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Alvarez pitches 6-hitter and strikes out 7 as Marlins beat Mets 3-0

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MIAMI - When Henderson Alvarez closed out his shutout with a strikeout, the right-hander spun on the mound and threw a celebratory uppercut that landed on his left shoulder.

That was as hard as he was hit all night.

Alvarez pitched a six-hitter for his second shutout this season, and the Miami Marlins won again at home, beating the New York Mets 3-0 Tuesday night.

Relying mostly on his sinker and changeup, Alvarez struck out seven, walked none and threw 111 pitches.

"I just concentrated on keeping my breaking ball down and letting the batter swing," he said.

Miami improved to a major league-best 16-5 at Marlins Park, and is 7-1 on the current homestand with one game left. The Marlins clinched the series and have won seven of their eight home series, but they're 2-10 on the road.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now," manager Mike Redmond said. "Hopefully we can finish it off Wednesday and go on the road and start winning some games out of our suitcase. That's big right now in our development process."

Alvarez (2-2) completed the victory by striking out Curtis Granderson on three pitches with a runner on third. He retired the side in order only three times but was helped by two double plays and a fine play by third baseman Casey McGehee, who threw out a batter from foul territory.

Alvarez's quick tempo helped the defence, McGehee said.

"When stuff is happening and you don't get flatfooted out there, it makes it easier," McGehee said. "You feel like you're in the flow of the game."

The victory took only 2:08.

"Nice to be able to get a little extra sleep for the 12:40 game Wednesday," Redmond said.

Alvarez's only other victory this year was a complete-game 7-0 victory over Seattle on April 19 — at home, of course. He now has four career shutouts, including a no-hitter against Detroit on the final day of last season.

He has the most shutouts of any active pitcher with 65 career starts or less.

"When you see nights like this, you realize this guy has a chance to be really, really good," Redmond said. "It just comes down to consistency for him."

The Mets, who went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, were shut out for the third time.

"You've got to get the big hit, as they got," manager Terry Collins said. "We didn't get any."

McGehee had a pair of RBI singles and is now batting .441 with runners in scoring position. Hitting mostly cleanup, he has no homers but 23 RBIs.

Bartolo Colon (2-5) allowed three runs in seven innings. He also went 0 for 2, striking out both times, leaving Mets pitchers at 0 for 56 this season with 30 strikeouts.

Alvarez allowed a leadoff double in the fourth but retired the next three batters, including David Wright and Granderson on lineouts. Wright grounded out to end the sixth with runners at second and third.

"When Alvarez has his A stuff like tonight, and you have a good at-bat and hit a ball hard, it's pretty frustrating," Wright said, "because you know there's not going to be too many opportunities when he's throwing the ball like he is."

The Marlins won with seven hits. NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton missed one by inches when he hit an RBI double that caromed off the wall near the 418-foot sign in centre field in the first inning. He scored on a single by McGehee.

The Marlins put together three consecutive two-out singles in the fifth, the last by McGehee to make it 3-0.

"These guys are red hot here," Collins said. "We're going to get hot, too."

NOTES: The Marlins released INF Greg Dobbs. ... Marlins INF Rafael Furcal, who has endured repeated setbacks trying to recover from hamstring and groin injuries, returned to extended spring training in Jupiter, and there's no timetable for his next rehabilitation assignment. ... The retractable roof was open on a 79-degree night. ... Marlins LF Christian Yelich visited a class of sixth-graders Tuesday and took questions. "My favourite one was, 'Do your parents still love you now that you're in the big leagues?'" Yelich said. ... Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (1-3, 5.13) is scheduled to pitch against RHP Tom Koehler (3-2, 2.41) in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.

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