Florida took the series opener 2-1 on Friday night as Luis Castillo, who turned down a contract offer from New York in the offseason, had three hits, scored one run and drove in the other.
Florida closer Armando Benitez, facing his former team for the first time since the Mets traded him to the New York Yankees last July, pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances. Benitez has saved at least one game against all 30 major league teams during his career.
“We’re used to seeing what you saw tonight, going right out there after the big guys, getting the big hitters out,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said of Benitez. “He’s done it all year for us. It was a very, very huge performance tonight to go out there and put his former team down.”
The Marlins have beaten the Mets nine times in 11 meetings dating to last season.
New York lost for just the fifth time in its last 14 games, but fell below the .500 mark.
Mike Cameron’s unproductive bat continues to be a sore point for the Mets’ offense, as he struck out two more times Friday—once with the bases loaded— giving him 52 strikeouts on the season—third most in the NL.
Suffering from a torn finger tendon on his right hand, Cameron—who signed a $19.5 million, three-year contract as a free agent this past offseason—has just one RBI in his last 15 games and is hitting a season-low .197.