NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson envisioned a bunch of big hits when he signed with the New York Mets. Pittsburgh Penguins Gear . Providing even one proved elusive, until Friday night. The slumping Granderson grounded an RBI single to cap an improbable two-run rally with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Mets past the Miami Marlins 4-3. "Anytime you get a chance to win and jump up and down with your teammates, its a good thing," Granderson said. Granderson was 0 for 4 when he stepped to the plate with the scoreboard showing his batting average at .130. Not quite what anyone expected for a former All-Star fresh off a $60 million, four-year contract. "Im not there yet, but Im getting closer," Granderson said. After Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones hit back-to-back home runs in the Miami eighth for a 3-2 lead, the Mets stung Marlins closer Steve Cishek and won for the fifth time in six games. Cishek (1-1) had converted a team-record 33 straight save chances -- the longest active streak in the majors -- before Lucas Duda led off the ninth with a soft single and moved up on a sacrifice. Left fielder Christian Yelich made a nice running catch on pinch-hitter Bobby Abreus liner for the second out. Omar Quintanilla followed with a single down the line and Yelich slipped on the dirt as he got ready to throw home, letting Duda score standing up. "It wouldve been a tough play," Yelich said. "But if I had stayed on my feet, I was going home." Pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled to put runners at second and third. Granderson then grounded his game-winner past Jones at first base. "Ill be up a while," the sidearming Cishek said. "Its never a good feeling." "Its no excuse for me to come in and not get the job done," he said. "I just didnt have my good command, leaving pitches down the middle." Granderson had a game-winning sacrifice fly in the 14th inning Sunday against Atlanta. "Hes a great hitter," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Just because he hasnt gotten a whole lot of hits to this point doesnt mean hes not a great hitter." Redmond felt confident Cishek would close out the Mets. "Hes been so good," Redmond said. "I always anticipate hes going to get out of it. And tonight, he didnt." "You just see the momentum starting to roll their way and we couldnt stop it," he said. Jeurys Familia (1-2) pitched a scoreless inning for his first big league win. Yelichs hitting streak ended at 17 games, and the Marlins fell to 1-9 on the road. Saltalamacchia homered to left-centre off reliever Gonzalez Germen, and Jones followed with a drive off the right-field foul pole. The Mets hadnt allowed any home runs since last Saturday, a span of 57 innings. Young starters Zack Wheeler and Henderson Alvarez both pitched well. Wheeler, a month before he turns 24, struck out 10 in six innings. He gave up four singles and walked three in six innings. Wheeler showed off his repertoire when he fanned the side in the third, all on swinging strike three -- he got Alvarez on a fastball, Yelich on a changeup and Marcell Ozuna on a curve. A week past his 24th birthday, Alvarez gave up two runs in six innings. In his previous start, he pitched a two-hit shutout against Seattle. David Wright hit an RBI single and scored on Daniel Murphys double in the third to put the Mets ahead 2-0. Ozuna hit an RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-1. NOTES: Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.15 ERA) is set to start Saturday night against RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 1.99). ... Cishek had converted his first four save chances this season. ... In the last 11 games, no Mets starter has allowed more than three runs. ... Murphy stole third, and has been safe on his last 26 tries. Earl Ingarfield Sr. Jersey . As TSN reported Thursday, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is under intense pressure from the federal government to focus drug testing on athletes who compete in international events representing Canada. Since funding for the tests has been frozen and the cost of testing can eclipse $1,000 per test, university athletes in a number of sports are being tested less often. Ron Stackhouse Jersey .Y. - Urijah Faber walked out on a Madison Square Garden stage in a Wes Welker jersey, the UFCs fun nod to that other "super" show this weekend.QUEBEC -- Welterweight Chad (The Disciple) Laprise won a split decision over Olivier Aubin-Mercier on Wednesday to become the first Canadian winner of the UFCs "Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show. The judges scored it 28-29, 29-28, 30-27 for Laprise, who finished strongly in what was a very close fight. "I cant describe what I am feeling right now. People are asking me what it feels like to be the first winner of The Ultimate Fighter from Canadaa and all I can say is I feel blessed," said Laprise. "Olivier was tough. I knew he would be, hes a southpaw and has a very difficult style to