Miami, FL – Giancarlo Stanton celebrated Mother's Day in grand style.
The Marlins right-fielder belted a first-pitch grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning -- capping a six-run rally -- to lift Miami to a dramatic 8-4 win over the New York Mets in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Stanton's second career walk-off home run came after the Mets pulled ahead in the top of the ninth against embattled reliever Heath Bell (2-3).
New York broke a 2-2 tie when pinch-hitter Justin Turner delivered a two-out, two-run double to right field with the bases loaded.
Frank Francisco (1-3) faltered when asked to preserve the Mets' lead. For the second time in three innings, Emilio Bonifacio led off with a triple and John Buck, who launched a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh off Ramon Ramirez, worked a walk before a pinch-hitting Greg Dobbs stroked an RBI single to center.
An ineffective Francisco departed without retiring a batter and was ejected after giving home plate umpire Todd Tichenor an earful on his way out. Manny Acosta took the mound and ex-Met Jose Reyes plated pinch-runner Brett Hayes with a sacrifice fly to center.
After Omar Infante popped out, Acosta walked Hanley Ramirez before hitting Austin Kearns with a pitch to load the bases. Stanton crushed Acosta's next offering to deep left-center field for his third career grand slam.
"That was one of those no doubters right off the bat," Stanton said.
Stanton and Bonifacio finished with three hits apiece for Miami, which improved to 10-2 in May.
New York starter Jonathan Niese limited the Marlins to five hits and walked three in six scoreless innings.
"I feel we've been playing good baseball. We just let a couple get away from us, but it's all about how we bounce back," Niese said.
The Mets entered this series on a five-game winning streak.
Miami stranded a runner on third in the first and came up empty in the second after loading the bases with one out. Starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano went down swinging and Reyes popped out to second.
New York snapped Zambrano's scoreless streak in the fourth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and David Wright opened the frame with consecutive singles. A passed ball enabled both runners to move up and Lucas Duda plated Nieuwenhuis with a groundout to second. Daniel Murphy then slapped a sharp single past Ramirez at third to drive in another run for the Mets.
Zambrano had not allowed a run in each of his previous two starts, a span totaling 16 innings.
New York threatened to extended its lead in the seventh, placing two men in scoring position, but pinch-hitter Ike Davis was retired on a 1-3 grounder to end the inning.
Zambrano gave up five hits, walked three and struck out seven in seven innings...The teams combined to go 5-for-17 with runners in scoring position.