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Mets rally past Marlins, avoid sweep

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MIAMI (AP) - Jordany Valdespin hit a three-run, pinch-homer, and the New York Mets rallied Wednesday to break a six-game losing streak and avert a series sweep, beating the Miami Marlins 7-6.

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The Mets' dormant offense finally came alive after they fell behind 4-1. Valdespin put New York ahead to stay in the sixth inning with his second homer, and NL RBIs leader John Buck added a two-run double in the seventh.

Buck and David Wright each had three of New York's 13 hits. Wright hit his third homer for the Mets, who totaled only 11 runs during their losing streak.

Miami came from behind in the final inning to win the first two games of the series, but this time the New York bullpen - ranked next to last in the majors in ERA - protected a lead. Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in five chances.

Dillon Gee (2-4) won despite allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings. The Mets had scored a total of 10 runs in his previous five starts.

Marcell Ozuna, who made his big league debut Tuesday, had two of Miami's 13 hits. Wade LeBlanc gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings, and the Marlins fell to 0-6 in his starts.

The Mets' comeback in the sixth began when Wright led off with a double. He scored on a two-out single by Marlon Byrd, Ike Davis also singled, and Valdespin greeted reliever A.J. Ramos (0-1) with a homer to put New York ahead 5-4.

The home run was Valdespin's sixth as a pinch hitter.

Daniel Murphy and Wright singled in the seventh, and Buck followed with a double, giving him 27 RBIs. That includes eight in five games this year against his former team.

An error by left fielder Lucas Duda led to two unearned runs for Miami in the seventh. With two on, Justin Ruggiano's one-hop single skipped off Duda's glove and rolled to the wall, allowing both runners to score, cutting New York's lead to 7-6.

The Marlins matched their best first inning of the season to take a 3-0 lead. After Gee gave up two walks, Ruggiano singled home a run. With two out, Chris Valaika hit a two-run double.

Mets center fielder Juan Lagares threw out Nick Green trying to score from second on LeBlanc's one-out single in the fourth. LeBlanc took second on the play and came home on a single by Juan Pierre, sliding hard into catcher Buck's left knee to beat Lagares' throw.

LeBlanc was shaken up, but after a visit with the trainer he stayed in the game.

NOTES: Wright improved to 8 for 13 (.615) with two homers against LeBlanc. ... On Thursday the Marlins begin their longest trip of the season, with 10 games in three cities. ... Attendance for the 12:40 p.m. start was 16,188, including several school groups.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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