The Florida Marlins won the NL wild card on their way to a World Series championship last season. They have their sights set on doing it again.
The surging Marlins will try to extend their winning streak to seven games when they conclude a four-game series with the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
“It’s almost like it was last season—we know we can come back,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said.
The Marlins, who are three games behind the Chicago Cubs in the wild-card race, have won nine of 11 to move seven games above .500 for the first time since they were 39-32 on June 23.
“We’re going to be in this thing,” McKeon said.
Armando Benitez, who entered to a chorus of boos, pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 40th save. The former Met has 10 saves against New York this season.
“I’m just trying to do my job,” Benitez said.
As the Marlins try to improve their position in the playoff race, Carl Pavano will look to win his fourth consecutive start.
During his three-start winning streak, the 28-year-old right-hander has allowed five earned runs over 21 1-3 innings. He surrendered three runs and seven hits over eight innings Saturday in a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
“The guys battled behind me and got me the four runs,” Pavano said. “I just wanted to stay in there long enough to keep us in the ballgame. We just have to keep battling, keep playing well.”
Mets shortstop Wilson Delgado tied a career high with three hits Wednesday. He also drove in a career-high four runs for New York, which has lost five straight and 10 of 11.
“He was the one real bright spot for us offensively,” Mets manager Art Howe said.
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