Big hits off bench lift Mets over Marlins 5-4

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NEW YORK (AP) - Step by step, the improving New York Mets are building momentum for the second half.

Chris Young and rookie Eric Campbell delivered big hits off the bench in the late innings to rally New York past the Miami Marlins 5-4 on Saturday.

Young’s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Bryan Morris tied it at 4 in the seventh. Campbell came through with a pinch-hit single in the eighth to put the Mets ahead.

“That might be the biggest win of the year right there for us,” manager Terry Collins said.

Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out 10 in six innings and New York (44-50) executed a perfect suicide squeeze, moving to 7-2 on a 10-game homestand that leads into the All-Star break.

Christian Yelich homered for the Marlins, who have lost four of five.

With two outs in the eighth, Travis d’Arnaud doubled off left-hander Mike Dunn (7-5). Campbell batted for Kirk Nieuwenhuis and poked a soft single into center to give the Mets their first lead.

“I just didn’t execute the pitch: 3-2 slider,” Dunn said. “Left it over the plate. Pretty much the only bad slider I threw all inning.”

Vic Black (2-2) worked a scoreless inning, and Jenrry Mejia got three quick outs for his 10th save. It is the third time the Mets have won seven games on a homestand at Citi Field, which opened in 2009.

All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy stretched high for a leaping grab that kept the game tied in the top of the eighth, eliciting a roar not heard very often at Citi Field lately. Many in the festive crowd of 35,283 stayed for a postgame concert by Huey Lewis and the News.

“I still can’t believe I saw that,” d’Arnaud said. “He could dunk, I think, with how high he jumped.”

With his days in the rotation probably numbered, as long as Jonathon Niese comes out of the All-Star break healthy, Matsuzaka had his fourth career double-digit strikeout game. The other three came with Boston in 2007, his first season in the majors.

“My slider was really good today, which contributed to those strikeouts, but I would rather have gone deeper in the game,” Matsuzaka said through a translator.

Marlins starter Tom Koehler, pitching about 12 miles from his New Rochelle hometown, tossed two-hit ball into the seventh and left with a 4-2 lead after a one-out walk to No. 8 batter Ruben Tejada.

Young was batting .195 before launching Morris’ first pitch into the left-field stands for his second career pinch-hit homer. The other came on June 27, 2012, with Arizona against Atlanta.

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