figure out. He is young and will come again. "Right now, I feel so happy right now, so proud. I just had Dana White hand me a TUF finale trophy. I cant describe whats going on in my head." Laprise (9-0) got on his knees in the middle of the cage after the fight. Aubin-Mercier (5-1), seemingly favouring his right foot, hung on to his cornermen. The welterweight and middleweight finals of "The Ultimate Fighter Nations," which pitted Canada against Australian, were all-Canadian affairs after the Aussies were eliminated earlier. Torontos Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou stopped Edmontons Sheldon Westcott via second-round TKO in the middleweight final. After Theodorou (10-0) came into the music of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Westcott (9-2-1) ran into the arena to Imagine Dragons, almost wiping out as he turned a corner. It was a frantic opening as Westcott looked to take the fight to the ground quickly, hoping to bring his submission game into play. The bigger Theodorou fought him off and started punishing him with knees. Theodorous size and wrestling skills took their toll. He dumped Westcott midway through the second round and hammered him. The referee eventually stepped in to stop the beating at 4:41 Canadian coach Patrick (The Predator) Cote, who fought Australian coach Kyle Noke in a welterweight bout later on the Colisee Pepsi card, was runner-up to Travis Lutter on Season 4 of "The Ultimate Fighter," which featured veteran fighters looking for a second chance. Aubin-Mercier stalked Laprise, who looked to counter from the outside, as he waited for the right moment to try a takedown. Laprise stuffed two attempts in the first round but was cut under the left eye as the crowd chanted his opponents name. Laprise was finally taken down a minute into the second round, to the delight of the crowd. But he quickly got back up. Aubin-Mercier kept coming but never got his ground game going. Laprise denied another takedown to open the third but was bundled down soon after. Again he got back up quickly. Aubin-Mercier connected with kicks as Laprise continued to fight from the counter position. Laprise finished the fight with a flourish of blows. Wednesdays card marked the UFCs first visit to Queebec City. Dominik Simon Jersey. In addition to being teammates on the show, Laprise and Aubin-Mercier have also trained together at Montreals Tristar Gym, home to former UFC weltwerweight champion Georges St-Pierre. "Theyre both my friends," said GSP. "Both very nice guys." St-Pierre, however, picked Aubin-Mercier to win. The former champion has closer ties to Aubin-Mercier than Laprise -- they have known each other longer, live close to each other and Aubin-Mercier was an important training partner ahead of St-Pierres last fight against Johny Hendricks. Aubin-Mercier, 25, does most of his training at Montreals H2O Gym, A former member of the Canadian judo team, he advanced to the TUF Nations final by beating a pair of Australians: Jake Matthews by decision and Richard Walsh by submission. A native of Windsor, Ont., Laprise now makes his home in London, Ont., and trains mostly out of Adrenaline MMA Training and Fitness. Laprise, 27, won a unanimous decision over Australian Chris Indich before defeating Kayan Johnsons jaw via a brutal knockout to advance to the final. "It was difficult seeing the aftermath with Kajan and his jaw breaking, obviously," said Laprise. But both knew what they had signed up for. "That could easily just as well been me," Laprise said. Johnson returns to the cage in June to face lightweight Tae Hyun Bang at UFC 174 in Vancouver. Like others on the show, which wrapped up filming in December, Laprise was unable to talk about what happened until the episodes aired. "Keeping it a secret for so long was definitely tough," he said. Both Laprise and Aubin-Mercier have spent most of their fight career at lightweight (155 pounds) but competed at welterweight (170) on the show. Laprise normally walks around at 190 pounds. "Im probably one of the biggest lightweights in the division," said the five-foot-10 Laprise. "So me fighting at 170 is actually awesome." Laprise added after the fight: "Id like to drop down to 155 pounds now, Im a little small for 170 pounds. But I will fight anyone the UFC want me to. Im here to fight." Fighting aside, Laprise is a man of faith. After weighing in Tuesday, he donned his trademark large cross to square off with Aubin-Mercier. "I truly believe that God put me here for a reason. And thats to share his light through fighting. Everybody that sees me fight, they know Im a Christian. Hopefully I represent God well." He found religion at the age of 21. "My life has changed dramatically since and Im very grateful for that." Living with 15 other fighters under the same roof with cameras everywhere for six weeks during filming of the TV show was a challenge however. "It was tough, man," he said. "Youre constantly on film, every single day." ' ' '
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