Heath Bell had just thrown his 43rd pitch of the ninth inning when pitching coach Randy St. Claire got on the bullpen phone. Three pitches later, the game and an abysmal five-game winless road trip were over. The Mets completed the three-game Citi Field sweep Thursday on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' drive to deep right with two out and the bases loaded. Bell entered with a 2-1 lead and walked three of the first four batters he faced. Pinch-hitter Justin Turner fell behind 0-2 before drawing his RBI-base on balls on the 13th pitch of the at-bat. "I'm not going to take any credit away from the kid, but it's easy to hit when you know the guy is only throwing fastballs," said manager Ozzie Guillen, after the 3-2 loss. "Anything else is just balls." This trip already was forgettable, even before Bell blew his third save in five chances. Hanley Ramirez went hitless during the five games and is 0 for his last 20. Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio at the top of the order are a combined 4 for their last 44 (.091). Giancarlo Stanton struck out two more times, giving him six in 10 at-bats in the series. He did contribute to the Marlins taking the lead in the fifth. After Omar Infante opened with a double, Stanton dumped a broken-bat single into short center to put runners at the corners. That was the Marlins' first hit with runners in scoring position during the road trip. Wednesday, they matched the franchise record with their fourth consecutive game sans a hit with RISP. They were 0 for 20 before Stanton's base hit and finished the trip 2 for 26 (.077). "Whether we're scoring runs or not, we can't let that affect us," said starter Ricky Nolasco, who was in line for the win. "Even if we are scoring eight runs, we're not going to go out there and say, 'We can give up four or five.' "
Winless road trip ends with Bell's third blown save
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Apr 27