MIAMI - The Marlins already had pushed the Mets to the brink of submission. But Wednesday night, when it came time to put an exclamation point on a 7-3 win over the Mets, an aging legend delivered the final flourish.
The 41-year-old Ichiro Suzuki ripped his first homer of the season, lining an Alex Torres offering over the rightfield fence in the eighth inning. His three-run shot broke open a one-run game.
At 15-7, the Mets still have the best record in the National League, but they now share the best record in baseball with the Detroit Tigers.
Until Wednesday night, the Mets had not dropped consecutive games since April 10-11 in Atlanta. Now, as they begin a six-game homestand with a four-game set against the Nationals, the Mets have dropped four of six since the end of their 11-game winning streak.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton finished with three RBIs, including a two-run homer, and Dee Gordon snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to score Adeiny Hechavarria.
All of it was enough to spoil Bartolo Colon's bid to begin the season 5-0 for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old righty took his first loss. He surrendered four runs in 62/3 innings.
The Mets took an early lead, but quickly lost it.
Michael Cuddyer entered batting .071 (2-for-28) over his last eight games, a freefall that followed what had been a hot start. But when Marlins starter Mat Latos left a slider spinning over the plate in the first inning, Cuddyer didn't miss.
Cuddyer's second homer of the season, a two-run shot with two outs, cleared the left-centerfield fence and sailed well over the 386-foot marker. A Mets fan-heavy crowd of 17,076 roared to life, as it had done all throughout this three-game series.
But Cuddyer lifted deep drives in the third and fifth that went as nothing more than long fly balls at spacious Marlins Park. It would come back to haunt the Mets, who had little to show for a hail of hard-hit balls.
The Marlins answered in the first when Colon made a similar mistake against the dangerous Stanton. Like Cuddyer, Stanton didn't let a good chance go by. His game-tying two-run homer hugged the leftfield line on the way out of Marlins Park.
The Mets went ahead 3-2 in the third inning simply by putting the ball in play. They had entered with a strikeout rate of just 17.5 percent, the second lowest in the National League.
And that propensity for contact factored in when Curtis Granderson doubled to lead off the third, then came around to score on groundouts by Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda.
However, the Marlins countered in the fifth, this time scoring the tying run on an infield hit against the shift. It came courtesy of Stanton, who rolled one to the right side.
Ordinarily, it would have been right at second baseman Daniel Murphy. But with Murphy shifted toward the bag at second, Stanton's grounder was far enough from the second baseman to score Donovan Solano from third.
Scratching out that run positioned the Marlins to push ahead in the seventh. Hechavarria doubled to left, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Reid Brignac, then scored the go-ahead run on Gordon's sacrifice fly.