New York (28-18) at Florida (14-31)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL, US
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Fri May 26, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Coming off four consecutive starts without a decision, Pedro Martinez gets his fifth chance to extend his winning streak to six games Friday night.

He has a good opportunity to do it when he starts for the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game set against the Florida Marlins.

Martinez (5-0, 2.82 ERA) is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA and .183 opponent batting average in his last four starts against the Marlins.

He is 5-0 for the first time since opening the 2002 season 7-0 after 10 starts as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is looking to build on his last outing, when he threw seven shutout innings, scattering four hits in a 5-4 Mets’ 11-inning loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.

“It stinks because Pedro was out there giving a dominating performance,” Mets closer Billy Wagner said after he was charged with four runs in the ninth inning to let the lead slip away. “It’s a game we had and we should have won— Yankees or no Yankees.”

Only two current Marlins have hits off Martinez—Miguel Cabrera (1-for-7) and pitcher Dontrelle Willis (1-for-3).

The Mets (28-18) have had bullpen problems in each of their last two losses, a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday and Saturday’s missed opportunity against the Yankees. The New York relievers have allowed seven runs, six hits and nine walks in seven innings in the two contests.

New York tried to bolster its pitching by acquiring left-hander Dave Williams from the Cincinnati Reds and right-hander Orlando Hernandez from Arizona this week.

Jose Reyes, who went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer on Wednesday, is is 4-for-9 (.444) with a home run, three RBIs and a stolen base in two games versus Florida this season.

The Marlins (14-31) enter this weekend’s series looking to extend their season-high winning streak to four games. They have not won four in a row since last July 27-30.

Florida defeated the Chicago Cubs 9-3 on Wednesday to sweep its first three-game series since Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2005 against the Atlanta Braves to end last season.

Josh Johnson (3-2, 2.62) has not factored in the decision of his last two starts, despite yielding only four runs—three earned—in 11 2-3 innings. The bullpen saves to lose both contests, including a 4-3 defeat to the Tampa Bay Devils Rays on Saturday.

“It’s tough to swallow,” Johnson said.

The 22-year-old rookie right-hander has emerged as an effective starter for the Marlins after making his first seven appearances of the season out of the bullpen. He has not allowed more than two runs in a game and is holding opponents to a .200 batting average in his starts.

Johnson has never faced the Mets as a starter.

The Mets have won both meetings with the Marlins this season, outscoring them 12-5.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Martinez PHI vs. J. Johnson SD
9-8 Record 12-7
4.48 ERA 3.10
137 K 133
39 BB 68
1.11 WHIP 1.30