NEW YORK — One of the few teams to have much success against Jacob deGrom all year has been the last-place Miami Marlins.
In his latest hard-luck loss during a record-setting season, deGrom was outpitched by Jose Urena as the Marlins beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Tuesday night.
"These guys, they want to score for him so bad, you can see it," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "Unfortunately, we just haven't done that very much."
Locked in a compelling race for the NL Cy Young Award despite his pedestrian record, deGrom (8-9) gave up only Lewis Brinson's two-run double in seven stellar innings. The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out nine , his major league-low ERA climbing just a tick from 1.68 to 1.71.
Even still, he fell to 0-2 in four starts against Miami (57-86), which has won three of those games.
"You just have to scrap for your hits," manager Don Mattingly said. "We just hang in there. I think the games we've been able to beat him, I think our starters have been good."
Urena (6-12) permitted one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Marlins, who were rained out the previous two days. He is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts, and 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three career starts at Citi Field.
After his outing was pushed back two days because of rain, deGrom held his opponent under four runs for the 26th straight start — breaking a big league single-season mark set by King Cole in 1910 with the Chicago Cubs.
"I wasn't as comfortable as I normally am. What was I at, eight days or so?" deGrom said. "To go that long without being on the mound, I felt a little off. But I was able to kind of correct myself as the game went on."
In a recurring theme, however, the Mets didn't provide much help. All they could muster at the plate was Michael Conforto's solo homer off Urena and Kevin Plawecki's two-run shot against Drew Steckenrider with two outs in the ninth.
Conforto has homered in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.
JT Riddle came off the bench and homered into the second deck in right field in his first at-bat for Miami since returning from a sore left wrist.
"Those two rainouts really helped. Got me two extra days to rest," he said. "It felt really good, especially being off a week now."
After missing five games, Riddle connected in the eighth against reliever Anthony Swarzak, who made his first major league appearance since Aug. 3. The right-hander was recently activated from the disabled list after missing time with shoulder inflammation.
Miami got three straight hits off Robert Gsellman to start the ninth, including an RBI triple by Brian Anderson and Derek Dietrich's run-scoring double.
A resurgent Brinson doubled off the center-field fence with two outs in the fourth. After that, deGrom set down his final 10 batters and finished the night with 239 strikeouts, equaling the career high he set last season.
"I think you kind of understand that you're only going to have a couple opportunities off a guy like him," Anderson said. "Usually it's one or two a game. And he's really good at shutting down those opportunities. I think with runners in scoring position, guys are hitting under .100 off of him. Having a guy like Lewis come in there and get that hit against him, and with two strikes, really helped our morale and really got us going there."
Mets third baseman Todd Frazier was ejected after the sixth by plate umpire Dan Bellino.
Brinson is batting .400 (12 for 30) with a homer, three doubles and six RBIs since coming off the disabled list Sept. 1. He has upped his season average to .206.
Marlins: RHP Dan Straily (strained left oblique) felt discomfort while throwing for the first time since leaving his last start. He could miss the rest of the season, Mattingly said.
Mets: 3B David Wright took live batting practice on the field as the Mets' captain tries to complete his comeback from a string of debilitating injuries.
A single-admission doubleheader Wednesday to make up Monday's rainout. RHP Trevor Richards (3-8, 4.73 ERA) and RHP Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00) are the scheduled Miami starters, with RHP Zack Wheeler (10-7, 3.39) and LHP Jason Vargas (5-9, 6.75) set to go for the Mets.