MIAMI (AP) - The New York Mets' offensive funk left them with no margin for error, much less multiple lapses by Anthony Recker.
The backup catcher endured a nightmarish ninth Tuesday night, and the Miami Marlins came from behind in the final inning for the second consecutive game to beat the reeling Mets 2-1.
With New York clinging to a 1-0 lead, Recker committed a passed ball and made a high throw after fielding a bunt. Then Brandon Lyon's breaking ball skipped off Recker's glove for a wild pitch, which allowed Juan Pierre to score the winning run standing up with none out.
The loss was the sixth in a row for the Mets. They were beaten Monday when Miami scored twice in the 15th inning to win 4-3.
``A couple of tough losses, tough to swallow, no question,' captain David Wright said.
Jeremy Hefner (0-3) took a 1-0 lead and a three-hitter into the ninth but couldn't get another out.
``Hef pitched a great game,' Recker said. ``He didn't deserve those runs or that loss. Pretty upsetting.'
Chris Coghlan singled to start the inning and advanced on a passed ball. When Pierre bunted, Coghlan beat Recker's high throw to third, although the Mets argued Coghlan overslid the bag.
``I knew we needed to get an out, and I just tried to make a play that I probably shouldn't have tried to make,' Recker said.
``We've got to get an out on that play,' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ``You can't let the go-ahead run get on base.'
Even so, Miami manager Mike Redmond conceded Coghlan might have overslid the bag.
``It looked close,' Redmond said. ``If he was out, then it was a break for us. We've been talking about needing a break. If that was it, then it was a big break for us.'
Lyon replaced Hefner, and Donovan Solano hit an RBI single to right that sent Pierre to third. An intentional walk loaded the bases, and Lyon's first pitch to Greg Dobbs was a low breaking ball that got away from Recker, allowing Pierre to score.
``It hit the dirt,' Recker said. ``I need to get there on that. It went away from me a little more than I was expecting. I didn't get over enough.'
That spoiled Hefner's best outing of the year. He had a career-high eight strikeouts and lowered his ERA from 5.14 to 3.72.
``That guy was manhandling us for eight innings,' Pierre said. ``Again we did nothing offensively tonight, but we didn't give in.'
Miami, which ranks last in the majors in batting average and homers, didn't advance a runner beyond first base until the ninth against Hefner.
``He pitched an absolutely brilliant ballgame,' Collins said.
Hard-luck Kevin Slowey remained winless since 2010 despite allowing only one run in eight innings to lower his ERA to 2.15. The Marlins have scored eight runs in his six starts, the worst run support for any NL pitcher, but he said his only concern was that the Marlins won.
``Games like Monday night and today bring a team together pretty quickly,' Slowey said. ``You grow together. When you have a few victories that are hard-fought and well-earned, it's a great feeling.'
Wright returned to the lineup after missing one start with a stiff neck and went 0 for 4. The only Mets run scored on Recker's sacrifice fly in the fifth.
They totaled four hits and went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position after going 1 for 18 in those situations Monday, and New York fell to 1-6 in one-run games.
``Everybody's struggling,' Collins said. ``We have to fight through it.'
The Mets are batting .098 with runners in scoring position during the losing streak, their longest this season.
NOTES: The Mets' John Buck was given the night off after catching all 15 innings Monday. With nine home runs, Buck tied the major league record for most homers by a catcher at the end of April, held by Johnny Bench (1971 Reds) and Charles Johnson (2001 Marlins), said the Mets, citing information from the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Slowey became the first Miami pitcher this season to throw more than seven innings. The outing was his longest since July 31, 2010. ... Recker was warming up to pitch the 16th inning Monday for New York when the Marlins won the game in the 15th. The Mets were out of relievers, and Recker pitched several games in college.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved