MIAMI (AP) — Cody Poteet figures he has been pitching to keep his job every time out, and the Miami Marlins are happy to keep giving him work.
The surprising rookie threw seven scoreless innings in his third career start and retired his last 14 batters, helping Miami beat the New York Mets 5-1 Sunday.
Poteet also collected his first major league hit and RBI on a 40-foot single during the Marlins’ five-run second inning.
“It was fun to be out there. I felt like a little kid,” Poteet said. “I never know when it could be my last day in the big leagues. I’m thankful to be here, and want to do the best I can.”
Miami took the rubber game of the three-game series to close within two games of the NL East-leading Mets (21-19), who have been riddled by injuries and finished 3-6 on a three-city Southern swing.
Poteet (2-0) allowed three hits and walked none while lowering his ERA to 1.06. The right-hander from UCLA, a fourth-round draft pick by Miami in 2015, posted a 19-39 record in the minors before reaching the majors this month at age 26.
“It has been very special for me,” he said. “I’ve been able to keep, for the most part, my emotions under control.”
Poteet flummoxed the Mets with a changeup, slider and 95 mph fastball. In 17 innings he has given two runs, 10 hits and two walks.
“You start to have that confidence that he’s going to get you into a game,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “Hopefully this continues. He’s throwing the ball good. He has good stuff.”
The Mets, who rank last in the majors in slugging, managed just six hits and totaled 19 in 30 innings in the series. They didn’t get a runner to second against Poteet.
“It felt like they were never really in that game,” Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson said.
Mets manager Luis Rojas credited Poteet.
“The kid threw the ball really well from the beginning,” Rojas said. “He was mixing his entire repertoire and pitched backward when he needed to.”
Miami’s Jesús Aguilar, who began the day second in the NL in RBIs, singled home a run to end a 1-for-28 skid. Jazz Chisholm singled for the Marlins’ other run-scoring hit.
Jordan Yamamoto (1-1) lasted four innings in his first start of the year and his first against his former team. He allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits.
He said his right shoulder began to bother him in the third inning.
“No excuse — I messed up,” Yamamoto said. “I let the team down. I’ve got to be better.”
The Marlins’ second-inning outburst included Poteet’s swinging bunt single, a hit batsman, a walk and a throwing error by shortstop Francisco Lindor, which led to an unearned run. Rojas placed blame for the error on Yamamoto, who failed to catch the throw covering first trying to complete a double play.
Lindor went 0 for 4, dropping his average to .194 and his OPS to .586. But Rojas said Lindor displays the same poise he had on opening day and doesn’t appear to be pressing.
“I don’t see him trying to overdo things,” Rojas said.
Mets: OF Kevin Pillar (nasal fractures), who was hit in the face by a fastball last week, underwent surgery Friday and is scheduled to begin light activities Monday. … RHP Dellin Betances (right shoulder) joined the team and threw a side session for the first time since going on the injured list.
The Marlins placed infielder Isan Díaz on the injured list (no reason given) and recalled infielder José Devers from Triple-A Jacksonville.
Mets: Begin a seven-game homestand Monday against Colorado, with LHP David Peterson (1-3, 4.97 ERA) expected to start.
“Move forward,” Rojas said. “That’s the message here. We’ve got to be excited we’re heading home.”
Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (6-2, 1.74 ERA) will try to win his fourth start in a row Monday when Miami opens a four-game series against Philadelphia. RHP Zach Eflin (2-3, 3.77 ERA) starts for the Phillies.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steve_Wine