Miami (79-65) at New York (62-81)

Fair Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 9, 2003
  • TV: WPXM, MSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Carl Pavano knows how important every game is for the Florida Marlins in the final month of the season.

He’ll try to keep them atop the NL wild-card race when they meet the New York Mets in the middle game of their series at Shea Stadium.

Pavano has pitched extremely well over his past three starts, going 2-0 and allowing five earned runs in 21 1-3 innings. He gave up one run and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings Thursday, but did not get a decision in the Marlins’ 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“We’re all trying to go out there and battle, and get deeper into ballgames,” Pavano said.

The Marlins have won three straight and nine of their last 11. On Monday, Josh Beckett held New York to four hits over six innings and the Marlins scored four times in the ninth inning to win 5-0.

The win, combined with the Phillies’ 6-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves, pulled the Marlins into a first-place tie with Philadelphia in the wild-card race.

“I was just trying to stay in there. We had to win,” Beckett said.

The Mets, who returned home after getting swept in a four-game series at Philadelphia, have lost five straight after winning 14 of 21. Steve Trachsel struck out a season-high eight over seven innings Monday, but the Mets failed to muster any offensive attack.

“Every night there’s bright spots but not enough for us to win,” Mets manager Art Howe said.

STANDINGS: Marlins - 2nd place (tied), 12 GB, NL East. Mets - 5th place, 28 1/2 GB, NL East.

MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Pavano (11-11, 4.07 ERA). Pavano is 3-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 14 career games against the Mets.

METS PROBABLE STARTER: Tom Glavine (9-12, 4.50 ERA). After allowing no more than one earned run in five consecutive starts, Glavine has struggled in his last two outings. He has allowed eight earned runs in 12 2-3 innings in those games. On Thursday, Glavine worked six innings, giving up four runs and eight hits, but he did not get a decision in the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Phillies. The 37-year-old left-hander is 15-13 with a 3.73 ERA in 32 career games against the Marlins.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Marlins - Luis Castillo, .327 avg.; Mike Lowell, 32 HRs and 105 RBIs; Castillo and Juan Pierre, 91 runs; Juan Pierre, 59 SBs. Mets - Roger Cedeno, .271 avg.; Cliff Floyd, 18 HRs and 68 RBIs; Ty Wigginton, 67 runs; Jose Reyes and Cedeno, 13 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 8-6.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - 2B Castillo is batting .321 (17-for-53) in his career against LHP Glavine. … C Ivan Rodriguez went 0-for-5 on Monday, snapping a 10-game hitting streak. … The Marlins lead the majors with 138 steals. No other NL team has more than 91. Mets - C Mike Piazza is batting .458 (11-for-24) in his career against RHP Pavano. … OF Jeff Duncan, who complained of neck spasms and headaches on Sunday, underwent a number of tests at NYU Medical Center. The tests were negative, but he did not play Monday. … OF Cedeno needs two steals to tie Wally Backman for seventh on the Mets’ all-time list with 106.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Marlins - 33-39 on the road; Mets - 32-39 at home.

INJURIES: Marlins - 3B Mike Lowell (thumb), 15-day DL; LHP Armando Almanza (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendix), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kevin Olsen (concussion), 60-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 60-day DL. Mets - SS Reyes (ankle), 15-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; OF Floyd (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Pavano Min vs. T. Glavine Atl
12-13 Record 9-14
4.30 ERA 4.52
133 K 82
49 BB 66
1.26 WHIP 1.48