Stanton (infield single, sixth inning) and Carlos Lee (single, eighth inning).

The Mets opened the ninth with singles by Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda in a four-batter span -- the third an RBI bullet to center -- to make the score 3-2.

Mike Baxter fouled out to Jose Reyes for the second out before Andres Torres walked to load the bases and Shoppach lined his single to center to give the Mets the lead.

Shoppach had entered the game after Josh Thole was lifted for a pinch runner in the eighth. Thole had an RBI groundout for the Mets in the fifth and snapped an 0-for-30 skid with his eighth-inning single.

The Mets didn't have a hit until Baxter doubled to left-center to lead off the fifth.

Mets starter Jeremy Hefner allowed two runs, six hits and one walk in six innings, striking out four. Frank Francisco pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.

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