Flushing, NY – Sixteen scoreless frames went by until Adeiny Hechavarria plated the go-ahead run in the top of the 20th inning, lifting the Miami Marlins past the New York Mets, 2-1, in the longest game ever played at Citi Field.
The contest needed 6 hours and 25 minutes to be decided, but Hechavarria gave the Marlins their first and last lead when he recorded his third hit of the day with a liner off Shaun Marcum (0-7). The single scored Placido Polanco.
Kevin Slowey (2-5) tossed seven innings out of the bullpen for Miami and struck out eight to earn the win. Steve Cishek assured the end of the contest by putting down the Mets 1-2-3 in the final frame in the longest game of the season in the majors. It was Cishek's sixth save of the season.
Miami ended a 10-game road losing streak while also picking up its seventh win in 10 games against the Mets this season.
For New York, perhaps the only thing worse than losing the marathon contest was that it saw young ace Matt Harvey leave the game with a back injury prior to the start of the eighth inning. He had tossed seven innings of one-run ball before exiting the contest.
The Mets had a runner reach at least second base eight different times from the start of the ninth inning and were an anemic 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position for the contest and left 22 men on base.
"You give our pitchers a lot of credit," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of the Mets' struggles in clutch situations. "We had to mix and match a little bit. Everybody did their job. It was a total team effort today."
Marcum retired 16 in a row but after crossing the 100-pitch mark in the 20th inning, he allowed a third straight single to allow the Marlins to push the go-ahead run across.
"He was unbelievable, he gave us everything he had," said Mets manager Terry Collins.
Polanco didn't have his first hit until his eighth at-bat, then came around to score on what proved to be the winning run on Hechavarria's hit.
The contest tied for the longest in Marlins history, with the team also playing a 20-inning affair against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 27, 2003.
It was just the Marlins' fourth win in their last 16 games. All the victories in that span have come against the Mets, having swept them in Miami last weekend.
Marcum, still winless on the campaign, gave New York eight innings of relief and struck out seven while allowing five hits -- three of which came in the 20th.
It was the second time Marcum pitched out the bullpen this season, taking the loss in a 15-inning contest between the Mets and Marlins back on April 29.
Harvey and Jose Fernandez each toed the rubber for their respective teams that day as well. The last time that two starting pitchers matched up in multiple games that went at least 15 innings in a season was in 1884.
Fernandez lasted six innings for Miami and struck out seven. The only run the Mets produced all day came off him, with Juan Lagares recording an RBI double in the second inning.
Harvey gave that run back on a Chris Coghlan sac fly in the fourth, but retired the last six batters he faced before a back issue took him out of the game.
While warming up to start the eighth, Collins noticed some discomfort in Harvey. He came out to the mound with a trainer and decided to replace him with Brandon Lyon.
New York had many opportunities to win the contest, but could never manufacture the big hit. Their best chance came in the bottom of the 12th, when they had runners on the corners for Marlon Byrd.
Byrd lifted a fly into right field, but Marcell Ozuna rifled his throw to the plate well ahead of the tagging Daniel Murphy. Murphy barreled over catcher Rob Brantly, but couldn't shake the ball from his glove and the Marlins got out of the jam unscathed.
There were a combined 140 at-bats in the contest ... Friday's opener to this three-game set was wiped out by Tropical Storm Andrea, with the team's arranging to make up the postponed affair with a double-header on Sept. 14 ... New York selected the contract of pitcher David Aardsma from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the game, and he pitched a scoreless 12th. To make room for Aardsma, the Mets optioned pitcher Collin McHugh to Las Vegas and transferred pitcher Jeurys Familia to the 60-day disabled list.