The Marlins posted a 6-5 comeback win on Saturday, when they overcame the Mets’ eighth inning rally by scoring two runs in the ninth against New York closer Armando Benitez.
The win marked the third time in five meetings this season that the Marlins have beaten the Mets in their last at-bat—including twice against Benitez.
“He’s a very aggressive pitcher … our approach is to be aggressive but be patient because sometimes he has the tendency to be wild,” Florida catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. “Here in New York, it’s a place that you have to do everything right all the time. He needs to beat that and stay strong.”
The Marlins continued to give the Mets problems on the bases on Saturday, with four stolen bases. Florida has stolen 10 bases against the Mets over the first two games of the series.
The Mets hope to bounce back from the latest breakdown by Benitez, who has already blown four saves, matching his total for all of last season. Benitez was booed loudly by his home fans when he entered the game, and the derision continued throughout the ninth inning.
“I don’t have to worry about this; I know what I can do,” said Benitez, who was also booed from the mound to the dugout after the inning. “I don’t worry about a blown save. (Pitchers are) human. We’re not machines.”
Benitez’ futility wasted an exciting eighth inning rally by the Mets, who came up with two runs to take a 5-4 lead. Second baseman Roberto Alomar delivered the key blow, with a two-run double.
Alomar, who was 2-for-4 on Saturday, is hitting .400 over his current eight-game hitting streak.
STANDINGS: Marlins - 4th, 2 GB, NL East. Mets - 5th, 3 1/2 GB, NL East.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Josh Beckett (1-2, 4.05 ERA). Beckett took a 4-3 loss to the Phillies in his last start on Tuesday, when he allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander allowed six hits and two walks, while striking out six. Beckett did not earn a decision in his only other start against the Mets this season, allowing two runs in five innings. He is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA lifetime against New York.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Tom Glavine (2-1, 2.91 ERA). Glavine is coming off a strong start against the Pirates on Tuesday, when he posted a 3-1 win. The veteran lefty allowed just one run on three hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings, while striking out five. He is 14-12 with a 3.82 ERA lifetime against Florida.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Marlins - Alex Gonzalez, .333 avg.; Gonzalez and Lowell, 4 HRs; Lowell, 16 RBIs and 13 runs; Derek Lee, 8 SBs. Mets - Alomar, .294 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz and Tony Clark, 3 HRs; Vaughn, 9 RBIs; Wigginton, 12 runs; Alomar and Roger Cedeno, 2 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - After being caught stealing in the first inning on Saturday, 2B Luis Castillo is 27-for-35 in his career steal attempts against the Mets. … Florida’s 38 stolen bases is more than twice the total of any other team in the majors. … SS Gonzalez returned to action Saturday after missing three games with a strained hamstring. Mets - When OF Cedeno struck out to end the Mets’ sixth inning on Saturday, the Shea Stadium crowd chanted “Timo, Timo,” calling for Cedeno’s replacement to be OF Timo Perez. … RHP Benitez converted 33 of 37 save opportunities in 2002. … General manager Steve Phillips said RHP Grant Roberts is close to starting a rehabilitation assignment, and already is facing hitters in extended spring training.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Marlins - 4-6 on the road; Mets - 4-4 at home.
INJURIES: Marlins - OF Abraham Nunez (hamstring), 15-day DL. Mets - RHP Pedro Astacio (biceps), 15-day DL; LHP John Franco (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Roberts (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Perez (hand), day-to-day.