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Marlins try to keep up home success over Mets

( – The sun rises in the east, three-of-a-kind beats two pairs and the Miami Marlins rarely lose to the New York Mets at home.

The third of those three realities will be put to the test again on Saturday afternoon at Marlins Park, when the Marlins entertain the visiting Mets in the third of a four-game series.

Miami has won 13 of the last 18 games with the Mets at home while its pitchers have compiled a 2.37 earned run average overall and a 1.14 mark while winning six of the last seven games. In the first two games of this series, the Marlins have allowed three runs.

Saturday starter Tom Koehler has tossed 18 straight scoreless home innings against the Mets, the longest such streak by any Miami pitcher since the teams began playing in 1993. In his last five games against New York, in fact, his ERA is 1.59.

Most recently, he allowed two hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win on May 7.

In his last five outings against all opponents, however, Koehler has slumped to a 1-2 record with a bloated 6.99 ERA, including a Monday outing in which he allowed four runs against the Chicago Cubs and a start six days prior in which he gave up four.

New York has lost nine of its last 11 on the road and hasn’t managed more than four runs in any of those games.

Taking the mound while again seeking his first big-league win is right-hander Jacob deGrom, who’s posted a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts after working to a more respectable 1.83 number in his initial three appearances.

He was slammed for six runs on 12 hits in his last start, a 6-2 loss to St. Louis on Monday.

“I just look at how many balls were really hit hard,” he said. “Three or four were hit hard, the rest just kind of found holes and went through.”

On Friday, Marcell Ozuna’s second outfield assist in as many innings was the final out of the game, securing a 3-2 win for the Marlins over the Mets.

The Marlins led, 3-0, through seven innings but might have allowed the Mets to tie the game or jump in front had it not been for the strong right arm of Ozuna out in left field. David Wright laced an RBI single to center to put the Mets on the board in the eighth inning against Kevin Gregg. Then, with the bases loaded and Mike Dunn on the mound, Eric Campbell smoked a single to left. Curtis Granderson scored easily, but Ozuna was able to fire home in time to get Wright to keep the Marlins in front.

Steve Cishek served up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the ninth inning. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third, and Chris Young launched a fly ball to left. Ozuna backtracked and made the catch before unleashing a dart to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in time to tag Nieuwenhuis and end the game.

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