NEW YORK — Tom Koehler insisted he didn't hit Yoenis Cespedes on purpose. What the right-hander definitely was trying to do was beat the New York Mets, which hasn't been easy lately.
Dee Gordon homered and had four hits to back Koehler's effective pitching, and the Miami Marlins knocked around Jacob deGrom in halting New York's eight-game winning streak with a 9-3 victory Tuesday night.
Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs following a surprise meeting with his "Saturday Night Live" doppelganger, and Justin Bour had three hits and two RBIs.
Koehler plunked Cespedes in the first inning and then helped silence the streaking slugger the rest of the way.
"I was trying to pitch him inside," Koehler said. "It got away a little bit."
Pitching with family and friends on hand from his suburban New York hometown, Koehler gave up a run in the first inning but no more after the Mets loaded the bases with one out. He was lifted after walking the first two batters in the seventh.
Lefty reliever Mike Dunn struck out Curtis Granderson, Cespedes and Daniel Murphy in succession as the Mets were denied yet another late comeback.
"With this team, you give them a crack, they've shown this year that they can kick the door in," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "To go get three punchouts in that situation was huge. I thought he stifled any momentum swing that was possibly taking place there."
Koehler (10-13) is 2-0 in three outings — two against the Mets — since a seven-start losing streak. He improved to 2-5 in 17 games (14 starts) versus New York by earning his first victory at Citi Field, where he had a 16.20 ERA in two appearances this year.
The crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" as Cespedes stepped to the plate in the first inning, and he was hit near the left hip on the first pitch he saw from Koehler, a 92 mph fastball.
Cespedes stared out toward the mound before taking his base.
It appeared to be retaliation for Monday night, when Cespedes held his bat aloft and admired a 442-foot drive off Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino for his ninth home run this month.
Koehler disputed that notion.
"I think it bothered us a little bit," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "So we'll answer in our own due time."
In the seventh, Mets reliever Erik Goeddel threw behind Koehler as the pitcher squared to bunt. Plate umpire Dale Scott warned both benches immediately after the wild pitch, and there was no further trouble.
Koehler scored in the fifth after driving a double to right field for his first extra-base hit in 134 major league at-bats.
"It kind of felt cool, not going to lie to you," Koehler said.
Last season's NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom (13-8) got the ball on the anniversary of a striking performance against the Marlins. The right-hander whiffed their first eight batters at Citi Field on Sept. 15, 2014, matching the major league record to start a game since 1900.
He entered with a 1.63 ERA in 23 career starts at home — and 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA against Miami overall. But the Marlins pounded him for six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings.
"He's got great stuff and he's taken it to us a few times before," Yelich said. "It was really just a combination of good at-bats."
It was the first time deGrom allowed more than three earned runs in a start at Citi Field. New York might skip his next turn in the rotation to give him a rest.
New York's commanding lead in the NL East was trimmed to 8 1-2 games over Washington, which beat Philadelphia 4-0. The magic number remained 10 for the Mets to clinch their sixth division crown.
Gordon is batting .464 during a 16-game hitting streak against the Mets.
Before the game, the Marlins surprised Yelich by arranging a meeting with "Saturday Night Live" funnyman Pete Davidson, who certainly bears an unusual resemblance to the Gold Glove outfielder. The two have participated in a running joke online this season about how much they look alike. Davidson dressed in a separate locker room — complete with a No. 21 jersey that had Yelich's name on the back — and joined the team on the field as giggling players stretched for batting practice.
Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton went to a hand specialist for another opinion on his broken left wrist but there was still no target date for his return. The slugger took batting practice on the field Monday. "Hopefully, we'll get a final answer today," Jennings said. ... RHP Carter Capps (strained right elbow) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Friday in Washington. ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (left hamstring tightness) has been taking batting practice and grounders but isn't quite ready to run full speed. "They're moving closer in a big hurry," Jennings said, referring to all three players.
New York RHP Bartolo Colon (14-11) faces LHP Adam Conley (3-1) in the series finale Wednesday night. The 42-year-old Colon has won four straight starts, including a shutout Sept. 5 in Miami — the only complete game by a Met this season. His scoreless streak was snapped at 31 innings during his most recent outing at Atlanta.