03/08/12 5:08 PM ET
Big Pelf labors, Loewen homers in loss
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez's big day at the plate allowed the Marlins to overcome Carlos Zambrano's rocky debut on Thursday, leading them to a 5-4 victory over the Mets at Digital Domain Park.
After striking out the first two batters he faced, Zambrano walked the next two before serving up a two-run double to Lucas May and a run-scoring single to Mike Baxter. Acquired from the Cubs in a trade for Chris Volstad in January, Zambrano recorded just four outs -- all via strikeout -- before reaching his predetermined pitch count.
But Mets starter Mike Pelfrey fared no better, serving up RBI singles to Ramirez and Terry Tiffee in the first inning, a run-scoring double play to Donnie Murphy in the second and a solo home run to Austin Kearns in the third. Pelfrey did not strike out a batter in his 2 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and walking two.
"I don't think I did a whole lot right," Pelfrey said. "The sinker today was moving, but it was almost going sideways instead of down. I had a hard time controlling it and I fell behind in a lot of counts."
The Mets tied the game on Adam Loewen's solo homer in the fourth inning, but Ramirez put the Marlins back ahead with his own home run off Frank Francisco in the fifth. Ramirez finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Jose Ceda punched out Baxter on a borderline called third strike to end the threat.
Playing their second consecutive game against the Marlins, the Mets again did not see former teammate Jose Reyes, who stayed behind in Jupiter, Fla. New York and Miami will meet again Sunday at Digital Domain Park.
Up next: Though the Mets have made it clear that Matt Harvey will not make their Opening Day roster, fans will have another chance to check out one of the game's top prospects in action on Friday. Harvey will pitch in relief of Dillon Gee in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., that can be heard on Gameday Audio. Also scheduled to appear are Josh Stinson and Garrett Olson.