Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/15/13
If the first pitch that plunked Donovan Solano didn't get his attention the second one high off his left shoulder certainly did. The third time the Marlins' second baseman stepped up against Carlos Torres he wasted no time striking back. Solano smacked the second pitch of the sixth inning into the Party City Deck in left-center at Citi Field. Solano was a catalyst with his bat and glove in a 3-0 Marlins victory over the Mets in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader and he merited a couple of purple hearts for getting bruised by the two pitches. His sliding stop on Omar Quintanilla's hard grounder to his left to end the seventh inning prevented a run enabling Henderson Alvarez to complete a scoreless outing. "That play at second was unbelievable and came at exactly the right time when we needed a big play. It saved us a run" manager Mike Redmond said. "In long days like doubleheaders you need guys to step up and be the hero. Today Alvarez and Solano gave us a big lift." In the nightcap Jacob Turner failed to complete the right-hander perfecta as the Mets got to him early in a 3-1 victory. Back-to-back homers by Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda to open the bottom of the third dropped Turner to 0-6 in 11 starts since the All-Star break. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3) held the Marlins to two hits including Justin Ruggiano's 17th homer in seven innings to win for the first time in five starts for the Mets. Earlier Alvarez (4-4) gave the Marlins their first win by a starter other than Jose Fernandez since Sept. 2 when he beat the Cubs in Chicago. The right-hander turned in seven shutout innings for the second time this season holding the Mets to four hits. It was a strong bounce-back performance after Alvarez was shelled by the Braves for five runs in four innings Monday in Miami. He had allowed 14 runs in his previous 16 2/3 innings. This time he walked none while striking out five and hitting a batter. Alvarez avoided a self-inflicted wound in the second inning when he lost track of the outs and casually tossed to first on a comebacker rather than going for an inning-ending double play. That put runners on second and third. He compounded the oversight by hitting the next batter then ran the count to 3-2 on pitcher Carlos Torres before getting the .100 hitter to bounce out. "That stuff does happen but really we've got to know how many outs there are" said Redmond who otherwise gave Alvarez's performance rave reviews. The Mets flip-flopped their starters going first with Torres who was coming off a pair of losses in which he allowed nine earned runs in 11 innings.
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